Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Moab Mommy Trip

Last week was our spring break.  My husband wasn't able to get away from work for any trips, so I decided to take seven of the kids (all that can fit in my van and truthfully, all that wanted to go) and head out for a few days' adventure. My oldest two stayed home, one to catch up on school work and the other to fix all our bikes, do a bit of yardwork, and spend most of several days out fishing.  I bet you can guess which kid did which thing.

Meanwhile, I brought Michael and six little girls down to Moab.  We hung out at Arches and Canyonlands, earned Junior Ranger badges, and doing a good bit of hiking.  Wednesday, the only full day we were there, we were pummeled by 45-mile-an-hour winds that freaked out Katie and Cami and confined us more towards looking at overlooks and doing scenic drives while trying to avoid tumbleweeds rather than long hikes.  We did do a 2-mile windy hike to Landscape Arch that day, however, where Sarah cemented herself in Cami's mind as the best big sister ever for carrying her a good part of the way.

Day One included Hikes to Double Arch and Skyline Arch, both short and easy.  The first hike was full of other people enjoying their spring breaks, the second we had mostly to ourselves.

Skyline Arch

Sarah and Cami.  On the third day, Cami refused to let Allison or me carry her.  Sarah was her clear favorite.  Unfortuneately, that meant that Sarah carried her on her back up the steepest slickrock part of the Delicate Arch trail.   But she was happy to do so and I was relieved that she was there to help.

Canyonlands on the morning of day two was stunning, but had no shelter from the wind, which whipped sand into our faces and eyes.  Still, I got a few stunning pictures from the overlooks.

And the kids got their Jr. Ranger Badges.

Our afternoon hike to Landscape Arch had slightly calmer winds 

That night, we got some late afternoon photos of parts of the park, then returned after dinner to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Balanced Rock.  Every time we drove by, I acted surprised that it hadn't fallen down yet. 

The Windows Area

I think this is my favorite photo from the trip.

Our last day there involved a fun hike to Delicate Arch.  Cami threw a major tantrum part-way up but Sarah was able to calm her down and carry her, then 2/3rds of the way up we finally distracted her into walking most of the rest of the way.  I didn't want to bother with my bulky camera, so I stuck to my stinky phone camera for proof we made it to the most famous arch in Utah (and probably the world)
Allison, Cami, Eliza, Michael, Katie, and me.  Sarah and Harmony were in line to get their picture taken in front of the arch

Sarah and Harmony under the arch.
I didn't see a single lizard except for this one the entire trip, but trust Allison, our eagle eyes, to not only see five or six of them, but catch this one.  She tried to carry it all way the way back to the van in hopes of making a pet of it, but it got away.

My seven youngest

The Mommy Trip group
I have to say that I started to more fully appreciate my husband and his regular Daddy-trip tradition. Though this trip was a ton of fun, it also had moments of frustration, times I needed to separate certain kids in the car, and times when I wished the kids would stop wiggling and fighting over blankets and just. go. to. sleep.  And that was keeping most extra things pretty low-key.  We stayed at a hotel two nights and had breakfast there, brought simple food from home for our lunch, and ate out for dinner both nights.  When DH goes on trips, he camps a good part of the time, cooks the meals, and is usually gone for ten days, not three.  I have a pretty awesome DH.

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