Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Monsoon in Your Lagoon

Well, so it wasn't a lagoon...per se...fine...it wasn't at all. It was Sterling Reservoir and definitely not a tropical getaway. BUT! It was a getaway from Greeley, and that is pretty tropical as long as I use my imagination!!! Hahahaha and let me inform you...this getaway was interesting to say the very LEAST. I will hint to the monsoon part being very very real though.

We left with my parents for Sterling the weekend after Memorial Day. I'm actually giggling because it was so memorable that we may not go back to Sterling...ever...to camp...ever.

 And if we ever do, we will be triple checking that our camp site is not at the bottom of the entire area where any and all rain water drains toward and ends up flooding. (Yeah, you'd think that since summer thunderstorms are normal the campground would inform you of the possible risk of flooding should you even show interest in that specific and particular area.) We packed up all of our camping gear and my parents lead the way ahead of us in their new boat. This aquatic machine is only new to them, but was brand new in the 1980s. Its awesome regardless and definitely serves the purpose of fun in the water, but its very heavy and was about to show us who was boss!!!

My dad has always loved sailing. As a little girl, we lived in California for a time and my parents would take me sailing with them. Unfortunately I am TERRIFIED of water. I have a hard time getting into a public pool. I know that there is chlorine in the water. I know that there is no way possible for a shark to be in that water, let alone living and moving. It still doesn't dispel the fear in my head that the moment I even stick my toe in the water a shark has been alerted and thinks, "Crispy Creme!!!" or "Hot Pocket, warm and ready to be eaten." I realize its irrational. Guess what: I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY. And thats just in a pool!!! Imagine how my breathing increases when its merky reservoir water and theres no way to see the bottom...or 3 feet from you. Yeah the very thought makes me shudder uncontrollably. Fortunately, my children ALL LOVE the water.  So back to the weekend. My parents have been begging for a time to take our kids out on the lake and take them tubing. I LOVE tubing. I'm really good at it too because I don't want to get eaten by any sharks and the death grip on the tube makes it impossible to shake me off. Naturally I want my kids to all experience this kind of excitement. The bummer thing about tubing is that the tube is generally huge and no amount of blowing up by a human really gets the tube ride-ready. Memo to Grandpa: remember the compressor.

We got set up with our tents and got dinner going. What says camping more than sloppy joes? Well, maybe hotdogs says camping better...lol  After dinner we decided to continue our little family tradition of going to Dairy Queen for sundays.

Poor Nafe got to stay in the back of the car. As you can see, she wasn't all that impressed. We enjoyed what we thought was an extravagant lightening display as we headed back to the campgrounds. Never in a million years would we have thought that display would soon be right over us and we were definitely NOT enjoying it. Keep in mind too, that this was 4th of July weekend and the campgrounds and town of Sterling were completely packed with people.

My parents are camping kind of people. I grew up knowing that summer always included a camping trip. I will say that this is the very first time we have ever camped in an actual camp site. No really, my dad grew up in Creede, CO and Leadville, CO so camping means going back at least 20miles into the wilderness and living off the land. I don't live off the land well and so as a kid camping also meant a time of fasting because I HATE fish. I LOVE to fish for the little buggars and I'm pretty good at it...but I won't eat them. I enjoy catch and release. My dad likes to catch and eat. EW. We've taken our kids camping a few times now and they all LOVE it. Duncan really loves being able to pee outside without consequence!! HAHA My dad has gotten a lot of really cool things that makes camping a bit more fun now that he has a huge tent with a stove in it and a type of shower thing...hey, these are awesome considering that growing up is was campfires and wet wipes!

Anyway, as we got back to our site the rain had begun. We are in a rain RESISTANT tent...that is NOT the same as a WATERPROOF tent. Very important to point this out. A small, yet important fact. My parents were going to sleep under the canopy thing, but the lightening was a pretty big deterrent since its got metal pieces, so they opted for the boat. Apparently the seals on the windows up front were not sealed well because as soon as the rain began POURING, my poor parents raced back to our large tent. The problem wasn't just the copious amounts of rain, but that I noticed rain dripping on my face and sleeping bag. My kids were also becoming aware that they were not dry either and the lightening was like someone's headlights flashing every few seconds and the thunder was deafening. The storm's power was absolutely amazing. I haven't really been out in storms like this (go figure) so being smack dab in the middle of it with my 4 babies wasn't exactly 'fun.' Joshua was completely passed out and he was in his bassinet. The girls and Dunc all had their own raised cots. Rob and I were on a big blow up and even with all of our weight, suddenly we both realized that we were FLOATING.
as you can see, everything was pushed to the south side of the tent. It was a mad dash OUT f the tent
 About that time was when my parents rushed in and began throwing their stuff in and noticed, hey, its not dry in here either. We sat for a few minutes debating if the storm was passing or if it was just beginning. As we were coming to our conclusion, a MASSIVE bolt of lightening struck the metal picnic table 5 feet from our tent and the electrical current actually traveled our way. Rob sat straight up, grabbed me away from the tent wall and grabbed some shoes. It was pointless because as he stood up our tent floor RAISED UP AROUND HIS FEET BY 6 INCHES!!!!!! I wasn't kidding, our site was the focal point for any and all water from the ENTIRE campground!

this is an 8in hole right outside of our tent door.  I stepped into it on my way out and it went up to my shin

Rob was yelling at me to hand him different kids while he ran them up to the car and threw them in.  I was scrambling for bags and clothes and stuff we'd need going to a hotel for the night. Rob didn't understand my thinking and was nonetoohappy about me gathering items other than our children. He had just thrown Duncan in the car when a bolt hit right by the car and it zapped Rob as he was closing the door and stunned him for a few seconds. Oh and did I mention that the people just next to us had a big sail boat with their MAST UP!? Yeah...it was that warm, fuzzy kinda feeling we will always remember. Its midnight at this point and neither my mom nor dad had grabbed their glasses before exiting the tent or boat. This isn't exactly safe since my dad is driving in rain so thick you can barely see the road without vision issues. I was frantically calling every hotel in Sterling. Apparently every angst-filled teenager was put on the night shift because I didn't talk to any friendly people. Finally, we found 2 smoking rooms at the Motel 8. Let me just say that while I am grateful that we actually found 2 rooms to stay in, this was a time warp to the 80s and I wouldn't have been surprised to see Chevy Chase in his white dancing shoes stroll across the poorly paneled lobby. SCARY. We all got into warm showers and bedded down for the night. We were up and back to the site pretty early since we didn't know how our stuff had faired. The canopy was still standing and you can see by the picture above the path of all the rainwater. It was really muddy, but still alright.  So since we were gluttons for punishment, we unloaded our stuff again, cleaned up our site as best we could, had lunch, and headed out on the water! It was a GORGEOUS day!

Josh isn't a huge fan of his life suit.

I wish I could remember what he's saying now.



Nafe is not only terrified of water, she's not a big boat fan either

Josh had a good time chillin with Grandma

Issi thoroughly enjoying the water

Joshua is about to experience the magic of swimming with Daddy

by the look on Rob's face, I'm assuming Joshua wasn't ready for the temperature change! LOL

CLASSIC Riggins picture.

Natty is SO cute!

I have NO idea why every picture he's making this face. TWIT.

trying to convince me that water is fun and there have been no shark sightings.

well, this is US!

yeah...I did it. And yes, I'm actually plugging my nose. 

This is when Joshua peed all over Grandma. HILARIOUS!

Our children get their love of water from their father. 
All in all it was a really great time. It was jam packed with every emotion possible!!!! We will not be going back to Sterling Reservoir to camp, but maybe if we remember to blow up the tube, we'll be back to enjoy some fun in the sun.

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