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Camping in the Uintas

On Friday, August second, I was awakened, much to my annoyance, at a quarter to six in the morning. I knew it was coming, and had prepared for it by going to sleep at a relatively early hour, however I wasn't prepared enough for the early hour at which I had to get up. For weeks now my dad, brother, and some of our relatives had been planning this camping trip to the Uinta Mountains, however I didn't learn about it until several days before. Actually, most of my relatives were there already.

I rolled out of bed, and stumbled towards the bathroom for my morning shower. After arriving at the bathroom, I decided against taking a shower for lack of time; we had to leave at six. That didn't give me enough time to shower and pack as well. Besides, I was going camping, so more likely than not I would be filthy in no time anyhow.

After packing, I went downstairs to eat breakfast. That was about the time that my dad told us to climb in the car, as we were about to go. We stopped off at my grandparent's house to pick up some relatives. We finally got around to leaving, and had to get gas. Since I had been denied breakfast, my dad bought me a soda. Not my idea of a good breakfast, but certainly better than nothing.

About two hours later found us in the Uintas. Not at our campsite yet, and still in our car. We had gotten pretty sketchy directions from my grandpa, who was already there, as to where to drive and park in order to have access to the trail leading to our campsite. 'You drive along that road, until you come to the sign for Twin Lakes. You can't miss it. Then drive to the parking lot and hike up the trail.' These would be fine instructions, but for the fact that there never was a sign for Twin Lakes... We were driving along, looking for the sign, but not succeeding in finding it. Eventually we came to a sign for Crystal Lake. I told my dad that that's where I thought we should turn off. I had been camping there a couple times before, but it had been a couple years since I'd been, so I couldn't remember for sure. Of course my dad consulted my grandma and they decided to go against my advice, and continue on down 'this little road until it ends in a couple miles'. After several miles, it became apparent that this 'little road' had no intention of ending, and finally my dad and grandmother decided to follow my advice.

After about half a mile, my road ended in the parking lot that we had been told about. I didn't say 'Told you so', as it would have been impolite, but I sure was thinking it.

It was only a mile or two to the site where everyone was camping, but I hadn't done much hiking, and I found myself to be tired after that. We arrived at the campsite, and set up our tents. I looked around and found Myron and Niki, my cousins that are closest in age to myself. Niki was being helpful to the adults by helping set things up, and I would have stuck around to do the same, except Myron made me go. He dragged me down to the lake to skip stones. When he and his sisters (Whitney and Tessa [ages 9 and 7]) got bored of skipping stones, they decided they wanted to scale the cliff on the far side of the lake.

I told them we ought not do that(or we'd surely get it from the adults), but when they insisted I consented. Actually, it rather looked fun to me, but I felt that if I went without saying what I did, I might get more blame than I would otherwise. Throughout the climb, I told them many times that we should really turn back (once again so I'd have a defense when we got back). About ten feet up there was a ledge, and it wasn't very difficult at all to reach, but after than there was some real rock climbing. The climb was a relatively simple one, over all. Sure there was some chance of falling, and really injuring yourself, but that chance was pretty small, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. What I was worried about was climbing down. Climbing down is always tougher than climbing up. When we reached the top, there was a lot off hooting and hollering to their parents about 'We made it!!! Look at us!!!'. I tried to quiet them down because I knew that pointing the fact that we were up there wouldn't help the situation much, and that it would be kinda like picking a scab; initially fun, but bad in the long run.

They were about to start the descending climb, but I insisted that there was probably a 'gradual decline' just around the corner, and that we look for it, rather than going back the way we came. I was certainly hoping there was; I was not relishing the thought of climbing down that cliff. As it happens, just around the corner there _was_ a gradual decline. We went down and back to camp to receive our lectures. We got one, but it wasn't really that bad. The adults took it a lot better than I thought they would. In fact, when Myron, Whitney, and Tessa asked if they could go again, Aunt Sue Ann said they could do it again tomorrow, and Uncle David said he'd take us!

Back at camp, we ate a dehydrated dinner of turkey strogonough. Dehydrated foods are have a reputation for being bad, and while some turn out to be quite good, this one didn't, and lived up to its reputation. After dinner, it started to rain, and we were forced indoors(and when I say '-doors' I really just mean those thin tent flaps that are the closest thing to doors that you have when you're camping). I was headed to the tent where Logan, Dad and I were to sleep, when Myron dragged me to his. Inside were my brother Logan, and Niki's two little brothers Sean and Collin. We played cards until the rain let up, and then sat by the fire until about ten when we decided to go to sleep.

The original plan was for my dad, my brother and me to sleep in our tent, while Niki and Myron slept in another. Of course, the Original Plan is hardly ever carried out when Myron is involved in it. I ended up sleeping in the tent that housed Myron and Niki. We talked for a long while until someone shouted over to us that we should go to bed. Of course, we were in our sleeping bags(which is the closest thing), so we kept talking. A bit later the same someone repeated the request (or, more accurately, order) more forcefully, and we decided to act on it, and go to sleep. A decision is much like an Original Plan, and as Myron would have it, we didn't actually stop talking until a while after that.

In the morning we woke up, ate breakfast, packed up, climbed the rocks again, hiked back down to the parking lot, and drove home.