Saturday, April 27, 2013

An Anniversary Trip with the Fam

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.  
We went to the area called Valley of the Goblins as soon as we got there.  It's just crazy - these weird  blobs of rocks.  You can run over, under, around, and through them.  The kids absolutely loved it!  It was totally fun - and slightly nerve-racking - watching them.  And joining them in their adventures, too!

 Two cute sisters with goblin rocks behind them.

 They just ran and ran and ran, up and down and up and down.

 A fun child-size tunnel.

 Of course Miles loved and adored this place!

 I thought this looked like a camel laying down.  So I asked the boys to go ride it.  :)

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.
 First things first:  applying charcoal make-up.

 This was our camp.  It was named (we always name our camp-sites) by Jonas:  Camp Boys Not Accomplishing Their Goals.  (The boys had a few goals - like hike up to the layer rocks - that just didn't pan out for various reasons . . .)  It's definitely different that forest-camping.  The wide-open spaces were great for the kids - they could just run far off and play and they just loved every single minute of it.

We did have a campfire and had chocolate-less smores (ahem, the cooler - with the chocolate - was left at home).  We learned a great new game from the OkeeDokee Brothers:  chubby bunnies.  You stuff a marshmallow in your mouth and say "chubby bunny."  You see how many you can stuff in your mouth before you can't say it anymore.  Emmy made it to 1.  Jonas only 2 at first, then 3 on his second attempt.  Miles got 3.  It was pretty great.

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.
 So fun, right?!

This is at the start of our hike though Little Wild Horse Canyon in the San Rafael Swell.  The trailhead was like a mile or so from our camp, so that was a nice little drive.  We had read about this hike and that it's a perfect one for kids and adults - it's a neat slot canyon, but without any technical skills required.  There were bunches of people (I bet we saw over 100 boy scouts), yet it never felt crowded or anything.  We were pretty much hiking by ourselves the entire time.

 Miles on "Pride Rock" as he called it.  The boys just were crazy and scrambling everywhere!  They definitely doubled or tripled the amount hiked just due to how much they scrambled up the rock sides.  It was awesome.

 Our littlest rock-climber.  :)

 Cool, huh?!

 A cool rock with some pretty gals.

 Lucy was a great little hiker.  She was held some, for sure, but also managed to do some serious rock-climbing, for a 2-year old.  What a cutie.

 Oh Emmy.  She's a wonder sometimes.  For some reason she was really scared of the slot-canyon.  I mean, I can kind of understand it.  But, at the same time, this wasn't a scary slot canyon and we just had to walk on relatively level ground.  This picture was taken after she had to walk under a huge rock.  She was real interesting.  Then, all of sudden, she declared she wasn't scared anymore, stopped her moaning, and was completely fine for the rest of the hike.  Silly girl.

 The path less traveled.  This is so typical of Miles.  He ventured off a little bit and found this water-spot.  Cool.  Miles was crazy in-love with everything that this hike offered.  Jonas loved it, too, for sure.

 Sweet Lucy.

 The boys always wanted their pictures taken at like every single spot.  The hike was just that cool to them!

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.

 Soooo cool.

Oh it was so neat!  I really enjoyed this hike, too.

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!


erinmalia said...

happy anniversary you guys! i'm sooooo glad you had fun. i thought your kids would love running amok amongst the goblins, and glad to hear they did. the pictures were all awesome. ahh...memories!

Emily said...

Happy anniversary to you and Ben!! How fun that you took the whole family to celebrate :) Looks like it was a great weekend!

Nicole said...

very cool! happy anniversary! i think...i have been there. to goblin valley. maybe.

Angie Hawkes said...

Erin and rachael and I took a trip there once upon a time. This brought back great memories! Glad you had fun.

Montrose Lewises said...

Happy Anniversary!
We're going to try to replicate your camping trip this weekend, ha ;)
I hiked the loop last summer with the Spring Creek ladies and it was AWESOME!
It looks and sounds like your kiddos fully appreciated it!

rebecca said...

Emily, this looks so awesome! I would love to take a trip like this with our kids. My favorite picture is the one you labeled with the kids' names. Wow, how fun for the kids to be able to run and climb so far and free.

Happy 11 years!

courtney said...

LOVE the pictures! we had some other friends in the same area at the same time - so fun! looks like the kids were in heaven - so great when a trip works out that way. as always, you are making me miss the western US more than i already do!

happy 11 years to two of my favorite people!!