It was really so perfect. Once I had some extra hands and eyes to help me, I even managed to relax and enjoy the moments. The river was gorgeous, the sky so blue, and it was fun to be with my family. We played in the water til about 4:30 pm, and then slowly made the trek back to my parents' campsite, where we changed clothes, relaxed, and the folks got a campfire and dutch oven dinner going. We stayed long enough to eat a delicious meal of brats and beans, then I packed up my two littles, leaving Noah behind to camp in the cabin with my parents and sisters, and I drove the two hours home with the help of "Wreck It Ralph" on the portable DVD player. We all fell into bed once we got home at 10pm that night, and slept hard and long, reuniting with Noah the next afternoon when my mom and sister brought him home to us.
All in all, despite hiccups and unpredictabilities and a few little meltdowns, the trip was SO worth the effort. I love that my own kids are building a collection of memories of a place I have cherished for so many years of my own youth. I love that we plan to return year after year for years to come.
Here, from my phone, all the photos I took of this summer's trip.