Monday, April 23, 2012

Snow Canyon

Our first camping trip in 2012 was to Snow Canyon, near St. George.  We have a great friend, Jennifer Mortensen, who is so good about planning these neighborhood camping trips each April.  The past two years we’ve gone to Goblin Valley, which we LOVE.  This year, she decided to shake things up a little and we headed further south to Snow Canyon, near St. George.  Though for us, not as fun as Goblin, it was a great place to visit and a lot of fun to go someplace new.  We had a really good time. 
Oh, I guess I should preface things by saying that we almost didn’t make it on this trip.  We’ve  been having car problems with the Saturn forever, and Kev finally determined that though it still runs, there’s no way we can take it 600 miles to St. George and back.  I was kind of OK with that.  I was working and the thought of planning and prepping for a camping trip seemed exhausting.  Taking the burb wasn’t even an option.  We don’t take it, or the trailer, long distances like that very often.  It costs way too much in gas.  At the last minute, our friends Kaydee and Darren Phillips insisted that we take their car and come on the trip.  I was still opposed, but then they went out and got the oil changed and a tune-up, ready for us to go, and I felt roped in.  Plus, Kev really wanted to go, so we did.  It was incredibly generous of them and in the end we’re glad we were able to go.  It spoiled us though.  Kaydee has a really nice, much newer car than ours.  We might as well have been in a limo, as comfortable as the drive was.
So, I got us ready, Kev took off early on Friday and the girls and I left as soon as school was over  We picked up Kevin at his office in Draper and off we went!   The drive was uneventful, and after some words between Jen and I over which tent spot we should take (she’s the sensible one and I’m the sass in our relationship ; ), we got settled and made dinner.   Since we were camping in a tent, rather than our beloved camper, we kept things very simple.  Oatmeal for breakfast, hot dogs for dinner, that kind of thing.  It’s different, but still fun.  I like the girls to be able to experience both kind of camping.
Six different families came on this trip besides us  – the Mortensens, Phillips, Richards, Hattaways, Kesslers and the Moss family.  We generally camp together, but are usually on our own for activities.  Oh, we’ll do some things together, a hike or two, but generally we do our own thing. 
On Saturday morning, we all got up and hiked the Lava Flow Overlook Trail.  I think the trail is several miles long, but I don’t know if anyone actually hiked the whole thing.  We were mostly interested in seeing the Lava Tubes.   The trail starts out pretty flat with traditional desert brush, but then patches of volcanic rock begins to appear.  Keep moving and you’ll see caved in areas.  Some of these open into lava tubes. If you have a flashlight with you, you can walk down into the tubes and explore underground.  We hiked to a couple of different ones.  It was a lot of fun, and a little freaky too.
After lunch our family decided to do some Geocaching, which is a family favorite.  There was one within about a mile from camp, so we decided to walk.  All fine and good, but I wasn’t really thinking and we didn’t take water.  This is Southern Utah and it was dry and blooming hot!  We had fun finding the geocache, but were so hot and thirsty by the time we got back. Holy cow!
Kaydee’s parents have a condo in St. George and while they were camping with the group, they also went back and forth to the condo a few times.  On Saturday afternoon they invited us in to swim at the condo pool and we went.  Straight from there we grabbed dinner out and stopped to do some rapelling off Dixie Rock.  We met Darren, Jennifer and her daughter Millie there.  It was just a short rapell.  I did it, Kev did, Jen, then Millie.  Then we tried to get Brinkley and Lily to go.  It was a scary rock because it wasn’t a straight drop, it kind of curved under, which was harder.  Lily wouldn’t go, but Brinkley decided she would.  She started getting really stressed though, almost immediately.  Kev was with her at the top, and Darren was spotting at the bottom.  It took like 15 minutes to talk her over.  Brinkley was crying, and Kev kept telling her she didn’t have to go, but she kept saying, “I want to!” tears flowing the whole time.  It was awesome!  She finally did it though.
Sunday we packed up and our family decided we wanted to geocache more before we headed home.  We ended up hitting 9 more in the canyon and right outside the canyon.  It was so fun!  We found everyone that we looked for.  Success for The Cache Hounds (our geocaching family name!).  We finally left St. George in the late afternoon, and didn’t make it home until late evening, but we had a great trip thanks to good friends!
(Pictures to come.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Baaaack!!

Truth be told, it is not really April 1st.  It’s the end of July, well into the 2012 camping season.  I intended to blog this year.  We’ve only been on 2 trips so far, and are currently on our 3rd, but I’ve discovered that it’s hard to do while here.  It’s time consuming.  I have an old, slow, laptop.  The internet connection is pretty crappy.  So last summer I spent a good deal of time writing, then trying to upload pictures, etc.  I don’t want to spend my camping time on the computer.  I want to swim, read books, play games, and relax.  But I’m now back to the blog, because Kevin requested it.  I’m going to try to type up the entries on a daily basis, but then wait until I get home to post.  We’ll see how that goes.  I do like the idea of having an ongoing journal of our camping adventures.  Sometimes life is exciting out here, sometimes boring, but these are without a doubt moments that I want to remember.  Life goes too fast, kids grow too quickly, so like it or not, here I go again.