Monday, August 22, 2011

Sprucedale Ranch

At the end of July I took the kids up to Sprucedale Ranch for one last summer get away before school started. And it was an adventure from beginning to end. Dave wasn't able to go with us so my sister and I caravaned up there, well about 3 hours into the drive it was suppose to be a 6 hr drive) all of a sudden my car started to overheat as we were going up a canyon. So I pull over of course call Dave freaking out, I then call our mechanic who happens to be a good friend in our ward. He had actually worked on the car the night before, so we figure out that the radiator cap wasn't tightened all the way. So I THINK I've tightened it all the way so we get back in the car and as soon as we make it out of the canyon it starts over heating again. So I pull over again and call our friend once more he's thinking he didn't do something properly but is sure that he can fix it. So he, his wife and Dave jump in their car and head out to come fix it.
My sister and I debate about what we should do, we are about an hour from Showlow and it will be at least 3 hours till help arrives for the car. We have 7 children between the two of us and they are all getting hungry and already tired of being in cars. As horrible as this may seem to some we all piled in her minivan. We really had no other choice, we really didn't feel comfortable sitting on the side of the road with 7 children. So we loaded her car up with as much of my stuff as we possibly could and carefully made our way to Showlow. Once there we grabbed some food for the kids and found a park we could hang out at till we figured out my car situation. I wish I had taken a picture of all of us piled in her car it was pretty crazy, and you should have seen the looks we got as we were all climbing out of her car at the park. It was like one of those clowns cars where people just kept on coming.
We spent about 4 hours at the park waiting for my car to get fixed, turns out it was just the radiator cap needed to be tightened. I felt so stupid for not being able to tighten it enough, apparently you have to twist and press down and lock it into place. Not just twist, so next time I'll know better. So once we had the car back we all piled back into our cars and finished the rest of the drive. Sprucedale is located just outside of Alpine, AZ and as a child I use to spend my summers camping in this area. I love it up there, and as we were driving there it was so sad to see the devastation that happened up theredue to the Wallow fire. But I must say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was still very beautiful and things were starting to turn green. It was so worth the drive and the long day, to be out in the mountains and enjoy the cool weather wasamazing.
The kids got to ride horses, milk the cows, feed the animals, practice and participate for in rodeo. They loved it! It was so nice not having TVs, phones, video games or computers around my kids were outside playing from sun up till sun down. And when it was time for bed they were out really quickly. It reminded me of how when I was a kid I was always outside playing, my mom would have to make us come inside. The kids loved getting dirty, finding frogs and catching insects.
We did have one injury the day before we were to come home, Jaden was out on a horse back ride and the horse got spooked. I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened but he says the horse reared back and then tookoff running. He tried to hold on as best he could but eventually fell off, his leg took most of the fall, hitting a large rock. He was pretty shaken up but had to get back on a horse and ride the rest of the way. I met up with them at another ranch and he was acting so brave, I didn't realize how bad it really was. He didn't break anything but WOW he has the largest hematoma. Needless to say he took it easy the rest of the trip.
The last night there we got to have a little skit night with all of the ranch hands and the other families that were staying there. The kids had so much fun, I loved seeing the sparkle in their eyes. It was such a fun trip that my kids will always remember, Cole keeps asking when can he go back to the ranch.

Jaden Practicing for the rodeo, before his fall.
They even let the little kids participate in the rodeo, here's Cole riding with Mr. Whitney during the rodeo.
My best friends daughter Isabelle went with us, she was such a big help with Maci.
It was so beautiful up there, every where I looked was the perfect picture!

Here's the whole gang, as we were getting ready to leave. My mom has been working there the whole summer as the head cook. It was so good to see her! The staff there is amazing, they were all so willing to help withe kids and get you anything you need.

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