Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fall Break

This year for fall break we decided to head down to Moab with Lisa's mom, our good friends Bart and Becky Williams and the Ashursts (they came down late Friday Night).  Unfortunately I think everybody in Utah had this idea.  It was the most crowded I have ever seen Moab in 18 years of going there.  We almost always get a camp site at Sand Flats area, but this time they were completely full, as were most all other sites around Moab.  
By pure coincidence we happened to run into my good high school friends Doug Cary and Spencer Couch as we first entered into town.  They were down in Moab to take their boys on a fun camp trip.  They, like us, were without a camp site, so we decided to find one together.  We went back north of town to some BLM land and ended up finding a great site for the kids to all play.  Best of all was the site was free.  Woo hoo!
The kids were in heaven.  They would go hiking, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, etc.  It was funny to see so many kids in our site.  It was like a swarm of bees that just hovered from area to area.

For as full as Moab was, this site turned out to be just about perfect for our group size.

Friday morning when we woke up there was a hot air balloon drifting directly over our camp site.  Only about 50 yards above us.  Lisa took this awesome photo with both the balloon and the crescent moon on it's left in the same shot.

That morning we took our kids with the Williams over to the Bar M trails to do some kid friendly mountain biking while Spencer and Doug took their boys into Arches National Park.

The kids all did awesome and really got the hang of it quickly.  Even Blake was able to ride a paved trail with his training wheels.  Next year he'll be ready to hit the dirt trails with us.

Back at camp the kids did more digging and playing in all that glorious sand.

That afternoon we took all the kids rock climbing over in Kane Creek.  The approach to the climbs is a steep, talus slope.  The kids all loved it.  It was like a giant play ground for them.

I lead climbed a route and then we let all the kids that wanted take turns climbing up.  Bart and Becky's boys killed it.  They were naturals.

Tucker really enjoys rock climbing now and feels so comfortable now with both the climbing and the rappelling part.

Doug's boys did great as well.  They all are so fearless.

Aubrey is such a cool girl.  Although she loves all things girly like the color pink, princesses, dancing, and dolls, she also loves to keep up with her brothers.  She is a big fan of outdoor activities and loves to rock climb.

Spence had fun getting to know our kids even better.

Here is a view from up top looking back down at our vehicles and the descent.

Late Friday night Joe and Jessica rolled in, and then we had a huge group.  It was fun getting everybody together.  Each morning treated us with some beautiful sunrises.

We had fun around the campfire.

This tree was a favorite for the kids.

Here is a cool photo I took of Bart, Kaden, Lisa, Tucker and Kolton when we were riding on the Bar M Trails.  Those boys are great bikers.  I can't wait until my kids are old enough to do some longer, more technical trails down there.  The older these kids get, the more fun they are.

We had great weather for our weekend in Moab.  The kids played non-stop and I had fun hanging with Bart and Becky, and running into Doug and Spencer.  We are lucky to live so close to Moab and such beautiful country.

Wapiti Hunt

Wapiti is the native american (Shawnee) word for elk, and that is what we were after the first weekend in October.  We had spectacular scenery this year, but not much luck with seeing elk.  We hunted hard, but due to various reasons the elk weren't moving around during our hunt.  Due to the lack of elk sightings, this post will highlight the beautiful views we enjoyed.
The weather was amazing for us.  Clear skies and fantastic autumn leaves were quite the treat.

I drove up on Friday morning with my mom and dad and we set up camp.  They took their fifth wheel and I took my trailer.  We found a great camp site.  That evening my dad and I left elk camp and went back down to Provo to watch the BYU vs Utah State football game.  It was a disaster of a game, but we had fun and were super excited for the elk hunt the next morning.

Sunrises during the elk hunt are so peaceful and inspirational.  The quiet in the backcountry is soothing to the soul.

My cousin Zach and his family came up around lunch time to join us on the hunt.  The kids all had a ton of fun playing together.  One tree in particular at our camp was a favorite.  The kids spent hours climbing and playing in this pine tree.  It was funny to watch them.

That night we had an enjoyable camp fire and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.

We got to take advantage of a gorgeous sunset as we were sitting around the campfire.

We had a group of happy kids.  Zach and Lindsay's girls play so well with our kids.

Even though they are messy, s'mores always bring a smile to our kids faces.

The next day the kids went back to climbing that tree again.  Aubrey was quite the little monkey and could climb all the way to the top.

My dad and I stayed through until Monday afternoon.  Even though we got skunked and were unable to fill the freezer with elk meat, we had a great time.  Hunting is a family tradition that I really enjoy.  I love being together with family and getting out in the mountains during one of the prettiest times of the year. It's also fun to see my kids starting to enjoy it the same way I did at their age.  Hopefully they will continue this long standing Calderwood family tradition for years to come.  I took this photo of my dad on Monday when it was just him and me out on the mountain.  This secret location is only about a half a mile from where I shot my big bull last year.  Such awesome country.