Family Camping at Soapstone

On July 15-17 we had our 2nd annual family campout at Soapstone campground with Curtis and Matthew’s families. It’s along Utah’s Mirror Lake Highway in the tall pine trees and has the Provo River running through the campground. There were ten of us–Steve and I, Curtis and Kelly with their children Katelyn (4 yrs) and Cody (5 months), and Matthew and Natalie with their children Aubrey (4 yrs) and Mackenzie (3 yrs).

Steve and I loaded up our little motor home with food, chairs, firewood, my bike, kids’ activities, and even a few movies on to play in case the kids (or their parents) needed a rest, or if the weather turned bad. (Camping wasn’t like this when I was a kid.) But we were lucky to have perfect weather–and there were hardly any bugs at all.

I had reserved two camp sites beside each other and near the bathrooms. They worked very well for us. Curt set up his tent trailer on one site and Matthew put his tent up on that site also. We set the RV on the other site. It was nice to have the RV so the ladies and children didn’t have to use the public bathrooms as much. The first night we cooked hot dogs over the campfire and played games and visited with Curtis, Kelly, Katelyn and Cody. It was a bit cold the first night but was quite nice the second night. Curtis made pancakes for breakfast on Friday and we had a nice leisurely morning. I rode my bike around camp and even went with Katelyn for a bike ride. It was fun. Steve relaxed in his camp chair and read a book. He brought his fishing gear but forgot to pack his flies. But he found two flies in his rod case, so he went down to the river a couple of times to threaten the fish.

Mat and Nat arrived Friday afternoon and set up their fancy 2-room tent with a screened porch. Aubrey, Mackenzie and Katelyn all played together.  It was interesting to watch the little girls play. They collected nearly every rock they could find, saying that each was a “really nice one” and had to go in their bucket. And they spent nearly a whole afternoon together sitting in the dirt under the pine tree and scraping piles of pine needles into their buckets. They don’t know and probably don’t care that they were filthy dirty. Then a little while later they were playing Sleeping Beauty make believe as though they were little clean princesses. I guess it’s good they couldn’t see what they looked like. At one point Natalie walked over near where they were playing to get something and Aubrey scolded her and said, “Mommy, don’t watch us.” Imagination is a wonderful thing. Or is it escapism? Or is it both?

We had a big dinner together Friday evening. We cooked BBQ chicken and biscuits in the Dutch oven, Rice-a-Roni, green beans, and salad. We had watermelon, and for dessert we made Dutch oven cherry chocolate cake. What a fun dinner. After dinner the guys shot their little rubber-band-loaded whirly-gig helicopters high up in the air and let the little girls catch them as they floated down. That lasted quite a while until one of the helicopters eventually got stuck up in a very tall tree.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit and had a great breakfast. Matthew made the bacon, of course. And Curtis made great pancakes. And I made the hash browns and scrambled eggs. We put it all out on the table and had a great feast. Cooking and eating are part of the fun of camping. And it has always been my belief that bacon was a necessary part of the camping experience. And I believe my sons are carrying on this tradition nicely. Bacon is not only good, but if you can be the first one in the campground cooking it in the morning, it makes the neighbors jealous as well.

We had some time to take a few little hikes, visit a while, and play with the kids. Then about noon we packed up the camp and headed for home. We were tired but grateful for a wonderful family camping trip!