We did it! We made it happen! An idea that was conceived during our annual campout was accomplished, even with my high doubts. The Phillips boys talked about doing a family paintballing/camping trip. It sounded fun and all, but usually that kind of stuff is all talk. But we actually made it happen, and I am shocked! It was a blast! It definitely took some effort and planning, but so worth it!
The weekends leading up to the paintballing event were spent desperately searching for locations. Jason was assigned the task of finding the field. We looked up Provo Canyon, Hobble Creek Canyon, and Five Mile Pass. It was kind of stressful, not knowing how the weather would be, and not being able to reserve a playing field or camp site. We kind of just had to make a choice and hope for the best. We ended up choosing Dead Dog Field up Hobble Creek Canyon and Cherry Campground (just a minute drive away).
We met up at Cherry Campground on Friday a little before 6 PM and set up camp (luckily there was a group site available). Being the end of September, that meant the days were getting shorter and the nights getting colder. We would have liked to have more daylight hours Friday evening...but we were able to get in about an hour of play time. There were 21 of us in total: Me, Jason, Kendra, my dad, Bryan, Tyson, Camry, Paul, Dan, Sammie, Marc, Andy, John, Rob (Paul’s friend), my Aunt Erin, Aryana, Darnel, Dylan, and three of their friends. Kendra drove all the way from Idaho for this event! I’m so glad she came. It was fun to have her there. Sadly, none of the Scott Arbon kids could come. Kayden and Felicia, we will have to catch you next time.
Blurry shots of the campsite:
After an hour of evening playtime (which proved to be hard to see...as the light was fading and the goggles were fogging up due to the chilling air and heavy breathing), we headed back to the campsite to start dinner. Paul was in charge of food, and so he brought his BBQ and grilled up some hamburgers and hot dogs. He did a great job to keep the food budget cheap and tasty. To be honest, the whole event was pretty cheap. We got a great deal on the rentals and on the campsite. Before heading to bed, we played some good old Mafia around the campfire (Werewolf style). We even added an abominable snowman (freezes someone who can’t speak for the next round), a giant (when they die, they fall and kill the person to their left), and a mayor (they get to veto a kill from the town). It was really fun, and got quite heated.
We celebrated Aryana's birthday
During the middle of the night, I was abruptly awakened by some noise outside of the tent. I laid still and listened. I heard slow, heavy, thudding footsteps and then some heavy breathing. My body immediately froze and tensed up. The footsteps were too slow and heavy for a human or deer, and they didn’t sound like the steps from hooves. I was sure it was a bear! There were signs all over the campground saying be cautious of bears and to be sure to clean up your food at night. I wanted to wake up Jason so he could hear the bear outside, but I was afraid to make any noise. I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself and lead the bear over to our tent. I wanted to look outside of the tent to verify it was a bear, but again I feared the noise of the zipper would draw attention. Shortly after waking up to the noise, I heard one of the other tent’s zippers close. I hoped that meant either someone saw what was outside, or at least someone was awake and heard what I was hearing. I was turned away from Jason, so I just kept pinching and shaking his arms. He wouldn’t wake up. I was scared out of my mind! I was shaking uncontrollably! Thoughts kept coming to my mind as if this was my last night on Earth and that we shouldn’t have come. All I could do was pray for protection and pray for comfort that I might be able to calm down. Finally, Jason woke up from my pinching, but this was just moments after the noises stopped (of course). He did hear a low grunt or growl moments later, and then a few minutes later from further away. He wasn’t quite as convinced that it was a bear, as we whispered at a barely audible volume. He tried to comfort me as my body continued shaking for a solid five minutes. I didn’t know if I would ever fall back asleep, but eventually I did. In the morning, Paul and John said they heard and felt something big graze their tent. They had been sleeping with the tent open, so they closed it quickly when they felt something walk by. That was the closing zipper I heard in the night. No one else from our group heard anything that night. They pretty much dismissed the possibility of a bear and figured it was probably a moose or a cow. And it could have been. I am just pretty sure the steps I heard were not made by a hoof and was too slow for four legs. But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter what it was….it might as well have been a dinosaur for how scared I was! I seriously have never been so scared in my life! Never! I know I was receiving comfort from the Holy Ghost to calm my fears and keep me protected.
After breakfast, we hurried over to Dead Dog Field. We wanted to make sure we were the first ones there. We didn’t want to be fighting anyone for the field. We spent the morning and early afternoon playing capture the flag, assassin, civil war, VIP, and defender of the hill (can’t remember exactly what it was called). Within the first 30 minutes, we were surprised by a visit of wandering cows. There was a train of them and they just walked on through the field and then were gone. That would explain the huge cow pies in some parts of the field! I had never been paintballing, and it was super fun and less painful than I thought it would be. That is probably thanks to all of the layers I had on. It is probably a good thing that it was kind of cold out so we could layer up without getting too hot. By the time afternoon hit, it was getting pretty warm. A few people got some pretty bad hits and welts, but for the most part, it was a nice, friendly, safe, and intense game of paintball. It was definitely more thrilling and exciting than air soft wars. You are a lot more careful and strategic in your movements.We definitely want to make an annual thing out of this paintballing event! Next time, we want to start earlier in the day on Friday so we can get two solid days of playing. It came and went way too quickly! We also want to branch out to Idaho to do a separate event with our Idaho cousins. It is a very fun and bonding activity. Can’t wait for more!
The cows....notice how beautiful the field was:
That color looks great on you, Camry