Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Desert Solitaire

Ok, I guess that it's definitely not desert solitaire if you're there with 4 kids... but we had a wonderful time enjoying God's amazing creation and the pleasure of each other's company in southern Utah last week. The weather was perfect, the kids were adventurous, and Mom managed to hold it together and even enjoy herself for 3 days of camping. Yep, a pretty darn fine spring break.
It all started with a giant pile of "essentials" to bring - all of this plus water and a potty.  I was very unsure that all of this, 5 people, and a dog were going to fit into our Subaru Impreza
As long as your definition of "fit" is generous, we managed to pack it all except for the chairs!  Not generally the vehicle packer, I was very pleased with myself for my packing job.
 We drove for almost 4 hours with only a couple of stops for candy (the children needed fuel for their... sitting... in confined spaces... maybe not my best plan).  But when we saw this view, we just had to stop and stretch our legs.
We had an excellent mini-romp here before completing the last hour of our drive
(note Ben and his gas station candy)
And finally we arrived!  Hello, Escalante!
Home sweet home (see tent and Subaru in the lower left-hand corner).  This was the perfect campsite - nobody for miles, plenty of romping space, and even trees for the hammock.
The boys immediately headed up the wash to go climbing.  I have to admire their devotion to the cryptobiotic soil crust - they always stuck to the washes and defined paths and were very frustrated that Chorney didn't do the same.
Within our first hour in Escalante they had scaled the "big mountain" (see tiny dot on top)
Here's the zoom of a boy atop a mountain
And once they had scaled the big mountain, they decided it was time to bring the girls up the smaller mountain to its right (see tiny dots on top).
My girls are sure blessed with some fantastic brothers to take them on adventures (and vice versa)
The view from the base of "little mountain"
We conquer "little mountain" (repeatedly)
Some day I expect to see a photo like this of my boys on Everest
Back to the site to relax!  Ben was in heaven - candy, Calvin and Hobbes, and a hammock
Mommy attempts pigtails in the desert
The pigtails worked out pretty well!
This is the pinnacle of my Mommy fantasies - kids sitting around a fire in the wilderness coloring and reading.  Deep sigh.
It was a very comfy campsite
Dinner time!
And after dinner, of course, came the glow sticks
The first star of evening - time for bed!
Walking down the wash to see what we can see...
...and much to our surprise, we found a running stream!
We spent many, many hours at the stream romping, reading, making dinner (thank you, backpacking stove and box o' mac and cheese), and getting really, really messy
The kids weren't the only ones who thoroughly enjoyed a romp in the stream.
Sweet sisters!  The girls were so proud of themselves for climbing this rock
And they really enjoyed watching me set the timer and run to scale the rock in time for this shot
I do so love my adventurous kiddos!
On our way home, we passed one more rock mountain that simply had to be scaled.

One last hike at Calf Creek and it was time to head home
The kids have already started asking if we can go back to our desert campsite, so I guess that's the mark of a good trip!


Melanie said...

"Ben was in heaven - candy, Calvin and Hobbes, and a hammock"

This sounds exactly like what heaven was for me and my sister when we were camping at this age! I think I still have one of the very worn, dog-eared Calvin & Hobbes books we schlepped everywhere.

Looks like a perfect adventure, Jamie :-)

MissM said...

That looks like so much fun! Kudos to you for heading out there. I hope to learn your secret of raising kids who love to camp, read, and play board games!

jody said...

love it!! looks like heaven to me...can't wait to go camping again!!!


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