Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arm River 2009

As promised, pictures and stories of Arm River 2009 have arrived. This is something the boys look forward to each year, but they weren't expecting it to be quite as chilly at night as it was this year. They thought it was very cool to wear a clean shirt (for the next day) under their jammies and clean socks to bed. They weren't as enthusiastic about scrubbing their feet before putting on those clean socks though.. Such is the life of a camper, right?? Don't ask me what Jayden is doing in this photo aside from eating his special camping cereal (read.. Mommy bought him a box of cheerios for camping and he was over the moon excited!) He's also got hot cocoa and marshmallow all over his face. The hot cocoa was from breakfast, but the marshmallow was most likely from the night before. A real pity we didn't let the possums in during the night to lick him clean!

The boys threw that skateboard in the car last minute and spent many hours riding down that small ramp you see in the background of one of the photos. Jayden was so funny coming down it with his mouth wide open that we had to snap a few photos. I think the only reason he was doing that was for fear he'd ride right into the girls bathroom. All though he told us it would be so funny to ride right in, past the showers, and into the toilets while waving to anyone in there. Minus all the girlie screams it would have been downright hilarious!

That tent was a last minute craft we threw together before leaving and it got an awful lot of attention from people to animals. We were laying in the tent playing shadow puppets, watching clouds, and being completely silly when the boys decided they wanted a snack. While going to get them a snack some bikers wandered up and were asking to use to the toilets when they noticed Lawrence laying flat on his back in the tent with his arm in a sling. He didn't have his sunnies on so his arm was across his face. The poor girl took one look at him and says, "Wow, did that poor fellow hurt himself here? Should I call for help?" It was all I could do to keep a straight face!

Yes, that's an American football, and I made sure to show them all how to throw a nice spiral too. Only, cause the normal camera man is down one arm the only proof I have is the look of total shock on the face of the Aussie who was caught playing with an American football. All though he made a pretty good center minus that arm, but our wide receiver was another story all together...

We had many fun, and some not so fun, nature moments. The possum was discovered eating out of Buster's food bowl because I forgot to pick it up before dark. She quickly scrambled up a pole and sat there watching us. She had a pouch full of babies too and while we didn't see the babies we had a blast watching her pouch wiggle and poke and flop around. She was incredibly agile considering her pouch full. For the record, that's a brush tailed possum.

The fallen trees are all over in the forest on the walk down to the river. Mind you, the path to the river is clearly marked (don't deny it!) and it just so happens that one of our party led us off the trail and through the bush to the river. We found the river, all though with all it's rushing noises it would have been pretty hard to miss! We also spotted many traces of wombats (ie, scat) and there were a couple of us who took the time to investigate anything suspect of being a wombat burrow. Sadly, I think that wombat stayed one step ahead of us the whole time, cause we never spotted more then a few of his digging spots and his scat.

This was the many views we were treated with upon finding that river. The boys had a lot of fun playing on the rocks, and while you can just barely see it there was a small and shallow pool near enough to them that Jayden was quite intent on swimming around it. I told him it was a bad idea because I hadn't brought spare clothes, so he busied himself with investigating other things. Moments later he slipped off that large rock and splashed into the water where three of us scrambled to grab him. He stood up fighting tears, looks his uncle in the face and says, "I have to go back now. Right now. I need dry clothes. NOW." He wasn't shouting, but he was oh so serious.

His eczema is still raw on his legs and when the wet denim brushed it he was in pain. So we stripped the poor kid down, warmed him up and wrapped him up in a fleece coat. He was okay for about two minutes before deciding we needed to head back. Small problem. We'd officially lost the trail. Does this sound familiar?? Lawrence wandered just out of sight to locate the trail, with very little luck, and we all set off.

That five minute walk took us over an hour as we scrambled under tea tree bushes, over fallen gum trees, around wombat burrows, and through jack jumper nests. All the while our eyes wide open for leeches, and they were aplenty! So I'd carry Jayden a ways, put him down while Lawrence scouted out the direction to go next, and Uncle Damien took photos of the scenery, then we'd pour salt on the leeches attempting to crawl up us and move on. I'm pretty sure there were many wombats and wallbies sitting behind those bushes giggling themselves crazy at us. In fact I was sitting there waiting for a Kangaroo to hop out at any moment and offer me berries and a ride in her pouch.

Morgan and I even discussed the possibility of getting a ride like Dot. I felt it might be itchy and hot and make my allergies go nuts. Morgan pointed out how much quicker we'd find out way back and that it would be a lot of fun to have a bouncing race. I have to agree with him.

Needless to say we found out way back and the boys ratted us all out on the "getting lost bit" and we tried to convince Nana we weren't lost at all but rather scouting out that wombat, but I think the next half hour of leech removal gave us away..

We also hiked on a new path this year which was steep but worth it because we made it to the top of the water falls. It was beautiful and the boys were pleased to get to sip some of the fresh water too. There was a section of the pool at the base of the water fall that reminded us of Nim's Island much to the boys delight. We also walked down to the base of the waterfall and enjoyed watching the full effect from down there. Then we discussed how it would be so fun to swim in the pools of water (two) that were being made by the water fall. Only one of the group was brave enough to try swimming though! Maybe next year..

The boys jumped from rock to rock though, and enjoyed the icy water on their feet. Yes, Jayden slipped in farther then he meant again, but I was smart enough to carry a spare pare of pants that time! He was quite happy with that and hid behind a rock (which I'm not so sure hid him) to change his pants while no one was looking. Oh & Louise, Morgan's still baffled by why we saw that hanky so much!

We wrapped up our last night with a big bonfire which everyone enjoyed. The boys had so much fun helping haul fallen trees, dead fern, and other odd bits to the pile for the grand event. Even our one armed man managed to drag back quite the tree for the event. The boys even learned about levers during the process and then ran for their lives when I mentioned I had a couple of leeches on me. The homemade marshmallows were so-so in the bonfire. The boys had no qualms about eating them, we just had to warn others about how quickly the mallows would melt. We enjoyed the bonfire until we were practically sitting upon what little of it was left, then we imagined all the wildlife peeking out of the trees waiting for us to leave so they could warm themselves. That would have been a sight to see, and I'm pretty sure they would have agreed that gum bark and dried leaves makes a much better fire started then loo paper....

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