Well, to make a long story very short, Friday morning we finally settled on some weekend plans: go to Goblin Valley, camp out that night, and hike in the San Rafael Swell the next day. I got busy and packed the entire car with all of our camping needs (it was no easy task [especially carrying our huge tent all the way up from the attic] and I felt super empowered after I had done it all). We got off around 1:30 and headed out to Goblin Valley.
After we spent about an hour and a half there, we decided to go and get camp set-up. We found some BLM spot and went to work.
We got in our tent a little after 9pm and after getting settled in, Emmy telling a 10-second "scary story," and turning out the light, everyone fell asleep rather easily. I think Emmy was out in less than 2 minutes. It was also the best night of camp-sleeping ever for our family. All the kids slept the entire night without waking up or crying out or anything. It was dandy.
We woke up at 6:45 - yay, we got to sleep-in! The kids, after getting dressed (some kids taking longer than others, ahem, Miles . . .), went to run up and down and in and out the area - while Ben and I started heating up our water for oatmeal (too bad our propane was low and ran out before our water got hot . . .) and breaking down camp.
After we stopped for lunch (really a glorified snack since our lunch items were at home in our cooler . . .), we split off: I went with the boys and Ben with the girls. The boys wanted to try and do the entire loop (Little Wild Horse canyon to Bell Canyon) and so I wanted to go with them. Ben headed back down with the girls. We had probably gone for about 15 minutes and stopped and talked with a father and son who were heading back down. I asked him about Bell Canyon and he said it's more open desert, with less slots. After deliberating for like 2 seconds, we decided to go back down Little Wild Horse canyon and enjoy the slots once again. I know we were all so glad we choose that route.
We met up with the rest of our crew and then headed out. We did stop in Grand Junction for an "anniversary dinner" at Cafe Rio. It was an early dinner - 4pm - but we hadn't really had lunch.
It was a really different camping and hiking adventure for all of us - but super neat and great.
P.S. Happy 11th anniversary to me and Ben!