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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Idaho excursions in the summer

Earlier this summer we made a quick trip to Grandma and Grandpa Muir's farm for a few days. I must admit, it made me almost giggle at the prospect of a mere 5 hour drive to visit family instead of the customary 27-hour trek. What a treat to be close enough to family that we can visit spontaneously like this! Nathan didn't have any accrued time off at the new job yet, so the kids and I went without him.

It was such a treat to spend time with cousins (who we usually only see once a year at best). The children loved spending time together, and I was so grateful for this opportunity to strengthen family ties.

Each day was filled with activities. (Oh man! I can't keep up with my little sis- she possess an unbelievable amount of energy!) She loves to go hiking (she was also training to summit Mt. Rainier- which she did!) so there were a lot of family hikes. This hike (or rather, this one was a stroll) was just a few minutes away from the farm. The views were lovely!

Another day we hiked in the Tetons area. We had such a lovely view on the drive into the mountains!

Once onsite, we took a group picture before splitting up into two groups for different trails. 
Becky needed to do a timed hike far and fast up a steep incline as part of her training, so I went with an easier trail that would be safer with Joseph. (And- who am I kidding?- There was no way I was going to be able to manage the hike she had planned!)

Our trail wound up the mountainside and through meadows of wild flowers. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. My spirit thrilled at such beauty!

Here is the view from the top, where Becky and Robert enjoyed sharing a picnic with the local fauna.

Our days were filled with all sorts of fun. Grandma and Grandpa made a lovely fire in their backyard one evening. While making s'mores, we really enjoyed soaking in the beautiful sunset and country view of the foothills. My soul felt so perfectly content and rejuvenated in the peaceful setting.

We really enjoyed riding the four-wheelers through the pastures and dirt roads that crossed beautiful grain fields. Grandma hooked a large utility wagon to the vehicle, and added several quilts for padding. The grandchildren would pile into the wagon and the youngest children would hold up colorful pinwheels during the ride. They loved watching their  pinwheels spin in the wind!

We had many other day trips in the area. We loved exploring the lava tubes (thank you, Grandpa, for carrying Joseph at the end when he had hurt his leg! You're the best!). This picture is only half of our group- the rest of the grandkids were already playing inside the cave.

We tried to play at the sand dunes, but that didn't last very long.

Funny story...

I arrived at the sand dunes with my sister Rachael and my children long before the others arrived. We set out on foot to play in the sand and explore. There were an unusual number of bees, due to a traffic accident the night before when a truck of hives crashed. The bees were very hungry, and our clothing provided the only bright spots of color in the wide expanse of we were quickly spotted. The bees wouldn't leave us alone since they were so hungry- they would crawl all over our clothing and we couldn't shoo them away. There were over a dozen bees crawling on each of us. I was so frustrated that I started running (and of course, the bees easily kept up). I spent several minutes trying to get the bees to leave me alone, then in frustration (and a bit of fright) I finally ripped off my shirt and threw it across the sand to get some reprieve. After scooping up my shirt, we all ran back to hide in the safety of the van.

We also enjoyed afternoons spent swimming in Rigby Lake and the Snake River. We brought along picnics and spent hours playing and splashing together. The kids especially had SUCH fun playing with cousin Ryan and uncle Brian! These are two of the funnest men around, and the children just adore them!

We all enjoyed our time together. It was such a lovely visit, and such a treat to see family again!