Shortly after the Roomie moved out, it was onto my next project and getting the kiddo ready to go camping with my family for a week. Cow Camp is the best time of the year for our family and it is such a special tradition. This tradition has been in my family since my Dad was a kid and its amazing seeing pictures and videos from when Dad was young til now. There are so many memories that were made in this special place and I cant wait to make more.
It is a week long trip that usually takes place during the last full week of July. Its out in the Deschutes National Forest out passed Sun River, at Cow Meadow on Snow Creek, in the heart of surrounding lakes and reservoirs, Crane Prairie, North & South Twin Lake, Lava Lake and O'Dell Lake. We do our volunteer work for Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and its the best thing. Maintaining the Wood Duck Box Project and other wildlife habitats is project that means so much to me and will spend my life doing. Everything about Cow Camp is so important to me and its located in the most beautiful place I have ever seen and its the one place that I would love to spend my life in; out in the high desert with the forest summers covered in wildflowers in the and blanketed in snow in the winter.
This trip is planned all year long and takes my family weeks to pack for. Starting on the 2nd or 3rd week of July, my parents, siblings and I start clearing space in the garage and Dad goes up to the attic to our designated "Cow Camp" section and starts handing down all the gear. Once we have all the gear tucked away in the garage, we go to Papa's and typically help him get his gear ready if someone else hasnt already done so. Mind you, my Dad is the youngest and is the only boy out of all his siblings so I think its just a bond that Papa and Dad share as to why Dad likes to do it.
After all our gear is set aside and Papa's is taken care of, its time to go out and get our 5th wheel. The 5th wheel is parked in the driveway for the 3rd week of the month so we can get it loaded and ready for the biggest week of our lives.
The night prior to departure is always the CRAZIEST, most hectic day/night. Mom and I usually do last minute shopping for groceries, bug spray and anything else that is needed for the trip. It is an all day thing, trust me. Then when we get home, its time to make sure everything is packed up and loaded into the trucks and into the 5th wheel then in the morning, its Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to Cow Camp we go!
For the last 3 years, I have been unable to make the trip, which is... depressing. I have missed it due to having to work and not having the time to take off to go, so Baby Girl has gone with Mom & Dad while I stay home to work and I call her every night.
It was a busy month of July, but some things that I have wanted and needed in my personal and family life for a long time are falling back into place. ;]
Now I am setting plans for a [hopefully] bright and promising future.