After spending a few weeks away from me, visiting relatives, the kids requested we “do something fun.” No problemo…
According to legend (haha) the Cub Scouts go on some big trip or adventure every summer. This year, they decided to go to the waterpark. All the attendees were going to meet at POC and carpool, but since I had my truck and camper, I decided to just meet them there. I took an exit that wasn’t the closest, but my GPS got me there anyway.
The Pack paid for admission for Tanner and I, so I was only out $4.50 for my daughter. This was quite a bargain, as many regular pools cost $5-7 and don’t have near as many amenities. I was surprised to see two pools. One was a large lane pool with diving boards and such, designed for older audiences, and the other was a large playground more shallow in nature. The shallow pool ranged from splash to chest depth. For my son, he could only not touch in the deepest end, barely.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a cornucopia of water features including a dumping bucket fountain, johnny-jump-up style swings, slides, spraying daises, and (of course) two 3-story waterslides!!
After applying a thorough coating of sunscreen to the impatient kids, we hit the waves. I had just gotten a couple new masks, and the kids made sure to break them in properly. We tried out the big slides, which my boy was JUST big enough to ride. The green one is open all the way, and though it throws you to the side a bit, is generally not too scary. The blue slide, on the other hand, has a long tunnel, with darkened sections. It’s much faster and can really get your blood pumping. I rode it first, and laid all the way back, it was quite a ride.
One great thing about this park is that they allow food. There are sunning areas, picnic areas, BBQ areas, music was going, it was awesome. They even had their own concession stand, but don’t prohibit you from brining your own picnic! The scouts provided lunch with pizza, gatorade, and fruit/vegetable assortments. Then later, they treated the kids to ice cream. I tell ya, this Cub Scout Pack rocks!
Eventually, the sun started to go down, the breeze picked up, and it was time to bid the waterpark farewell. The kids and I scrolled through the list of dinner options on the GPS, and settled on Taco Bell. Unfortunately, it led us to a gas station on the very edge of town. Thanks, Lola. (We call the GPS Lola, after the one on the movie RV.)
Anyway, it was fortuitous though, as we were right next to an old mom & pop’s burger joint. We decided to pull into Hal’s Burgers, and try it out. It was, of course, sinfully delicious. Next, we hit the road for Tollgate. Tollgate is a small community on the mountains that lead ‘the back way’ from Pendleton. I had picked out a campground called Target Meadows. The campground surrounds a huge meadow where Calvary used to camp. They would ride up the road and use a mound for target practice. Though the sign said you could still see some marks in the trees, I let my imagination work its magic instead.
We had a fire-less night of paracord bracelet making, and RPG playing before retiring. The kids had both forgotten jackets (it’s August, right?), so we stayed in the camper mostly. The morning was rather brisk, so I started breakfast toot-sweet. Often, I find it easy to combine all my scramble ingredients in a zip lock ahead of time. Then you just zip and pour for a quick, hearty breakfast. We had orange juice and bacon on the side, YUM! Of course, everything tastes better when you’re camping.
The kids wanted to get home, so we packed up, and decided to hit a geocache on the way. My GPS turned one up only 2 miles away! What I didn’t realize was that 2 miles was a 4X4 snowmobile/ATV road. We made it without incident, but sure made a milkshake of the camper contents It was placed near an old lookout tower. The tower had been taken down, but the view was remarkable, even though we couldn’t find the cache.
Once we crawled down the mountain, we picked up an ice cream at the Tollgate store and decided to try one more. There was a good-sized one on the route home, so we went for it. Finding it was an adventure full of hobo camps, complete with abandoned utility trailers, and bug-laden weeds taller than my kids. It was worth it, as usual, and the kids scored some great swag, while leaving the bracelets they had made previously. With that bit of satisfaction, we continued home for a pizza dinner before their mom picked them up.
My daughter said something that really hit home. She said, “I’m so glad I have a Dad like you.” “Oh yeah?” I replied in my usual sarcastic manner, “Why’s that?”
“Because now I know how to be a great Mom when I have kids, and cool things to do with them.”
This is where the men in my family get their reputation, queue the water works… *sigh*
That, right there, is worth everything.
Until the next adventure, adieu…