Monday, October 18, 2010

Paris? London? Rome? No...Moab!

What a perfect fall break we spent camping in Moab, UT. I wish I could describe the absolute joy and relaxation I feel when I am camping with my family. It's like every single moment is a wonder to me. I love the dirt, the fire, the quiet, the nature, the simpleness of it all. I think I would rather be camping with my boys than anywhere else on earth. I truly have become a nature lover (but not quite a tree hugger.)
Anyway, here we are at the entrance to the park.

Our first hike was called "Park Avenue." It takes you through a "road" of rock formations that feel like buildings on all sides of you. This is near the end and the formation is called "The Three Gossips."

Later that evening we explored "Devil's Garden." Here there are several hikes that take you to different arches. The one below is called "Landscape Arch" and is the longest known arch in the world. It is longer than a football field. A few years back a big chunk of it fell off of it in the middle. Goes to show you that these things aren't here for forever, so you better see them while you can.

On that same hike we found "Navajo Arch" along with a few others. By the time we were done hiking around, it was getting dark.
The nights and morning were pretty cold, so we all got bundled up the best we could. We actually all slept really cozy warm with our sleeping bags and the 100 blankets I brought.

The weather was absolutely perfect the entire time. High 70's in the day and 40's at night. Cold enough that the fire felt wonderful to sit around at night and cool enough during the day that we weren't sweating to death on the hikes. We camped on BLM land which meant there was no running water or toilets or anything like that. I know it sounds weird, but I like that even better than staying at an actual campground. It feels like you are all by yourself. The kids can run around and yell as much as they want (until I yell at them to knock it off.) It's just part of the freedom of camping.

Every park we go to, our boys have to be Jr. Rangers. The one in Moab is actually pretty easy and my kids were able to earn it in a day. They loved their badges and wore them for the rest of the trip.
Of all the hikes that must be done in Arches, the one to "Delicate Arch" is a must! The hike is up some steep slickrock but it is totally worth it. To see the famous arch is an amazing experience. It is breathtaking!

We all gave it a thumbs up!

These are my "artistic" photos of the arch.

Balancing rock is also a must see (but you can view it right off the road) We walked around it though and showed off our balancing skills. One day this rock is going to go tumbling right off too, and no one knows when it will happen.

On our way out of Moab, we stopped at this little trail the rangers had told us about that had real, live dinosaur bones still in the rock. It was pretty cool to see the real thing right in front of us. Even the boys were impressed!

Another short trail led us to dinosaur foot prints. They really were here!
I really do wish I could describe the actual feelings I felt while we were here. It is hard to put into words the appreciation I have for this beautiful, peaceful place where I can spend time with my favorite people on the planet. The only way I can think of is to say it is "pure JOY!"