Anika geared up with her bonnet and bloomers for the big third grade event at her school- two nights camping in the historic Malakoff Diggins State Park. The park is where certain people had the masterful idea to aim giant water canons (hydraulic canons) at mountains and wash away everything in the chance that they could filter gold out of the silt. Sounds crazy, but massive cliffs are now carved into the forest. The practice ended when downstream farmers got the courts to ban hydraulic mining (that silt ended up somewhere- their fields).
She went with her class in the morning and we met up in the late afternoon. She embraced Ian in a fierce hug. I wrote a letter last week that was brought to camp on a real horse pony-express style. "Mom, I actually got teary eyes when I read your letter," she said. "I missed you so much."
Um, I dropped you off at 8:45 this morning, but how sweet!
Until the last minute, we weren't sure if she would camp in a canvas tent with her friends. I couldn't stay because of CMT symptoms flaring up (boo) but she found the courage. She sat by the fire with her favorite blanket, Bluey, for comfort. She really wanted to stay. Ian got worried once we got home, saying, "Is Anika ever coming home?"
No, Ian, she's stranded in Pioneer Days forever.
Actually, I go back today, much to the dismay of my aching-self. The site is beautiful. With a slight hill up to the car and a slight hill up to the town, and bathrooms a little past the hill. Not to mention tons of tempting side trails with gorgeous chances for photography. I adore old places, their ghosts and stories. I can rest tomorrow, right?
I helped Anika make this lantern by hammering a nail through the metal for each little hole. I wanted to see them all lit up, but Ian and I were done by twilight- around 8 (summertime light!). We will light hers here at home soon. For now, just the sight of the candle gave me inspiration to keep going. We all have our light to shine. And we are stronger together.