Saturday, April 12, 2014

Moab Spring Break

For the kids spring break this year we went down to Moab with 8 other families from our neighborhood, well 6 and 2 from the Salt Lake area.  One was my cousin Zach and the other is a childhood friend of Joe Ashurst.  There were 18 adults and 31 kids at our campsite.  It was a fun, chaotic zoo.
We love Moab in the spring.  It's so great to get down there where the trees are blossoming, the flowers are blooming and the weather is in the 70's-80's.  We don't get that kind of weather in Midway for another month.
We left Saturday morning and headed out.  I dropped Lisa off with her road bike once we got off I-70 and headed towards Moab.  She needed to get in a long ride in preparation for her Goldilocks ride coming up. She was able to do a 35 mile ride through some incredibly beautiful terrain.  I continued on to Moab and set up camp at our site.  It was a wonderful site for the kids.  Lots of sand, a big rock hill to climb, and plenty of lizards.  That is one of the favorite activities of our kids, catching lizards.

The kids loved playing in the sand.  And yes, they got filthy each day.

Tucker and his friend Sterling are quite the lizard catchers.  They would search every nook and cranny to find those reptiles and were quite successful.

At times it looked like there was a marauding mob of children as they roamed around together.

That night we did a group dutch oven dinner of fried chicken and potatoes.  It was delicious and a great way to start the trip.

The next morning we woke up and celebrated Aubrey's 7th birthday.  She was so excited to celebrate her birthday in Moab for another year.  We love her and are so grateful she is a part of our family.

After breakfast we took a drive with the Shores and Smiths to the southern most area of Canyonlands, the only area we hadn't been to yet.  As you enter into Indian Creek canyon you find Newspaper rock.  It is a collection of native american petroglyphs that are centuries old and contains one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs in the world.  They date back about 2000 years ago.

Some people criticize the Book of Mormon for being a fabrication of Joseph Smith's mind because he mentions horses in it, and until recently scientists didn't believe that horses existed in the western hemisphere before the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century.  I wonder how they explained this image?  Maybe the indian was merely riding a large rodent?  Or maybe he's riding a curelom or a cumom?

Once we were in Canyonlands we decided to do the hike from Elephant hill trailhead to Chesler Park.

The scenery was fantastic.

The weather was great for a hike.  The kids did wonderful.  This is our attempt at a family photo.  Cole wasn't in the mood for cooperating at the moment.

The Needles.

Wooden Shoe Arch.

After Canyonlands we went back to camp and had a relaxing, lazy afternoon.  Cole was successful in catching a lizard and was so proud of his accomplishment.  It was a huge lizard too.

After an amazing shredded pork dinner provided by Scott Smith, we went down into town and bought Aubrey a banana split for her birthday and cut up the cake that Lisa made for her in our trailer's oven.

And to top off her awesome birthday she opened the remainder of her gifts and was super stoked to find we gave her Frozen, her favorite movie.

On Monday the wind stopped and the temps started to climb.  Here are just some of the kids in our camp.

This was a common site to see kids just rolling in the sand.

 The Bellows brought their Alaskan Malamute and the kids all loved her.  She was a favorite.

I took Tucker and two of the Ashurst kids down to the Slick Rock trail to get them some exposure and experience riding their bikes on the slick rock.  At first they all struggled because it was so different than what they have done in the past.  But they all quickly picked it up and got the hang of it.

It was fun watching them improve as the biked more and more.

That afternoon we went rock climbing in Kane Creek canyon.  I'm a much bigger fan of rock climbing over there with little kids than over at the more popular Wall Street.  It's further away from the road and has more routes that are kid friendly.  The views were incredible too.

I lead roped two climbs and then we let the kids all take turns climbing up.  What a bunch of little climbers they were.  I was impressed.

Smiling as usual.

Aubrey is pretty fearless when it comes to outdoor activities.

Coming down.

Tucker enjoyed his turn to climb.

Here's a view back down at our trucks.  We had to hike a few hundred yards up a steep, talus slope to get to the climbing site, but once there it was awesome.

Every night after we put the kids to bed the adults would hang around the fire and talk.  It was fun putting my recently chopped firewood to use.

On Tuesday morning we headed out to the Bar M trails to take the kids biking.  There are trails for all skill levels there.  I love these trails for the kids and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get their kids hooked on biking.

Cole couldn't quite do the trails but had fun biking around in the parking lot and to the trailhead.

Both Tucker and Aubrey handled the trail like champs.

I had a stupid idea of trying to video them while holding my cell phone with one hand and steering my bike with the other.  Yeah, that didn't turn out so well.  Oh well, at least it was good for some laughs.

After the Bar M trails we then took a drive to Gemini Bridges with the Smiths and Ashursts.  That area is a lot more stressful to visit with a bunch of little kids.  You never know what a little kids is going to do or when they are going to slip and fall.  Needless to say, I was stressing out and made sure they all stayed far back from the ledge.

I would only allow them close to the edge if they were holding my hand.

Just chilling on the ledge.

Lisa pounding out some push-ups on the edge of the cliff.

A better family photo.

The Ashurst clan.

The Bellows.

The awesome mommas.

The Smiths.

Striking a pose.

The munchkins.

It was another awesome trip to Moab filled with fun and adventure.  I didn't want to go home.  I can't wait to go back and take the kids to Kane Creek for climbing again and the Bar M trails for biking.