Boy, oh boy! After some shopping to stock up for our trip, we were excited to get on the road to beautiful McCall, Idaho.
What a gorgeous spot in Idaho. Payette Lake surrounded by all those trees, the mountains, the wildlife, the weather. It was great. The day after we arrived we went on a fantastic little hike: Boulder Lake to Louie Lake loop. It was about 2 miles in and ended at this lake. Everyone was pretty toasty by that point. Micah was the first to talk about jumping into the water. He and Ella jumped in. Then others started stripping down and getting in. Even Aunt Maren! Great memories.
The crew on the hike:
We started the hike going the wrong way, unbeknownst to us. But it was a little adventure, and the children like feeling adventurous!
We all rented a motorboat on Wednesday, which was completely awesome. We spent most of the time tubing, either single or doubling up. In once instance Micah, Mira, Matthew and I were all in it at the same time. Maren and I had some wild rides, courtesy of Chad. Matthew had a great time in the tube and just riding in the boat. He told me just today, "It's so weird that we're home. McCall was the best trip EVER!"
Mira and Ella getting splashed on their ride:
I think that's Micah:
As far as wakeboarding, Blake, Maren, Colin, Micah, Ella, Mira, and I all gave it a go. Colin loved doing it, and got some good runs in. Ella stood up on her very first try! Micah started getting cramps in his hamstrings and arm. The wakeboard was really adult-sized, so for the younger ones, not as much fun as tubing. But we had a great time cheering each other on!
We also had access to a kayak and inflatable paddleboard, which we all had a great time using. Unfortunately, the paddleboard never inflated enough so that adults could ride it. But the kids had a good ol' time.
We went on a hike in Ponderosa State Park which was less than 2 miles total. Grandma had a fun scavenger hunt for the kids. They searched for nests, butterflies, ladybugs, feathers, and animal tracks. It kept them occupied!
Colin, always interested in the great outdoors and survival. It is his big interest right now. He and Micah each have assembled a survival pack. Colin checks out survival books from the library and pores over them. His greatest wish is to be dropped off in the wilderness and left on his own overnight to build his own shelter, fire, and catch food.
At the beach in Ponderosa State Park the kids had the best time just playing in the sand at the beach. Braden and Ella especially focused their efforts on this, Dragontooth Castle. Brody, Matthew, and Mira also helped dig holes.
Cute little Hunter having fun!
Chad provided comic relief for me, watching him try to get up on the paddleboard. But then it was my turn, and I'd have to say I didn't look any better! Colin was able to get up and around better than we were.
Chilling in the shade.
Friday we were at another beach in McCall by the city center. The deck made for a fun change of pace at the beach.
I love this picture with the kids all running back up to the deck for another turn to jump into the water.
Ella turned out to be a little pro on the paddleboard! She loved paddling around on it and did it quite a lot.
More playing on the beach!
Matthew, Colin, and Micah in the kayak. Ella on the paddleboard.
And Mira takes a turn out on the paddleboard. Trickier than it looks!
Matthew even got to give it a try.
While relaxing on the grass in the shade and wrapping up our day at the beach, Ella wanted to do a little hairstyle for me. I think she did a bang-up job of it. Good job, Ella-Bell!
After a delicious meal of burger and hot dogs, Grandma had a fun family activity planned. She'd gone to the dollar store and purchased an item for each person, representing a unique quality each person has. We had to try to guess who that person was. We loved it. I definitely want to do it with the Millers next year. I also enjoyed the devotionals we had each night. Thanks for the idea, Maren.
As a group, the kids would cross the road to a forested area and work on building a shelter. Micah and Colin did actually put one together using their skills and tools. They'd hoped to sleep in it one night, but worried they might be trespassing. Regardless, lots of time was spent being creative!
Initially, the plan was to travel back home on Saturday. But we didn't want the vacation to be over, so Blake and Maren, Chad and I stayed one more day with the kids. We decided to find another hike. The very first hike of our vacation was the jackpot hike. It was beautiful, ended in a perfect lake to swim in, and we were fresh, besides. We tried finding the next best hike we could. We settled on Grass Meadow. It was also a beautiful hike. But by the end of the week, we were pretty well spent, most especially Hunter and Matthew. They ended up being carried a good portion of the way. The lake was pretty. The kids did luck out and found a hoard of tadpoles in various stages of development on the banks. Chad and Micah did get in all the way and swim around a bit.
Mr. Matthew hikes along.
Pristine is the word that comes to mind.
And one little tadpole with a long tail but also legs developing. Pretty cute!
Our trip was memorable. And I know the kids loved it because Colin asked me, "Mom, which has been your favorite vacation: Bill's Island or McCall?" Bill's Island has been one trip the kids like to recall and wonder about returning to. So if this trip was compared to that, we know it was a success!