how do you get to heaven?

Alrighty then! I have some time, I have a computer, and I have some pictures, so let’s get these up. I’m a ton behind on GRL pics, but Mikelle had my camera and then it was in the car for a week. Then it was on the computer desk for a week [school started and I had a busy week . . . and then hubster had surgery.]

[Let me just say I love when Flickr says ‘fetching more photos.’ It is so adorable!]

You’ve probably read Tracy’s post about our camping adventures this year. Let me refer you right over to that site for a totally in-depth telling of all happenings and accounts. First I must say that I loved going a few days sooner than we had originally thought. It was kind of spur of the moment, as usual, and not very well planned. I had gotten off work on Thursday and was thinking of going up on Monday, but really hated to ‘waste’ those extra few days just sitting around and waiting, so I told a couple of people I was heading up on Friday. [hint, hint.] Tracy thought she might be able to swing that, too, so we made a new plan. Her ‘plan’ was slightly interrupted by having to buy a shoe to balance her hurt hip and her broken foot and all the other things in her life that are out of whack right now. So we ended up going on Saturday, instead. Still, a few extra days.

I got there around 11:00 on Saturday morning and made my couple of trips around the campground. Our two favorite sites were occupied and our second two favorite sites had the campground host right next door, [camping drama] so I settled into site #7, which I really thought would be ‘OK’ [meaning, probably not really that OK.] It is near a bathroom, near a stream and the faucet. Granted, it’s not our ‘favorite site!’ I thought I’d just do some investigating and wandered up to 28 and 29 to take a peek. I found out that a geological group [of college students] was there and they were planning on leaving the next day. So I didn’t bother to unpack the car or the tent. I knew we’d be stalking those guys until they left on Sunday. Tracy and her troupe arrived around 6 and we ended up just sleeping in our cars that night — until the ‘real’ camping could begin.

Sure nuff, Sunday morning we got ‘our place.’ Now, I’m not sure how this got to be our place because it has only been the last three years that we have totally loved this site. Other years we have camped on the lower loop, but since the pine beetles have killed all the trees down there closer to the lake, we’ve decided to move up the hill closer to the sites with more trees. Tracy [for some reason] feels compelled to make a list of all the places we’ve camped for the past several decades, and just so she won’t have to do it again, I’ll list it here, someday.


I love my tent. I love my rugs and chair. I love everything about camping. The gals I work with fairly shriek when I say I am heading out for a couple of weeks. Oh, my, they can’t imagine not bathing every single day and can’t imagine dirt and bites and ashes and smelling like smoke. Me? I love it. I love having no idea what day it is, what time it is, what I’m going to eat for my next meal. Not even caring what or when or why or how. All those pesky, cumbersome and useless facts. I love letting go and letting Got heal my tired, overworked body and mind. Love!


And it’s not as though we’re without all the comforts of camping. We have a place to stand in case a quick thunderstorm looms and dumps. We have a nice fire every single morning and evening. We have a place to wash our dishes in steamy hot water [thus very clean fingernails for two whole weeks!] We have toilets and trees and stumps to do our business.

We can soak our feet if need be. Is that total content on Anne’s face or what!



See! And Tracy had all the comforts of home with this chair that Tami gave her. YAY Tami! She’s is so sweet! And it truly saved Tracy’s hip and foot this year.


Lot’s of much needed chillaxin’ going on!







Tracy might not be up for a hike, but by darn, she can hang on to the back of a kayak for a lazy-river ride.


They didn’t tell me more than a few seconds ahead of time that this was the plan. Yikes!!! We’ve reached that place in our lives when my grown children hoist me up without any permission on my part. [I remember when we — my siblings and I — used to do that to our parents and to Grandpa Rollins.]

This picture, right here, this very spot, is where much healing and cleansing goes on. That view. Right above Cam’s head is Square Top. It’s our right of passage. If you’ve climbed that, you’re basically a hero! Over to the left is Cat Ears and the Sleeping Lady. Our children and grandchildren can point those out at the age of roughly 9 months. Over to the right is where we’ve had several baptisms. The ‘shady’ side of the lake is over there and we hike it a couple of times every year. Over to the left takes us in the direction of the bridge and the river. We’ve spent many an hour — a lifetime, really — over there. We swing on the rope, jump off the bridge, tan in the sun, skip rocks, have kayak races, basically prove our ‘manhood’ and, well, prove that we can still make it out to the rock in the middle of the outlet. We usually get sunburned and rained on during the same day. We also have one or more sun shelters blow away and have to chase them across the Mill Creek.

Made it to the rock with a lot of help from Christian!


Nicole was a super expert before the week was over. I’m pretty sure Kayaks are in their future.


These girls! Love them so much! It seems like they jump together every single year! I’ve loved watching them grown up and into lovely young women. Hard to believe in two more years they will be old enough to be on their own. At one moment they are totally mature and mini-adults and the next they disolve into fits of rolling laughter!


I had so much fun on our little impromptu trip to Pinedale to get a cake, ice, treats, butter, bread, and everything on everyone else’s lists. We rolled down the windows and sang at the top of our lungs to the Piano Guys. We saw an awesome eagle with a fish in his talons. We laughed and gulped down dripping orange creamsicles.

And I’ll never forget the little bare bum episode which encouraged the phrase, um, ‘bum juice.’ Hello! Was that absolutely necessary? You made me laugh for an entire week! I’m still chuckling.

Sure, [ugh] I’ll share my tubes with you! Sit right down girlie! [A soft place to land.]


Teaching them to jump off the bridge pretty young.


Oh, wait, and even younger! [Oaks, 7 months.]


Scott has been catching the kiddos for about ten years now!


Our birthday girls ready to ‘spork’ down that Snicker’s cake.


and . . . num num num.


Down the lazy river up in the meadow. We hiked up to the far end of the lake, past the waterfall, past 40 years of memories and had a little picnic, some fishing and some tubing. [I seriously didn’t know how in the world I was going to go on that hike, but everyone kept reminding me that it might be my last time . . . since I’m, let’s face it, older than dirt.]



Scott brought a totally incredible shelter for Mikelle and Oaks.


A little snack.


Oaks propped up in a dead tree.


Love these guys! I’m so happy to see Cam and Nicole every now and then. They make a HUGE effort to see us at GRL every other year. They make my heart sing!!!


This is what it’s all about! f.a.m.i.l.y!


My sisters, Carol and her family and Diane and several of her grandchildren were at Green River Lakes the same time we were. It was great to have them there! I can’t believe we didn’t get one picture. Jake and Josh climbed the before-mentioned Cat Ears. They filled their days with adventures on the trails and down at the lake. Mike brought blow up toys and was so helpful and watchful. That’s Mike! Diane and her troupe came down to the river with us a couple of days and hiked to the cave and several other places.

OK, one picture of Mike.


I am having withdrawals already. It’s been two weeks since we were there and already I am aching for the carefree, fun-loving, card-playing, Pudgie-Pie making, lazy days of camping with my family. I love it so much! I am so grateful for all of the wonderful memories with Mom and Dad and my siblings and now all the added memories of my own children and grandchildren. Without these two weeks — actually a couple days longer this year — I’m sure I would just curl up and dry out. It somehow gives me a reason to work hard for another year. It gives me renewal and hope that my family will be together forever. It gives me perspective and cleansing and love and life and, well, it’s everything.

So to the gals I work with, I’ve gotta say, BLEAH. You couldn’t be more wrong about dirty fingernails and smoke-filled hair. You couldn’t be more wrong about sleeping in a tent and hearing the coyotes every single night and morning [and something scary scratching on my tent in the night]. You couldn’t be more wrong about ashes in my burnt food and sitting in the car trying to curl my hair with an adapter stuck in the cigarette lighter. You couldn’t be more wrong about jumping in ice-cold lake water and blisters from hiking and kayaking and tripping over a stump and screeching at a pine beetle. And you are totally wrong about bathing. It is completely over-rated.

How do you get to heaven? Drive 140 miles north, and make a left turn through Cora. Then head on up 51 more miles and enter God’s country. That’s how!

2 thoughts on “how do you get to heaven?

  1. tracy

    Oh, I LOVED this post! So much JOY! I love, love, love GRL and am so grateful you have made it an important part of our family’s life. You are one awesome camper, mama, and grandma. Thank you for taking us to this special place!

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