We’ve had some fun adventures lately that deserve documentation.

First off – the rocks by our house:

There’s a trail by our house that we like to walk/scooter/roller blade/bike on. It takes us past a huge pile of rocks that the kids love to climb on. The rocks also break apart really easily, which means they do a lot of Minecraft pickaxe imaginary play. It’s adorable.

Dallas and I decided to plan a day down in Provo. We began by taking the kids to the Provo Library. You may or may not know that Dallas and I met in the Provo Library. We took the kids to the very spot where the magic started and reenacted our first conversation. It was the best.

The BYU Museum of Art had an Escher display. Escher’s art is so fun to look at; we thought our burgeoning artists would appreciate his drawings.

Madison appreciated the hard floor:

The other kids really enjoyed seeing the pictures.

Especially Brooke. I loved watching her study the pictures.

We can’t go to Provo without visiting Dallas’s beloved Provo mountains. We finished our day with a hike in Rock Canyon:

Our next adventure happened in between the Saturday sessions of general conference. The day before Dallas had come home from the store with six CamelBaks. My skeptical stare and raised eyebrow prompted him to assure me that we definitely needed these spiffy hydration systems because then the kids can carry their own water on hikes. “That would be really great,” he said. “You’ll love these,” he said. “Trust me,” he said.

Before now, when we went hiking Dallas would just carry all the water. Apparently one of us was tired of that arrangement and decided to do something about it. I guess I can’t blame him.

We broke in the CamelBaks with a little hike up by the Bountiful Temple. The hike was short enough and it was a cool enough day that the CamelBaks weren’t actually needed, but it gave me a good chance to prove to Dallas that the kids wouldn’t like hiking around with these contraptions.

And wouldn’t you know, the kids LOVED hiking around with these contraptions. I don’t think Dallas has ever seen a more beautiful sight than his four kids scampering around in nature with hydration packs strapped to their backs instantly elevating their appearance from casual hikers to serious, authentic-looking mountaineers.

Errrr….at least they looked authentic from the waist up. Madison never did quite manage to change out of her way-too-small pajama bottoms that day:

With our CamelBak maiden voyage out of the way, we were ready to take our water packs where they would really be needed – Goblin Valley. We woke up early and started out. Thirty minutes later we came to a screeching halt when we saw red flashing lights in our rearview mirror. Speeding. Curses. Do we look guilty?

Turns out they had just instituted a construction zone on I-15 and we were caught going too fast. Never mind that we weren’t anywhere near being the fastest on the road at any point of our four-hour journey. Eye roll. Who did that officer think he was? Didn’t he know who we were? We’re official hikers on our way to explore southern Utah, and we’ve got the CamelBaks to prove it!

Thankfully our officer had a heart, and we only got a warning. The day was saved! We made it down the rest of the way without incident.

We ate a quick picnic lunch and decided to begin our exploring by hiking to the Goblin’s Lair. We had never been to this portion of Goblin Valley. The hike was hot and longer than the kids wanted, but the Lair was fun once we got there.

You have to climb down into the Goblin’s Lair which is a big cave. Here we are making the descent:

This is what the inside looked like:

The Goblin’s Lair was fine to do once, but we were ready to get down to the main part of Goblin Valley. That’s our favorite.

Madison could not get over how smooth and soft the sand was. She would constantly fall behind and, without fail, when we turned back to see where she was, we would find this:

We found a cave where we huddled inside to tell ghost stories:

After we were done, we all sat on the curb and dumped the sand out of our shoes. Madison poured an entire sand castle out of her shoe.

Goblin Valley is magical. The kids never tire of climbing rocks and exploring…and I must admit – the CamelBaks were awesome to have. I thought the backpacks would bug the kids as they were climbing up and down everywhere, but the kids never complained about wearing them. It was so nice not to have to stop every three minutes for a drink break. Each kid was free to drink whenever he/she needed to without holding up the group. The kids also liked having a tiny backpack area to store snacks, chapstick, hair bands, etc. I am now a CamelBak convert. Those things are life-changing, and (am I really saying this?) if I could turn back time, I might encourage Dallas to buy them sooner.

Moral of this story: get yourselves some CamelBaks and get down to Goblin Valley. You won’t regret either decision.

1 comment

  1. Woooooaaaahhhwowowow. Now I know who to call if I ever find myself staring down an overnight backpacking trip through the back woods of Utah…wait a minute.

    I love your Goblin Valley tradition. Even more now that it involves spontaneous Camelbaks. Awesome pictures and fun adventures!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *