Welcome to the life and times of John, Alisha, Micah, Caleb and Lima the dog!

Monday, June 29, 2009

First Annual Williams West Coast Family Reunion

This weekend, we participated in the First Annual Williams West Coast Family Reunion, a.k.a. camping in Sequoia National Park.  My Uncle Paul invited quite a few family members to make the trip to Sequoia National Park to go camping for the weekend.  I think the first time the trip was mentioned was while everyone was in Ft. Worth, Texas for Rebekah and Justin’s wedding last August (special thanks go to Rebekah and Justin for getting married so the idea could be planted way back then).

Not everyone could make it on the trip this time.  But since we all decided to do this annually, you can come next year.  It ended up being Joy, Sean, and Amber Mack (and Amber’s friend Madison), Uncle Paul and Jacob, and the Stults family.  Alison and Lori came up for the day on Saturday as well.

Uncle Paul and Jacob got there early on Friday to reserve our campsites.  In my opinion, they were the best campsites out there.  We camped right underneath two giant Sequoias.  We had a huge campsite (since the two campsites adjoined each other) and we weren’t too far from the bathrooms (a big deal for a girl who prefers a real potty over squatting in the woods).

Here’s the view looking up from our campsite:

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While dinner was cooking, John took the boys to explore.  They ended up doing a little rock climbing, but couldn’t do as much as John would have liked since he had to also keep an eye on Caleb.  But they had fun nonetheless. 

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For dinner, we had hamburgers and roasted marshmallows for S’mores.  Joy and Sean also made a chocolate cake with cherries in their Dutch oven.   DELICIOUS!  I think there’s something about campfire cooking that just makes it taste better.

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We enjoyed getting to sit around the campfire and tell stories and catch up on what everyone has been up to.  We finally called it a night and headed to the tent.  Sleeping in a tent with a 4 year old and almost 2 year old is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Both ended up waking up in the middle of the night, so John and I each had to cuddle up with one of them.  Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep.

The next morning we woke up bright and early thanks to two little boys.  We had breakfast.  Uncle Paul had mentioned that there was this lake that you could fish at near the YMCA camp.  He said it was about a mile hike to the lake.  John had been really excited about getting to take Micah fishing, so all of us loaded up into our car and Joy’s Suburban and headed out.  Uncle Paul stayed at the campsite to wait for Lori and Alison.

We got to where we needed to park.  We unloaded the boys and the gear we needed for fishing.  Caleb was already cranky at this point thanks to his very early morning.  We started walking down the trail.  Both boys weren’t in the best of moods, but we decided to keep trekking.  Joy’s family was ahead of us.  We had maybe gone 3/4 of a mile when Joy came back to where we were to say that they had just seen a sign that said it was another mile and a half down to the lake.  I decided that I was going to head back with Caleb since he was so cranky.  The rest were going to continue on down. 

Now, the walk down wasn’t so bad since it was downhill.  But I wasn’t taking into account that if you go downhill, you must go UPHILL to get back to where you started.  Add to that the kicking and screaming little boy I had to carry and 6500 feet elevation and it does not make for an entertaining trip back up the hill.  Caleb finally cried himself to sleep on my shoulder by the time we made it back to the car.  I got us back to the campsite and laid him in the tent to finish his nap. 

A short while later, the rest of the group came back.  They never made it to the bottom.  They had changed their minds and came back up the hill.  They ended up going to Hume Lake to do their fishing.

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Micah really enjoyed getting to go fishing.  John said that Sean would catch a fish and then call Micah over so he could reel it in.  But Micah probably wasn’t doing it just right so the fish ended up getting away.  There was one fish actually caught.  Then Sean told Micah to throw the fish back in since it was so small.  John said you’re supposed to put the fish back in the water gently and it will swim away, but Micah literally did what Sean told him to do.  He heaved that fish back into the water.  John said that you could see the fish flying end over end.  Hopefully no fish were harmed in the making of this memory.

While the fishermen were gone, Joy, Amber, Madison, Uncle Paul, and I got to visit with each other.  Lori and Alison arrived a short while later.  We had lunch and then all the fishermen got back.  John went off to take a nap, and the rest of us decided to go look for the Chicago Stump.  We had to take some bumpy trails but we made it.  Sean, Madison, Amber, Jacob and Alison all climbed up on top of the humongous stump.



This is the only group photo that we have.  Sean took the picture, and Madison didn’t want to get in it.  And John’s not in it because he was back at camp taking that nap.  But at least we got almost everyone.


After the Chicago Stump we headed to go see the General Grant Tree.  Caleb fell asleep in the car, so the rest went to go look at the tree.

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We got back to camp.  John, the teenagers, and Micah decided to go off exploring and rock climbing.  I knew we wouldn’t be able to do as much as them, but I took Caleb so we could watch.  John just kept saying afterwards that he was so proud of Micah for all the climbing he did.  He was doing it all by himself, and didn’t need John for any help.

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We had another delicious dinner that night.  Sean made hobo dinners that you wrap in foil and cook over the fire.  They were so yummy!  And of course, what is camping without some more S’mores?  We sat around the campfire, and only ended up telling one ghost story.  John and I were really tired, so we tried to go to bed early.  Again, it was not the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, but it was better than the first night.

In the morning, we had breakfast and started breaking camp.  The Mack family had to drive all the way back to Las Vegas so we wanted to make sure they were able to get an early start.  Once we were all packed, we said our goodbyes and headed off to home.


We had a really good time.  We all enjoyed our West Coast family reunion and thinking up ideas on how to make it better than the Texas family reunion.  You might be asking yourself, is that a challenge?  And I say, you betcha it is!


The Bowers Family said...

It sounds like you guys had a great time. Hopefully we will be able to make it in the future. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Love ya,
Kim and family

Paul Williams said...

We had a great time too. If you come next year, remember to bring a sweatshirt as the nights are cool. Or you can always go to the store which is about a mile from our campground and purchase a sweatshirt there.

Thanks Sean and Joy for all the camping gear and cooking gear. Sean has obviously done this many times before. Nest year the fishing will be better and closer.