Another year of Redfish memories have been made! I've said before and will forever that this is one of my favorite places on Earth :) I can say I've never gone a summer in my life that I haven't been to Redfish Lake- even when I had a two month old baby or was just three weeks from delivering another! This year we knew we'd be dealing with smoke from the Halstead Fire, not too far away- the haze over these awesome jagged mountains was pretty stark as we drove into Stanley and as we sat on the beach...
Of course it didn't come even close to stopping us whatsoever! The boys had all kinds of beach fun:
Snorkeling and retrieving rusty treasure ;)
trying to net little minnows
and excitedly catching a few! (I love this pic of Coop!)
Kayaking with Grandpa
Throwing sand into the air digging holes with cousins (and showing some bum crack, of course) :)
Being the man in the middle :)
or just chillin' on the beach... Stephen seemed to be around more this year and I was grateful- he got in some awesome fishing, tried a couple new places and I think had the best trip to Redfish he ever has.
Given the choice of beaching with Mom or fishing with Dad, Cooper wouldn't even hesitate to choose to be fishing with Dad! I know these moments are treasures for Stephen- these are his pics of Coop casting and showing off the catch. They would usually go fish together in the evenings and always returned successful. The cool thing about Redfish area, too, is that success isn't just like one or two fish or a handful of bites. No, it's like catching 30 and keeping the limit- this is such amazing fishing area! I love that this place offers both of us what we love!
The kids actually got some tubing in too- Taron and Keaton with the older cousins, Karlee and her friend Izzy, whom they had a ton of fun with the whole week; and Cooper with Quincy and Codie. Tubing is usually a sort of no-no with my family, but on occasion it gets brought out when it's just flat too rough. :)
A couple of days were overcast and cooler this trip, so we got to do some different things too. Stephen, Keaton and Cooper fished at the Sunbeam Dam while Taron, Ryder and I went up the Yankee Fork to the Gold Dredge. Taron ate this up and thought it was super cool. It was the last day it was open before they were asked to close and evacuate due to the fire- lucky for us!
Probably my favorite part of this whole trip was watching Taron and Keaton trying and succeeding at fun stuff behind the boat. Keaton gave both kneeboarding and wakeboarding a solid try and seemed to have actually enjoyed the effort. Taron kneeboarded without a hitch and got up on the wakeboard after just a couple of tries. The next day he got up on skiis the same- a couple tries. Then the last day, my Dad challenged him to do all three in one day- he was up for it no problem and went the entire way to the other end skiing, only to come back the whole way on the wakeboard! They both were excited to watch me ski too... ya know, so I could show them how it's done ;) Ha!
I just love this shot of my Mom... it warms my heart and makes me so grateful! I can't even tell you how many times I've seen her do this very thing- be the one in the water, helping someone to get up behind the boat. She's the one that straps on her life jacket and gets ready to hold the person up out of water while trying not to drown herself. Both my parents are so generous and giving- so willing to help anyone, anytime. I love you, Mom and Dad! You made the trip awesome for our boys!
I love this shot of them- I love these boys!
Keaton, Ryder and I rode in the boat watching Taron- I like this pic of Keaton. (See that smudge on my lens- grrr.) This kid seems to choose to be happy most of the time :) He was so proud to have jumped off the rock at the other end this year! I wasn't on the boat for that trip, so I didn't get any pics, but it was fun to hear about it when they got back!
My brother Conner showed us his sweet muscles giving Coop a kneeboard ride! I love his excited face!
For the last several years, our camp spot has been right by this huge rock- repellers and climbers come and go from it all day long most days. Taron usually climbed to the top while he waited for meals :) And Ryder had to mimick, so he climbed a bit smaller one right near the table... and then cried for help down :)
And after burning up packing up our camp, we all- even Stephen- took a dip in the lake before heading home! Cooper swam all the way out to the rock and was so proud to be out there! I plan on that rock still being there when I'm watching my grandkids swim out to it...
No, I mean when I'm swimming out there with them ;)