Mining Tour, Part 2

Remember a while back I posted about the road trip the kids and I took?  It’s been a crazy busy several weeks, so I hadn’t had a chance to sit down for a few hours to go through photos and post a few.  So, finally, here it is!  Aside from some tween attitude, a few scuffles and some scary road, I think they remember a nice little chunk of fun things.

Quick recap?
1133 miles. Four days.
25.4 carats of sapphires.
21.5 (rough!) miles up to a middle of nowhere ghost town.
A dozen rocks with opal in them.
A 10-person tent (in reality, it’s 5-6).
Four kids, one mom.
Two campgrounds.
One caboose.
One giant, fantastic jail.
One luggage rack container we have named “Batman.”
Zero showers.
Not even close to enough flashlights.

We know how to vacation.

Meet Batman.  I had him in the living room the day before, seeing if all our air mattresses and sleeping bags and blankets would fit in it.  They do.  Heavy as all get out though.  Had to unload it, strap it on the top of the roof, and reload it.  Started getting the hang of reloading it the third time.  I either looked like a crazy mom hanging on the sides of the van strapping everything down, or I may have looked like a badass.  We’ll go with the latter, if for nothing else, my own vanity.
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Curious about how Batman got his name?  Yeah, that was funny.  So, being as it was my first time strapping something on the top of the van I didn’t have it as tight as I should/could have.  After a few miles on the freeway, I had to pull over and tighten it.  Then away we went again.  Another several exits down the freeway, I pulled over again.  Those straps you see on the edges?  I hadn’t tucked them in, so it sounded like flapping all on the top/sides of the van.  The kids giggled that it sounded like bats on top of the van.  After another hour giggling about bats on top of the car, they renamed it Batman.  So, by the end of the trip, given that we were driving at least 80mph, every so often I’d call out “How’s Batman doing?” and they’d crane necks to the windows to look for him/his shadow.  Just to make sure we didn’t have an incident.

More haphazard and last minute prep.  I was just flying by the seat of my pants, making stuff up.  I didn’t have enough time to prep/cook stuff beforehand.  So we went rummaging in the pantry.  Boom.  Meals and snacks, ready to go.  Turns out the kids’ favorite freeze dried meals are the Beef Stroganoff and Lasagna.  The Beef Stew is…  okay.  Those potatoes and meat chunks have a harder time rehydrating it seems.
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You remember that old school video game Tetris?  Yup.  Real life application of that.  You can barely see Batman on the top, and my gigantic 12.5yo there (I look him in the eyes now, holy smokes).  Lots of good stuff in there.  Solar powered lights (no batteries to forget to change/recharge!), collapsible water bucket, chairs, coolers of food, soft shell cooler of plates/silverware, the tent, tarps, milk crate of random camping stuff, etc.  When we got all the fun stuff, they were in giant Rubbermaid tubs.  Which is great.  Except I can’t fit those easily into my van.  I have to use smaller containers, and use the space under the bench seat (that’s where the stove, tarps, water bottles, aseptic milks went) like it’s going out of style.  Not too shabby, eh?
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