Doug found out that Labor Day was a free fishing day in the state of California, so we thought we'd take advantage of that and head to a lake. We made fairly impromptu plans on Sunday afternoon with the Ashcrafts (very cool friends of ours--seriously, they're fantastic). We left about 6am on Monday morning, made a quick Walmart stop in Fresno on the way for food and supplies and then headed up to Wishon Reservoir. There were obviously lots and lots of fish, but they were all about 4 inches long, and not biting much. But by golly, it'll be the place to be next Memorial Day weekend. Wishon is surrounded by boulders, and we took a 3 year old, a 4 year old, a 5 year old, a 7 year old and a not-quite-9 year old. Climbing. Constant climbing. Two mothers holding babies and keeping an eye on water-loving autistic 5 year old while shouting, "Be careful!" and "I don't want you to go any higher than that!" And we were pretty consistently ignored, of course. I'd be more annoyed if I didn't remember the joy of boulder climbing and being that headache myself. "I'll be fine, Mom!"
We spent most of the day just hanging out, enjoying the cool breeze and the lack of the world's ability to locate and annoy us through the use of electronic devices. The kids braved the cold water and all did a little bit of swimming. We didn't actually catch any fish. Everyone got sunburned, but no one really cared. (I feel pangs of guilt every time I look at my tomato-faced baby today--though she doesn't seem to notice, much less care). One time I was stepping down from some rocks (after putting a shirt on my rock-climbing monkey to help prevent such sunburns), when the dog ran underneath me and I tripped, tumbling backwards onto lots of big rocks. Jake and Dylan, sitting on the rocks just above me, thought that this was hysterical and immediately burst into gleeful laughter. I managed to bruise my hip and back and get big, nasty scrapes on my elbow and calf. Then, some time later I heard Keilana making a big screaming fuss, so I got up to investigate and was walking down the rocky hill when my ankle rolled. I was carrying a sleeping baby (the ground in entirely covered with large rocks, so I really didn't have anywhere to put her down), so even though I couldn't stop myself from falling, I did manage to control the direction I fell in order to keep the baby safe. As I landed flat on my back, I couldn't help it: this time I burst into hysterical laughter. All day long I'd been hollering at the kids to be careful and insisting someone was going to end up with stitches, and I was the only one that fell all day. And I fell twice! That would be my luck.
It turned out that Keilana's problem was that one of her flip flops had fallen from the high boulders where she was perched down into the lake and was floating away. Somehow Doug and Cotter managed to retrieve it without either of them getting in. As I write this, it occurs to me that I really don't know how. I think Doug's fishing pole was somehow involved in Operation Flip Flop Rescue.
We made it home at about 10 last night (after a Fresno In-N-Out stop, of course) and everyone's recovering. Wish we could go again next week!
Dylan pretending to be Spiderman as he leaps bravely (or stupidly, whatever) from rock to rock.
Keilana--neck deep in freezing water and smiling so big her cheeks could almost pop. That's my girl.
Doug takes a break from fishing and enjoys a snack with the Kylie bear.
Jake and Dylan descending from yet another successful climb.
Absolutely gorgeous day at Wishon--it was probably in the 70s, sunny and breezy.