Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, the kids and I meet my brother and his family to spend a few days together.
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).
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.
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.
After all 4 kids got their National Park Junior Ranger packets (and were later sworn in)
We spent the day hiking
checking out the petroglyphs… these ones were etched by Indians from their canoes in what was a large lake at one point…
The next morning, JP and I got in a quick sunrise run
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.
and we returned to check out more caves and say our final goodbyes.