Monday, August 13, 2007

Okay, get ready for the longest post ever! We decided to go down to Cali and spend some time at Grandma's, then go camping with Aaron's brother Michael and his family in the Yosemite area where Aaron used to camp when he was little. Here are Arwen and Noah playing with cousin Evan. What artists we have in the family!
Here are lots of the cousins watching a movie with Grandpa one morning! We sure had fun playing with Matthew and Bethany and their cute kids! We were bummed they couldn't come camping with us. But we sure did have fun with Michael, Heidi, Austin, and Jack!
We started out our trip by driving through Yosemite. It was so amazing! The granite mountains were so beautiful. We got to stop and take a pit stop here because poor little Arwen got car sick and threw up. She had a fun time throwing rocks off the cliff while she enjoyed the fresh air. Joshua is like my others...he likes rocks!
Our first camp sight, Red's Meadow, was really pretty. It had these really great natural hot spring showers. The kids didn't like them much, but they were sure nice early in the morning before the kids woke up! Here's probably the only picture of any of my kids while they were clean!
Joshua found this little spot by our camp sight and he spent lots of time eating and playing with pine needles there.
Ash and babies don't mix!
Our first camp sight was called Red's Meadow, so of course, there was a meadow.Arwen and Austin found some horses in the meadow.
Arwen had a fun time feeding them.
We hiked to Rainbow Falls one morning. It was a 3 mile hike in all. The kids were ready to go!!
They had a good time hiking along pointing out the way to go.
Noah was brave and stood up on a big tree.
Here's Arwen in a burnt out log. As you can see, all of the forest along the path to the falls had burned down. It made for a hot walk with little shade!
Here's my cute family by the water falls. We enjoyed playing in the water and eating lunch here.
The trip back was pretty hard on the kids. The cried a lot at the beginning, and Aaron had to carry all three of them at the same time sometimes, but eventually they got a burst of energy and were able to hike back to the car.
Joshua just slept the afternoon away in his back pack.
The kids had fun back at camp sitting around the fire.
Noah liked to pretend he was hiding every time he came to a tree.
The hike was so hard on the kids that even Little Arwen fell asleep before we put her in her sleeping bag that night!
We hiked to Devil's Post Pile one morning. If you have been to the water falls up in the Gorge, we have the same formations on one of the water falls.
Arwen was the only one who didn't refuse pictures!
Josh was content in his back pack!
Here's a cute picture of "Mogli" right before we left for Devils Post Pile.
Our last night at Red's Meadow, we went out exploring for some hot pots to swim in. We stopped by Hot Creek. Aaron and Mike used to swim here as kids. You can't anymore, because it's too unpredictable and some spots would melt you!
Here's Austin, Arwen, and Noah being cute!
You can see the water boiling here right by Noah's hand.
Noah was convinced that he was going to bring this "rock" home with him. He tried to lift it for quite some time.
We stopped by Mono Lake after we left Red's Meadow. It's pretty cool looking...with tons of brine flies all over the ground on the shore. The lake is full of toofa formations.

Here's Arwen, just showing off the lake.
Here's sweet Joshua.
It's really hard to tell, but all those black little specks on the ground are the brine flies. You would walk through them and they would fly away, but never even touch you. It was pretty neat. Noah was scaredJoshua just kind of blended in to some fluffy grass by the side of the lake. Here are the two best friends!
We were pretty hot after Mono Lake. We stopped in the tiny town, Lee Vining, and enjoyed ice cream cones. Arwen is going through the phase of needing to make a goofy face in EVERY picture!
The boys sure love their ice cream!
After Mono Lake and ice cream cones, we drove for a while to a place where Aaron had heard there were some good hot pots. He had a map to two places, so we picked the one that was harder to get to, hoping it wouldn't be too crowded with naked people!
The hot water trickled down from big rocks making a neat little waterfall.
This picture kind of shows how the hot pots were set up. There were 4 or five little "pools" each getting a little cooler as you went down. Behind the dog was a pretty stream to cool off in.
Joshua sure loves his Daddy!
The kids found a little pool that was the perfect size for them where they could splash and throw rocks and not drive anyone crazy! It was a steep climb back up to the car and the kids were clean so Aaron carried all three of them up, Joshua in his backpack and Noah and Arwen in each arm. Those chunky little Nielsen kids with the backpack food and stuff added up to 105lbs or so, way to go Aaron.
We ended up staying at the hot pots late. When we drove to our next camping spot, Saddle Bag, and there were not empty camp sights. We couldn't find any open spots in any of the nearby camp sights, so we had to spend the night in the car. It was pretty miserable!
We had beef jerky for dinner and here the kids are enjoying cookies and snicker's bars for breakfast!
Michael drove up when his family woke up and found a lady from Oregon that was on her way out and snagged us a place to camp. Thanks Michael!!
While we set up camp, the kids did their thing!
Noah loves rocks! We think his shirt is up because he was a giant, dry, rash boy!
I love when the kids hold hands!
What sweet little dirty, baby hands.
Joshua was content to cuddle us this whole day.
Camping sure is rough on klutzy little kids!
After we set up camp at Saddle Bag, we took the kids for a little drive to find a stream to play in. The had so much fun. It was only 70 degrees outside, but since we were so high up, it seemed lots hotter. The water felt great!
The kids were glad to be able to throw rocks!
Joshua had been cuddly and sleepy all day, so I took his temp. He was 102. Poor sick baby.
On our last day at Saddle Bag, Aaron and Michael hiked the big mountain, Conness. Heidi and I stayed back at camp and watched the kids and packed up all of our stuff and loaded it into the car.
Here's where Aaron and Mike balanced some rocks.
It's kind of hard to tell, but Aaron is out on a skinny little walkway that has a cliff on both sides. That's why it's so scary to climb Conness.
He's the king of the universe!
Just enjoying a break and the view.
Is that a human bone of someone that didn't make it and fell off Conness?