Day 3: We took the kids on a bike ride over to Mirror Lake. We weren't planning on swimming but it was just too perfect we just had to! So the kids stripped down and played in the lake. Some of the bigger kids found a good little jumping rock. Peyton (after the rope swing debacle) was understandably hesitant. I made a deal with her that if she tried it I would buy her something from the gift shop. She sat by me for a while, built up her courage, and climbed the rock to jump. It was a proud moment for me as a mom. But, I think the thing I loved most of all about the experience was the moral support she got from her cousins. Asher was up there cheering her on and jumping up and down as she jumped (those two for whatever reason have a very special and sweet bond). And sweet Claire jumped right before her and walked her through the entire process. She waited at the bottom and hugged her as she came out of the water. It was a wonderful thing to witness. These cousins are so lucky to have each other! As a mom I am so grateful to have them for my kids too.
Remember in the past I mentioned how little boys always attach themself to Peyton. Check out the blue shirt behind her. He went way out of his way to help her up the rock and then parked himself right behind her for a while. Seriously?! Luckily that girl is pretty oblivious to others in general.
After playing in the lake we walked around up there for a while before biking back. Took in the great views and built our cairns like every year. It is becoming a thing my family loves to do. Peyton is getting pretty good at it too. This trip she became quite the hiker/explorer.
One of my favorite things about camping is how dirty everyone gets. Jovie in particular can out-dirty just about anyone in the world. Quickly too. I just loved how she looked coming out of the tent every morning for breakfast. Cute camper. She was completely happy all day everyday. She would wake up and instantly start playing all around. Even if she was alone, she was never thrown off.
Day 4 we took a nice bike ride through meadows, and glades, past mountains to a beautiful waterfall.
Yosemite falls is easily the tallest waterfall I've ever seen. The ride to get there is spectacular too. While we were riding we stopped to watch 2 deer wade through the river below us. Then we happened upon one right next to the path we were riding just standing there eating. We tried to show Peyton as we rode by but she missed it. BUT, as we passed it, it started to run right along with her. I actually got super nervous because it looked like it was going to jump right over the fence into her. It stopped right at the fence, but it truly ran next to her for a couple of seconds; it was awesome. Then as we pulled to our stop on our bikes she jumped off hers screaming. At that moment I watched a big black bug of sorts fly off of her and she kept screaming and crying saying, "What happened? What was that?" It was so sad. As we looked at the back of her shoulder you could see exactly where it stung her. It must have gotten stuck in her shirt or something. It was a nasty sting and threw her off for a minute. Once she got in the cold water at the bottom of the falls though she was fine again. She is completely paranoid now about being stung, but also carries that sting as a sort of badge of honor. We teased her that between the deer and bee she really became one with the animals that day. I also have to give that girl a huge shout out with how well she did riding her bike all week long with us.