Mom fail. Recommend Mom upgrade.

I have been doing best to compensate for an unfortunate incident in which I accidentally overspent in the first few days after my last paycheck, leaving myself with little "fun money" (errr, zeroish) left over. I was trying to think of something we could do as a family that would be fun and free this weekend- and thought that since it was the first official day of spring, a drive to General Grant Grove Park, (just East of us in the Kings Canyon National Forest) along with a picnic lunch might fill the bill. If you've never been to see the Giant Sequoias, they truly are a sight. I could already envision the pictures I'd snap of Keegan walking through the enormous hollowed out tree trunk and standing next to the General Lee tree that I'd been photographed next to on my 6th grade field trip there.

So, I packed a tasty lunch, an extra pair of underroos and pants (because when you go on a long car ride with a toddler- and by long, I mean anything more than oh, 30 minutes) you can never be too prepared, and my camera and off we went. Google maps predicted an hour and 16 minute drive. Not too bad at all. Weather was gorgeous, music was good, wild flowers were amazing and abundant. At about the 1.5 hour mark, I saw a sign saying we still had 5 miles of windy mountain road to go. We pressed on past the 5,000 ft elevation sign- and then, Keegan announced he had to go "PEE! Now!". So, as I pulled into the first turnout- what was on the ground? Um.... snow. Snow? Crud. Hadn't thought about this possibility... So, my kiddo did his first outdoor, side of the road pee on the snow stunt and I pondered whether I really was very logical in the planning of the days' adventure.

We pressed on, uphill and onward...more snow. Cleaner and higher piles. Then, a sign that said we'd need to pay for park entry in 3 miles. Hmmm don't remember paying for the park entry in 6th grade- didn't really prepare for that expense.... then spotted a sign for a picnic area and "Snow Play" area. Thought, good enough, it's free, we're in the mountains- we can finally eat! Turn the corner and BAM. Lots and lots of snow. Keegan "You took me to the snow!? Yay!!! Can we go play in it!?" Crap. Crapitty crap crap. We're dressed in short sleeves, jeans and sneaks and our best "snow gear" in tow consists of three light weight jackets. Mom FAIL. Massive.

Oh and also- the picnic area was PACKED. As in- if I dig in the snow with my hand I'll probably find more children playing beneath it packed.

So, at this point, I'm thinking, ok, how about we head back down the mountain toward the park on the river at Pine Flat Dam? It's maybe 20 minutes back and there is a river and lots of picnic tables....

"20 minutes" is actually 50 minutes of "are we there yet?" and when we finally arrive- this park is packed too. Packed with the kind of people you don't really want to see in a park when you're trying to relax. To our left- family with super fast RC car he is racing everywhere loudly, in front of us, family with big guy wearing WAY to small of a shirt drinking his maybe 13th can of beer sitting on the river bank, commenting to RC car guy about their dog, who did not like the RC car (their pitbull was barking incessantly from the car at the RC car) and he said he couldn't let him out because he "didn't play well with others and they learned that the hard way" (great, glad my toddler is here... pitbull little shirt guy's family is there too, all chain smoking, including daughter, making out with boyfriend- both of whom were maybe 15.

We ate our lunch at a table covered in graffiti and sighed in defeat.

Thankfully, after a few minutes, the "classy" family decided it was time to go, and we were able to take over their river bank table area- and Keegan enjoyed throwing rocks in the river for a bit.

So, all in all- please learn from my mistake. If you're headed up into the mountains- pack your snow clothes- and yes, even in late March.

1 comment:

  1. I loved loved loved this post! Loved what you envisioned and what really happened. Best story.


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