Apr 6, 2019

Spring Break #2

This year the kids' Spring Break was 2 weeks after mine. No worries though, I was able to take 2 spring breaks so I could enjoy it with all the kids. Here we all are in the hallway of the hotel walking 4 abreast cuz that's how we do it.  

We had this trip planned for a long time. Bennett was interested in checking out some colleges in Utah. And since it's one of our favorite places to go, we thought we'd leave early and take to kids to one of our favorite spots...Moab.

The day we left, it was snowing. We drove though a lot of fog and snow through the mountain passes. It still looked very much like winter that high in elevation.

Thankfully, by time we hit Moab the sun was out and snow was an after-thought. Although, it was still quite cold and windy.

We were hoping to take the kids through the Fiery Furnace at Arches National Park - the place where we had our most epic hike to date this past September. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. You have to get a permit in order to hike there and they had no permits left. Not to fear though, we found a hike that was equal in awe and wonder...The Devil's Garden.

The Devil's Garden has you climb rock outcroppings called "fins". Here are Chuck and Chloe on the first fin we came to. 

It doesn't look too scary from this picture. But I was holding on for dear life. Remember our motto: "It's not an adventure unless Mom's scared." This was an incredible adventure.

From this perspective, you can see why I was so nervous. We were out there on the end of that fin with massive drop offs on either side. It was a huge adrenaline rush - if an adrenaline rush means you feel like you're about to throw up the whole time. 

Do you see all those rocks behind Chloe and Bennett, those are fins as well. They are on the edge of a fin we just finished walking down. I can't even describe the fear. The wind was blowing so hard, I almost lost my hat. 

I had to walk the ledge holding on to Chuck's hand with a death grip. It's hard to tell the perspective in this picture as well...suffice it to say it was steep, high, narrow, with a long way to fall off either side. 

I asked Bennett to hold on to Chloe as they scaled the fin in front of us. He held her by her backpack because it was so windy, I thought she might blow away.

This is opposite direction of the fin we were on. Did I mention how cold it was? It was in the high 30s with a wicked 12-15 mph wind blowing. This is not something you can tell from the pictures, everything looks so serene and sunny.

After making it through some difficult (understatement) terrain with our lives still intact, we came across this beautiful vista. Some nice hikers took our family picture.

We finally made it to the Double O Arch, although you can only see the one arch the kids are sitting in. There is another one above them. Come to find out - after the fact - they weren't exactly allowed to be sitting in the actual arch. Ooops. My bad.

After traversing the 1.2 miles of difficult rock fin trail to get to this point of interest, we opted for the "primitive" trail that circled back around. Mind you, there are no maps or other signage anywhere along this trail that is about a 4 mile round trip. We read at the beginning that our trek could take anywhere from 3-5 hours. We did it in exactly 3 hours, probably the longest hike we've ever done as a family.

Which meant some people were getting tired. Thus the need for a pit stop for Bennett to replenish his dwindling food supply and Chloe to take a nap.

These runes were our only guides letting us know we were going the right direction while on the "primitive" trail.

This was the only place Chloe got afraid. She made it through all the places I was scared with no problem. But it was here, where we had to slide down a bit of a steep ledge where she needed Dad to rescue her.

After eating our picnic lunch huddled in the warmth of the car (because we were chilled to the bone), we decided to head over to Dead Horse Point. It overlooks Canyonland National Park. My people are all perched on the edge of a cliff face looking at The Island in the Sky.

Here we're just chillin. Our feet were killing us from our previous hike. This is all we had energy for.

Proof that I too, stand on the edge of cliffs with people I love. 

This picture just makes me happy.

We stayed at the most epic hotel! This will now be our standard for all hotels in the future. 

Because Bennett is Bennett, he brings his basketball everywhere, even on vacation. You should have seen the look of pure bliss when we pull up to this hotel to see that they have a hoop in the parking lot! Life just does not get any better than this. After a 6 hour drive, he was immediately ready to shoot some hoops.

We finished our day by grabbing dinner at the best food truck in Moab. 

We were in quesadilla heaven. We took our quesadillas back to eat in the beautiful lounge of the hotel we love so much.

As a surprise bonus, Chloe's friend, Sydney from Minnesota also just happened to be spending her spring break in Moab. Her and her mom stopped by the hotel to visit for a while. What a small world!

The next day we woke up to rain and fog. But it didn't deter us because we were scheduled to drive 4 hours down to Cedar City. As soon as we got there we picked up some snacks and went immediately to the theater to watch The Lego 2 Movie.

The following morning Bennett had a private tour of SUU. Our tour guide was so kind and gave us a very detailed tour of the campus. However, Bennett wasn't feeling it, even though they had a lot of great things to offer. 

From there it was immediately back in the car again to drive the 5 hours to Grand Junction, CO - our last stopping point before heading home.

Unbeknownst to us, Grand Junction is home of this amazing national treasure called The Colorado National Monument National Park. Look at that! It was stunning. We ended up following the road at the top of the canyon that wound around and around and around for over an hour. We stopped at every single lookout to admire its grandeur and beauty.

Here was one such lookout.

Here was another. I think Chloe had had it with beautiful vistas by this point.

But Chuck and I were soaking it in!

As a final treat on our way out of the park, we watched a family of mountain goats traverse the steep inclines of the canyon.

And there you have it folks. We made it home by Tuesday afternoon and were able to enjoy the rest of our spring break in "staycation" style in the comfort of our own beds. 



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