Monday, August 16, 2010

Rafting the Dechutes with 20+ youth

Our raft going down Box Car rapid
( Can you find us?)

Friday night Michael and I and our two oldest got back from a 3 day, 2 night raft trip on the Dechutes River. We left early Wednesday morning and put in at Trout Creek near the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. We rafted a few hours until we came to our first camp site. We got there a bit early, around  2:00 pm and had lots of daylight left to explore the campsite, how water wars, swim in the river, set up camp and have endless fun.

You should have seen the gear boat that our teaching pastor took all by himself down the river. It was so loaded with tents, food, backpacks, stoves, and everything else we needed to live for the three days away from home. I wish I had a picture of his boat. It was truly a site to be seen.

Like I mentioned before we had 20 something junior high and high school kids. There were four pastors on this trip and another male adult and two women. These kids were so well behaved and worked their hineys off when it came time to set up and tear down camp. They also did most of the work when it came time for our meals. All us women had to do was stand around and direct orders. There was no complaining!!

Day 2! After breaking camp and loading everything back in the gear boat on Thursday we headed down the river and had many hours of hot sun, water gun fights with the boats, white water rapids and swimming. We stopped off at a huge rock mid way down to do some rock jumping. The brave kids and adults which included my daughter and husband jumped off of a huge cliff into a pool of deep water.  many of the others took the safer route and jumped off smaller rocks. It was so amazing to watch. However, I didn't participate. I am so nervous about injuring myself and putting myself into unwanted pain. I just watched and tried not to freak out.

That night we found another great camping spot. This time with shade. It was right along the train tracks and we had the pleasure of watching and listening to the train several times that night. The sun went over the large rock like cliffs early and we had relief from the 90+ degree weather. That evening the kids all sat upon the boats singing, talking and laughing. We had delicious smoked pulled pork that one of the leaders made and lots of fruit. Just before bed my daughter gave a little talk on her time in Argentina. Most of  the leaders were eager to go to bed early and get some much needed rest. The kids stayed up a bit later watching shooting stars. Day two is over!!

By day three we were a bit sunburned, and a little tired. But... we still had lots of desire to hit the big three class rapids that would be coming up. The big gear boat that our pastor was guiding was dropped off at one of the launch sites  several miles from Maupin. He was glad to ditch the boat and took over the boat that Michael had been guiding. He has had a bit more experience on the river, especially the big rapids that were coming up  and Michael was happy to get the break. That afternoon we hit two big rapids- Wapanitia and Box Car. These were incredible rapids. There were photographers perched on the rocky shore to take pictures of the people going down. These are the only pictures we have of the whole trip.

Around two that afternoon we reached Maupin City Park, our destination. What a high we were all on, but definitely a  tired and ready for a heatly meal and a good night sleep in our own beds. I praise God that the trip went well and there were no catastrophes, a  few scratches and sunburns but nothing severe. I was so glad that I went and can't wait to do it again!!

                                   The other three boats !!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Fun

It's been one week since Mandi has been home and life is getting back to normal. There is no normal when one child is gone, out of the country. I must admitt that I took her absence real hard. I had no idea that I would "freak out" so much!! Those, by the way are my daughter's words.

Mandi had such a powerful, wonderful mission trip. She came home with a desire to go again in December if God leads. I tend to see the dollar signs of another trip and  have a hard time seeing how this next trip can be funded in such a short time. Mandi on the other hand has great faith that God will provide if it's the right thing for her to do. She is already thinking outside the box on what fundraisers she can do and creative ways to raise money for this trip. Nothing is impossible with God!!

Two days after Mandi got home we headed to Grants Pass for a family reunion. We had a wonderful weekend reconnecting with Michael's side of the family who I have met only once or twice. There were about 30 relatives hanging out at the Kuhlman house. We swam in the pool, and ate lots of great food. I am sure that I gained whatever little weight I have lost at bootcamp back this weekend. It's hard to be "good" when everything is so yummy!! On Saturday we rafted a portion of the Rogue River. Michael and I took all the kids. Amanda has lots of rafting experience and took one of the relatives down. Jeff does too and he took one of the cousins. Both kids did exceptionally well navigating the rapids. I was so proud of them! Michael had Josh in his tahiti and I had Emma!! After pulling out at one of my favorite parks, Indian Mary park, we had a big picnic with everyone else who didn't go rafting.

We were suppose to go home Sunday but Jeff and Mandi wanted to raft again. The first river trip was such a hit that they decided to go again. Sadly, Michael threw his back out earlier that morning and we were not able to join them. They went down another section of the river, a little rougher part, with Uncle Dave and other family members. By the time they got done it was too late to drive home. So we got to spend another day! Monday we hung out by the pool until four and finally headed home.

My next adventure is coming up next week when Michael and I get to be chaperones on the middle school and high school youth group rafting trip. It will be a three day trip. We get to camp out at night and be in the water during the day. I can't wait!! I am so glad Jeff and Mandi OKed us to go. The younger kids will have fun with Nana and Papa here in Redmond.

This summer is going by too fast. It's amazing how the kids get busier as they get older. I am glad that we have one more month of summer vacation to enjoy before school starts up again.

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