Last year for Memorial Day, we took a road trip to the Black Hills to use some Best Western promotional free nights. Apparently this is becoming a tradition. Moab was actually on our short list of destinations for last year's trip, but it was rejected for lack of proximity to a full-service hospital, as I was 36 weeks pregnant. (I may not birth in hospitals, but that doesn't mean I don't want one nearby!!)
So this year's holiday weekend found us road-tripping to Utah. The 5.5 hour drive (Google time) took us 8 hours with the two wee ones. It was a really nice drive through Colorado, but it was hot once we got down into the desert. When we got to Moab, we had some shave ice and got in some pool time. The pool was way overheated, but the kids didn't seem to mind. Andrew started jumping in with his floaty without waiting for an adult - he's going to be swimming soon!
The next day after pancake breakfast at the Pancake Haus ("Andrew, would you like to go to the Pancake Haus for breakfast?" "No. Cereal Haus."), we headed out for Arches National Park with intent to hike. We drove all the way back to the Devils Garden area, hoping to beat some of the crowds and find a kid friendly hike to see some arches. Well, our big mistake was bringing hiking poles, which Andrew had never seen before. He just wanted to play with the poles. He was quite cranky about the suggestion that he should walk and also about riding on mama's back. So we sang a lot of songs to keep the tantruming at bay. Also we looked for lizards - and there were quite a few.
After we got back to the Jeep and had some snacks, we headed over to Sand Dune Arch, which was indicated on the map as "family friendly." Andrew did walk a little bit there, and soon wanted to stop to play in the fine, sticky sand. We retrieved Loader Truck from the car, and the kids played in the sand for a long time while we had lunch. It was really nice!
The next morning we packed up and went over to Canyonlands National Park, since the Island in the Sky entrance is "on the way" home.
We headed immediately for the Grand View Point Overlook, with views of the White Rim Trail below. Having learned some lessons from the previous day, we embarked on a short hike on the canyon rim (maybe 1.5-2 miles RT?) with happy kids the whole way! Andrew was again entertained by the hunt for lizards, and this trail (mostly over slickrock slabs) was marked with cairns, which he learned to identify and point out for us. Later, he was trying to build his own cairns. He also seemed more interested in looking at the scenery. Clara was a happy camper in her Deuter backpack behind daddy.
|Building his own cairn|
|He said he could see the mountain bikes below. Power of suggestion?|
We stopped for a picnic lunch near the Gooseberry Trailhead, which gave the kids the chance to explore without the danger of running off the rim of the canyon. Loader truck got some more exercise, and Andrew learned how to pee on ants - so exciting!
|The shadows are my bad - had the camera bayonet on crooked!|
|"Why yes, I would like to eat this granola bar. Got a problem with that?"|