Thursday, April 28, 2011

Family Vacation!

A tax refund calls for a tax refund splurge! Aaron had his last final last Wednesday so E and I drove down to pick him up in Provo and then continue south. (Of course E always checked her blind spots.) We drove to Moab and stayed the night there. The next morning we went into Arches. Here are the 3 Gossips. They make me happy. :) I had done some research and we decided we were going to hike Devil's Garden and Delicate Arch. We headed to Devil's Garden and started going. The first arch was Landscape Arch. Eliza came here last year five weeks before she was born... it was fun to have her outside this time. :)
While snacking there, we met a little furry friend.
On the way to the next arch, we came across some pretty cool rocks. Getting to the end of the trail was not what I expected... you climb up quite a few rocks and then walk across the top of a rock fin!
It was cool but kinda scary! Here we are at the end of the fin.
Pretty soon after that we saw Double O Arch (it is hard to see, but there is another arch under the top o!) Super cool!
We stopped for a bit and ate. I thought our stuff just looked so picturesque sitting there. :) We hiked a bit more on that trail and headed back. On the way in it had been windy, but on the way back it got REALLY windy. When we were walking across the fin, we had to hold ourselves against the wind praying that we wouldn't get blown off. It was REALLY windy. I was pretty scared but we made it just fine.
We ate lunch and were trying to figure out what to do. The thing both of us was most excited for of the whole trip was climbing Delicate Arch which we were planning on doing then but it was honestly too windy. We were a bit bummed but then were able to come up with a plan of switching our plans for the next day to that day in hopes that we could climb Delicate Arch the next day.
So off we headed down to Natural Bridges National Monument. It was a scenic drive and I thought it was pretty cool that we went through the mountain.There are three bridges in the monument. (Bridges are formed by water sculpting them, arches are formed by rocks falling out of them. Thought you'd like to know!) This was the first one and I thought it was beautiful. The hikes to the viewpoints were relatively short so we just carried E. It was very windy down there too. At one of the viewpoints, you can look down and see these ruins hidden in a crevice in the cliff. So cool. We just drove around and took a few hikes and then drove back and stayed the night in Monticello. We definitely want to go back and hike in Natural Bridges... it is BEAUTIFUL!

The next morning we headed into the Needles section of Canyonlands. On the way we stopped at Newspaper Rock. Loved it. It was a pretty drive into Canyonlands.
E was super excited to get back in the pack. She LOVES being outside!
We took a hike to see a bunch of 'potholes'. It'd be super cool to see them full of water! It never ceases to amaze me how different nature can be all the sudden!And here's a view of the Needles. E was cracking me up when she started sucking on Aaron's camelpak tube! We then drove back to Moab and got ready to hike Delicate Arch. Aaron was feeding Eliza yogurt and it was a messy deal! And then we hiked to Delicate Arch. It was awesome!
(Someone got tired!) :)
Here we are under the arch. We got E out and she loved playing on the rocks. Aaron got sick of me taking pics of him so I told him he could take one of me with my poles. :) I totally look like I'm skiing here... minus the snow. My knee and hip hurt pretty bad when I hike so these help take off quite a bit of the pressure.On our drive to the hotel she figured out how fun it is to take her socks off! Gotta love it when activities like this can take up an hour or so! We stayed near Hanksville that night. We got up and drove to Goblin Valley State Park. It's super cool. A valley randomly filled with, well, goblins.We took a hike but found that the trail was really poorly marked so we ended up having to pave our own trail to get back. Aaron scoped it out while I waited for the okay (in case it didn't work so that I wouldn't have to put my knee to more use!). His path did work and it ended up being a pretty cool hike.
It's crazy how easily eroded that place is. This is what the rocks look like. And then I ran my finger down it. (Yes, I am a terrible person who contributed to the erosion.) The rocks are made of sandstone.Ande here we are in the valley playing among all the goblins!
(We held her upside down through an arch. Her face makes me smile.) :) We stumbled across a geo cache!
And then we headed home. We had SUCH a fun time. It was wonderful to be together and have no school or work on our minds---just playing. Eliza was fantastic. We thought for sure she'd be unhappy but she was probably the happiest she's ever been which was amazing! We were so grateful to get away and be a family in nature!


*Aliese* said...

Fun trip! I haven't been to Moab in YEARS. Goblin Valley was totally one of my favorite places as a kid; so fun to play hide and seek with cousins. :)

Andrea J said...

Oh man I'm craving Southern Utah right now. I'm glad y'all got some vacation time, so important. Looks like a blast.

Julie said...

What a fun trip! You guys are such a cute family, your little Eliza is so sweet. I love that picture of her asleep in the pack. I agree, it is so funny--those activities that entertain them forever! Glad you got to go!

Matthew and Hillary said...

Looks gorgeous! I want to get down there one of these days. Glad you guys got some time "away from it all."

Meredith said...

Looks like fun! Eliza is adorable as always! Glad you were able to get in some needed family time.

Brooke Davis said...

It sure looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I can't wait to go camping at Moab, maybe next summer after we graduate.

The Judd Family said...

It looks like you had a blast! I haven't been to arches or goblin valley for a long time so it was great seeing all those pictures. Eliza is so adorable. What a beautiful girl you've got!

WX Ences said...

When did Eliza grow up??? Seriously, she's huge! The trip looks fun...and warm. Oh, hopefully summer will be here soon!!

Mandy Torgrimson said...

How fun! When are you making your next trip to visit us?

Dawn said...

Looks like a really fun trip! Thanks for sharing pictures :)

The Hamblin's said...

What a fun trip! I'm so glad Eliza was so great for you and that all of you could have such a fun time!! Thanks for all the fun pics, they are beautiful! Makes me miss Utah!!