Sunday, June 6, 2010


We went camping and climbing this weekend in Vedauwoo, in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. We all had a wonderful, relaxing time. The girls loved every minute of it and played nonstop with their friend Alex. There's nothing like the relaxed pace of camping for finding the time to connect and be present with the people you love the most. The weather was perfect, not too cold, no rain, not too many mosquitoes, more stars out at night than our girls ever remember seeing, s'mores over the campfire, lots of yummy food-homemade pizza grilled over the campfire, fun rock climbing for the whole family, good conversation with close friends, quality family time... Perfect.

Ruth, Alex, Anna and Josie sitting in their chairs around the campfire in the morning chill:

The threesome at play- Alex, Anna & Jo:

Darren O'Connor cooking sausage for breakfast:

Mitch almost to the top of a challenging Vedauwoo climb:
Darren belaying him:

Me with all the girls watching Ruth climb:

Me on the rock with Ruth belaying:

Alex, Anna and Josie all took turns climbing as well but I didn't get any pictures of them. Bummer. They looked great, though! We were too busy belaying them and coaching them on the climb.

But here's a picture of Alex at the bottom of the climb with Pat and Darren getting ready behind her:
Of course spending time camping means we all got covered in dirt. So when we got home I turned the sprinkler on for the girls and they took their shower!

There's not much that I like better than being able to be outside all day and all night like you are when you are camping, being able to use all five senses to connect with the world around me. I love feeling the warmth and the cold as the temperatures fluctuate day and night, feeling, hearing and seeing the wind, listening to and seeing the birds, the smell of pine and dust and campfire, feeling soft dirt between my toes, hearing all the night sounds of a world awake while we are asleep, seeing the stars unobscured by electric lights, not insulated from what is real and timeless and wild. I love the cycle of day and night as I love the cycle of the seasons, the feeling of being small in a creation that is big and beautiful and intricate and awesome and doesn't need me, and yet being an intimate part of that creation, bound by time in the midst of the timeless, connecting and present to the world around me as a way of connecting to the God who made all of it. For me, that is a piece of heaven in the here and now.
Thanks, Ruth, Darren and Alex, for inviting us camping and taking us climbing!


Hashim Alhamad said...

I love camping; such a great way to be connected with nature and see some of God's greatness through his some of his creation.

Camping is a great bonding time with friends and family. Also, very peaceful and away from the daily routine.

I love the after-camping shower!

akamilby said...

What a great time camping! I'm glad you got out as a family, and had so much fun, slowed down the pace for a weekend. And I agree with Hashim: great shower afterwards!

Chad Clement said...

Very well written, Katie. If I were an English teacher, you would get an A. Glad you were able to escape and enjoy a change of scenery. Lots of family memories come from trips like that. Happy to see you are getting to soak up the summer.

oconnoda said...

Katie, we couldn't have enjoyed the trip more. As well as enjoying having the kids play together all day, it was so wonderful to connect with you and Mitch around the evening camp fire.

Speaking of the joy of the after-camping shower, we returned home to find our water turned off by our contractor! It was all the more sweet when we finally got the water back on later in the evening.

Summer seems too short with all of the activities we have planned, but I truly hope we can get in at least one more trip to enjoy the rocks and stars and great company with you again.

Love from the O'Connors!