9 things my kids love about our adventures

After a few summers of our “grand adventures”, I asked my two oldest children, ages 11 and 6, to list five things they love about our summer travel adventures.  Their answers surprised me a bit.  I really thought they’d list things they’d done or, even more likely, souvenirs they’d bought along the way.

But they didn’t.  They surprised me in the best ways.

Our 11-year-old daughter

In her own words, at least as close as I could get while simultaneously writing down her answers and listening.

9.  We get to explore.  We go to forests and we are able to explore the plants and streams and around the area. One of the places I explored was an old pen were horses could exercise.  When we go exploring, we see pretty flowers and old fallen trees covered in moss. sometimes we see chipmunks.

A chipmunk photographed by my 11 year old daughter on one of our adventures

Photo credit belongs to our daughter.

8.  We try new foods.  {I paused on this one, because we usually stay in Oregon and we generally aren’t anywhere near a restaurant.}  When we’re camping, we’re limited on what we can bring so we try to combine foods.  Like chili on baked potatoes which is really yummy.  Once, on a trip, I tried the “ugly biscuit” at a cafe.  Its name is fitting: it was two biscuits drenched in gravy… that was not so good.

7.  We get to see what life was like for people working in fire lookouts and guard cabins back in the old days.  I pointed to a stool with glass on the legs and asked what it was.  My dad told me it was for stormy days with lightning.  They would stand on the stool to prevent being struck by the lighting.  The view was amazing!  I could see the other mountains from the doorstep of our lookout cabin.

6.  We see new places, like Condon.  I had never seen a little town in the middle of nowhere like that.  We get to explore the world.  {The world in Oregon, at least.  Someday her world will be a lot bigger and charming little towns in the middle of nowhere may not seem so magical.  For now, I will cherish her view of “the world”.}

5.  Our Obsidian trip has been one of my favorite trips.  {What?!  That trip was a disaster!}  It’s very interesting and fun to see all the obsidian rocks on the ground that had been left behind, knowing that lots of people were there before us.  The trip was full of adventure.  One of my favorite parts was climbing up the mountain and watching the sunset.  It was beautiful and stretched across the sky in an orange, yellow, red, and pink sun.  {We never made it to the dig sites.  Our van had a catastrophic engine failure and we were towed 100 miles to the nearest town.}

Our 6-year-old son

“I only thought of four.”

4.  We get to tell fun stories.  When we are hiking, Papa tells spooky stories to make the hike interesting, and it makes it extra fun.

3. My favorite trip was the Oregon Caves.  We saw all the stones and I really liked that.  There were things that looked like diamonds on the walls.  It’s a really hard hike, because it’s a giant cave and my feet got tired.

2.  Smores!

1.  We get to spend lots of time together.  That means we’re a family.  And we keep each other safe.