Ward Campout & Tonto Natural Bridge

We had our ward campout over the weekend! We always try to go every year since we aren’t big campers and Alayna doesn’t get to go camping very often. The boys go all the time in scouts. This is always a big deal for her! 🙂 She was super excited! 🙂
We take out the back bench in the van and throw in a twin mattress along with hundreds of blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, food, an ice chest…pretty much our entire house! 😛 The boys sleep in a tent and the girls sleep in the back of the van on the mattress! Who said you had to rough it when you go camping!?! LOL!!! Truth be told. Alayna has a fear of bears and she feels safer in the car. Mom likes to be comfy so I don’t argue much. The van is pretty great! LOL!
We have to wait for the kids to get out of school which gives us a late start. It was pretty much dark by the time we got there to set up camp but with our new tent it went up in seconds and we were done just in time. 🙂 Last year’s tent was thrown in the trash since it wasn’t much better than sleeping out in the rain, in a pond….LOL!
We gathered for s’mores, games, and a devotional. Visited friends and had a nice evening. Bro. O’laughlin brought these HUGE marshmallows for the kids to cook. It quickly became a competition of who could fit the whole thing in their mouth and eat it the fastest. Alayna put the boys to shame and skunked ’em!!!! She’s a crack up!!!
The next morning we had breakfast, visited some more and then tore down camp.
He’s working very hard…LOL!
 The guys got a game of football going. It lasted forever. It kept ending in a tie and they didn’t want to quit until someone won. We finally just had to call it. 😛
They were exhausted…they were glad we said it was time to go. 🙂
We left before lunch because I wanted to do a hike the boys have done before with their troops. It’s the Natural Bridge State Park. It’s on the way home towards Payson so it’s perfect to just hop over to. Alayna and I haven’t ever been before and I wanted to see if my foot could handle it. I was pretty nervous, but I decided to do my best.  
This is at the top of the trail. 
The goal is to get down to that bridge.
The water comes from a brook and drips down that greenery. It makes for a pretty rainbow!
It’s not a great pic but you can see down to the bottom of the canyon from the top observatory deck. Pretty cool!
They have a few different trails you can do there. All of them are easy except for the one that takes you down to the cave….of course…. I was getting more worried as I’m reading the warning. They state it’s rough, steep, difficult, ect, ect….They weren’t kidding!!!!
I had to hold on to Jared all the way down so I didn’t slip. It was very gravelly and uneven. But I made it! 🙂
 Alayna wanted to go swimming in the pond. But when we told her there was more to hike she quickly changed her mind. 😛
This is where we want to go….
 We had to take a little break. It was also pretty warm that day!!
 We made it!
 Same pic from the top but now from the bottom. 😛
I stayed back as Jared and the kids hiked around in the cave. It’s too slippery and difficult for my foot to handle. They had a blast though! 🙂
It’s wet in there and water just continually drips all over you. 🙂 Made it nice a cool.
After they had fun exploring the cave they finally came out to get me and we headed back up the trail. It was MUCH harder to climb out. I was exhausted. Like exhausted to the point of my legs were shaking and I was huffing pretty hard…I guess I’m not in as good of shape as I thought! Jared was dragging me up the trail. 
My foot did REALLY well and I was thrilled about that. Jared even told me he was so proud of me! 🙂 It’s slowly getting stronger. I’m very grateful! 🙂
Alayna said the hike was the best thing EVER! And wants to go hike all the time now. 🙂 She’s so cute. It was a fun family experience. I’m glad we did it. We need to try to find more fun outdoor things to do as a family. 

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