Crazy fun week that began with a group camping trip to Nederland. We all had a blast sitting around our campfires in our enormous, heavily-treed group site. There were mushrooms everywhere + so many spaces to explore. The kids did a lot of running, imaginary play, + I read a book in the hammock, talked to other mamas, soaked in the outdoor time. It’s always a huge reset as far as food, activity, + sleep go. The first night, nobody slept well. Apparently there was a bear – and I, being awake, heard it. So it wasn’t easy to convince myself to sleep after that. The second night tho, we were down for the count.
Highlight of the week was our trip to Hidee Gold Mine. Six families of unschoolers on a 2-hour tour underground makes for some interesting conversations. We learned about how mines were made in the days before automated tools (very slow progress), how many people could “fit” in a bucket “elevator” (one leg in each fitted eight + down 1,000 feet you go!), tested out the methods 6-year-olds used to work this actual mine 100 years ago (that hammer + dull chisel with a tiny candle nub). Wilder found he would’ve been working the mine for five years already, while Elliot was told he’d be marrying next year. All the tween girls were horrified to learn they’d be married off in the next 2-3 years. Most of the adults had already outlived average life expectancy of the age, so we felt ancient + very wise.
My favorite part was when Dave, our tour guide, asked the kids to stand in two lines. The kids all looked at each other, confusedly, and then needed more instruction while they shuffled around with eventual success. Homeschoolers don’t really line up for anything outside of shopping.
I wish we’d brought our rock + mineral ID books along after this because the tour reignited the desire for finding more rocks. All the kids huddled in the rockpiles near our campsite, searching for gold, pyrite, mica + iron. It’s on my list to find a new place to look for cool rocks + to add our display box to a wall (again).
With the pool closing, it feels like summer’s wrapping up. We made two trips this week as it’s been so hot outside. One to celebrate a bday + max out our guest count for the season, + the second just cuz. Why not?
The last thing we added into our week was a hiking getaway for me and George. Yes, we’ve left our kids at home alone before, usually for a quick store or library run, around 30 minutes. This Saturday, we planned a hike just the two of us, discussed it several times during the week, + ran through emergency plans. When I was 11, my parents would leave me in charge of my 8yo sister for six to eight hours and drive to Minneapolis (90 min away) without a way to contact us. George and I were only gone 90 minutes total, a pretty short loop, but everyone felt positive about the outcome. George and I plan to do this more frequently now that we’re all on board. It’s all very exciting!
Campsite coloring / Evening fire / Wilder, catching up on sleep / Daily art / Feeding peanuts to chipmunks outside Hidee Gold Mine in Central City / Me + Leah / Our homeschooler tour group / Inside the mine / Wilder’s chunk of gold / Panning for gold (2) / Holding mining tools from the 1800s / Wilder petting a chipmunk / Evening fire, take 2 / Doggie love / Fishing Bear Creek / Frog-catching at Bear Creek / Blue tongues from Amy’s bday cake / Playing our new game, IQ Six Pro, this week (I just leave it out and see what happens / Cross-referencing ASL signs in our library dictionaries / Couple hike date / Go-Karts with cousins / Last pool trip of the season!