Lava Beds National Monument

Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, the kids and I meet my brother and his family to spend a few days together.

Anne, Loulou, Marcel, Avian, Lily, Jenelle, and Stephen
Anne, Loulou, Marcel, Avian, Lily, Jenelle, and Stephen

The timing falls perfectly right after their return from making maple syrup in Quebec, and before my brother’s smokejumping fire season begins (hopefully before… one year, he was flown out to Alaska immediately after we arrived).

our fearless captain
our fearless driver

This year, JP and I packed up the kids Friday afternoon and hit the road to meet Marcel, Anne, LouLou and Lily, about halfway between Bend and Truckee, at Lava Beds National Monument for a weekend of camping, cousins, and caving.

The cousins ready for more caving
The cousins ready for  caving

We arrived around midnight, set up our tent, and the next morning Stephen was up early tending to the fire, while Avian enjoyed sleeping in.

Camping with an angel
Camping with an angel

 

 

 

After all 4 kids got their National Park Junior Ranger packets (and were later sworn in)

LouLou promising to be a good Junior Ranger
LouLou promising to be a good Junior Ranger

We spent the day hiking

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cousins on the trail
cousins on the trail

checking out the petroglyphs… these ones were etched by Indians from their canoes in what was a large lake at one point…

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with a quick visit to lovely Tulelake for lunchTulelake's sweet downtownand then hit some caves for the afternoon.

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The next morning, JP and I got in a quick sunrise run

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We spent several hours throughout the weekend hanging out around the campsite, listening to LouLou and Marcel play the fiddle, and a lot of time playing baseball.

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and we returned to check out more caves and say our final goodbyes.

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next time we see the cousins there will be one more!
next time we see the cousins there will be one more!

 

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