Sunday, July 14th
We stayed at Mike’s parents place the past two nights as our house was now empty. It was great for the girls to spend some quality time with them as Mike and I spent most of Saturday doing the final cleaning of the house and preparing for the impending adenture trip. Part of the preparation involved us packing up the car with all our stuff a couple of times to ensure that everthing fit. In the end we contemplated putting London on top for we were quite full.
We joked that maybe we should take a picture of how we finally organized things so we could remember every time we had to pack up again, and in retrospect we wish we had for it seemed like things expanded or multiplied along the journey. In the end we decided to bring our bikes, the Wike (for Reilly and London), Reilly’s collapsible wheelchair, tent, and camping basics and reluctantly gave up the eating tent.
After bidding the grandparents good-bye at 9.00 am, we headed out excited to embark on this trip.
Part of what makes this an adventure for us is as follows:
- We are City Slickers and have only camped 4x as a family, 2 nights at a time with another family except one experience.
- We have a child with sever special needs, who doesn’t talk, walks occasionally with support, and thus needs to be lifted and carried most of the time, oh and is in diapers – this is an important point for later.
- We have never vacationed this long as a family together
- Lastly, we only had the first three nights mapped out and only had two main attractions dotted on the map – Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park and I am not the type of person that likes to wing things.
So our first destination is Chutes Provincial Park, which is only about 4.5 hours away. What we did agree on in advance is try to limit the driving time to about 4-5 hours a day as we knew we would be stopping quite a bit for rest breaks and seeing different things. So 2 hours into the drive we stopped for a bathroom break and wanted to make sure we gave Reilly an opportunity to walk so we put on her new AFO’s. We literally just got them a few days before and they need to be gradually worked in, so we thought we would use them on our breaks. As you can see they are pretty much like a set of legs and going forward that is what I referred to them as ‘putting on Reilly’s legs’. The only problem is that because of Reilly’s special car seat and Mike’s height (6 foot 3 inches), she can’t wear them in the car. So for every stop we had to put them on and take them off (with shoes of course).
We ended up arriving just after 3.00 pm at the camp grounds and it only took about an hour to set everything up. We felt pretty good and still very excited about this whole trip. Hey, we can do this.
Day #1 to be cont…