Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Posted by Lisa at 11:15 PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Posted by Cody at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Posted by Lisa at 7:26 PM
Monday, October 10, 2011
This past weekend we headed down to Moab in our truck and trailer to meet up with my entire family for a long weekend of fun. Carson and his family drove all the way down from Seattle (18 hours!). Kristin and her fiance Chris came (congratulations you two!). My parents took their fifth wheel and four wheeler down, and my cousin Jaron came with his girl friend Angie and brought his tent trailer. We got the best campsite in all of Sand Flats area. It was perfect for the 3 trailers and all the kids, had plenty of sand to play in, and was shaded by some great sandstone cliffs.
This was my 11th trip to Moab and by far the best. Not because I did the best bike ride, hike, or climb. It was the best because the whole family was there together and I am at the stage of life when I would rather see my wife and kids enjoy my hobbies with me than me get the most extreme adventures in. Don't get me wrong, I still love some hard core biking and climbing, but I get more satisfaction out of being with my wife and watching my kids play and have a ball.
The temperatures for the trip were amazing! It got up to about 90 during the day, and the evenings were sublime. Right about now we are asking ourselves where those 90 degree temps are as we now have snow.
When we arrived on Thursday we tried to take a family photo. Those are so difficult to take when you have little kids. This one turned out the best, but for some reason it isn't really crisp or focused. Oh well, better than nothing.
Carson brought his new mini motorcycle and that was the first thing Cole went to. He loves all things motorized. It is a fun little bike. I feel like a clown on it, but had some fun zipping around on that little green monster. That and my dad's four wheeler kept the kids begging for more. They were thrilled to have anyone take them for a ride on the four wheeler, which was usually my dad or Carson.
Tucker ended up catching a lizard and was in heaven. It was so fun to see his excitement with the lizard and reminded me a ton of when I was his age and we would go to Lake Powell. My brother and I would have contests to see who could catch the most lizards.
We laughed that the most popular thing in camp was this old, green shovel that my dad brought. The kids all battled for it and relished their time they had with it. Who would have thought that such an ordinary object would be the kids favorite? By the way, the scratch on Blake's nose happened not more than 5 minutes after we took our family photo. He pushed on the screen door in our trailer and fell out. Ooops! It looks worse than it really was.
Friday morning we got up and made a delicious breakfast. All the food was divine on this trip. Especially the ribs that my mom and dad made Friday night. Mmmmmm, tasty.
We brought Blake's high chair that attaches to tables. It was so convenient for keeping him out of the dirt at meal times. That little dude just loves to eat dirt.
After breakfast, Carson and his family, my family, and Kristin went to Wall Street to do some rock climbing. We found some easier climbs that the kids could do. Unfortunately we didn't have very much time to climb because the rock faces were heating up fast in that Moab sun. Here is a photo of Lisa belaying Aubrey. Aubrey is our little spider when it comes to rock climbing. She just loves it so much, it's quite funny.
Lisa showing off her mad skills.
After climbing we came back to camp and the kids played in the sand some more. At one point we put on a movie for some of the younger kids to keep them entertained and out of trouble. Check out Lisa's new curtains and cushions for our trailer.
That afternoon Carson, Marisa, Lisa and I went on the Slick Rock trail. Carson and Marisa had never done it and we all had been training through out the summer, so we were pumped to ride it. Here's the happy group in the parking lot at the beginning. Carson was the only one not brave enough to rock the spandex. Maybe next time bro.
I was so proud of the progress Lisa has made this summer with her mountain biking skills. It was night and day difference between when we went in the Spring. I was very impressed. Good job Lisa!
Last time I rode the entire trail I did the whole thing in about two hours. Granted that was about 9 years ago. So I figured we could do it as a group in about 2.5-3 hours. We left the trail head at about 4:30 pm, and that was such a huge mistake on my part. What followed was a crazy experience that I'm sure none of the four of us will ever forget.
At about 7:00 we reached the half way point and it was quite obvious that there was no way we were going to make it back to the trail head by nightfall. Even worse, there was no moon, and for those who have been to the canyon land desert when there is no moon, you will know that it is the definition of pitch black. So, I started to panic and had all these tragic scenarios playing out in my head and felt super guilty for underestimating the time we would need to ride the full loop. Also, I didn't bring any headlamps. Yeah, some eagle scout I am. I got us into quite the predicament and my gut was all torn up over it. I finally decided that I needed to zip on ahead of the group to go notify my parents that we were ok so they wouldn't panic. I would then come back with some lights to illuminate the remainder of the trek back for the other three.
From the moment I left those three I was praying fervently for any kind of miracle that would help us to get out of there without any accidents or major problems. My prayers were heard about a mile and a half after I left them behind. There is a point on the trail where the mountain bike trail skirts about 30 yards away from the jeep trail Hells Revenge (ironic that my prayer was answered by some jeeps on a trail called 'Hells Revenge'?). Well the sky was starting to darken and I heard three jeeps on that trail, and I knew they were the last of any jeeps that would go by that evening because no one would be dumb enough to be out on those trails after dark, right? I rode as fast as I could to cut them off and flag them down. I explained our situation and they were more than willing to help us out. What a miracle indeed. They let us load our bikes up in the back and gave us a ride out. I feel kind of guilty for how much fun the next 45 minutes were because of how desperate I felt before running into them. Carson, Marisa, and Lisa got their first taste of jeeping in Moab and how extreme it can be. These great people took us through some of the most unforgiving, rocky, and impassable terrain imaginable. So, not only did we get out safely, but we also had the privilege of enjoying a jeep ride on Hells Revenge. We got back to camp around 8:00 safely. I am so grateful that it didn't end up as badly as it could have. I decided at that point to pass on riding the Poison Spider trail the next day as I had originally planned. I didn't want to tempt fate again on my mountain bike.
Saturday morning we all kind of split up into separate groups. Carson and Marisa had never been to Arches National Park, so they went there with my parents. Lisa and I just did it again this past spring so we passed. Kristin, Chris, Angie, and Jaron all went to try the practice loop on the Slick Rock trail.
Lisa wanted to try out her new fancy, shmancy road bike, so we loaded the kids up in the truck and took her into town and dropped her off. We were going to meet up with her along the highway that follows the Colorado River on the way to Fisher Towers. I then filled up with gas in town, got some ice, and ran some other errands to give Lisa a head start.
Tucker showed off his photography talent and took this picture of Lisa as we passed her.
I pulled off to the side of the road ahead of her to wait for her and let the kids get out and play. I took some scenic photos while we waited.
When we got back to camp we decided that it was way too hot to just sit around, so Jaron took us on a little adventure to a water hole along Mill Creek. It was just what the doctor ordered in that heat. Jaron and I were the only two brave enough to dive in. The kids had so much fun, and Lisa was content to just sit in the cool, refreshing water and relax. Chris and Kristin just enjoyed cooling their feet off. It was the perfect prescription for the blazing afternoon heat.
Saturday afternoon and evening we all ended up just hanging out and relaxing at camp. After rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and four wheeling, we were all in the mood for just chilling. One of the great things about Moab is that even when you aren't out on some adventure, you can still be mesmerized by the scenery. Who wouldn't be happy with a campsite that has these kinds of views?
Lisa took the three younger kids on a 4 wheeler ride.
For the final night, my mom busted our some glow sticks that she brought. So to add to the fun I also broke out some sparklers for the kids. The kids had a blast and we got some cool photos of it too.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was easily the best trip I've had to Moab. It was a joy to be with the whole family and enjoy some biking, climbing, hiking and all around desert fun. Let's do it again soon!
Posted by Cody at 7:38 PM