Cayonlands and Arches
Canyonlands was the last National Park on our list to check off the "big 5" in Utah. Getting a camping site these days feels pretty impossible so we left early Friday morning on a quest to nab a first come first served site. This was the suburban's maiden voyage and let me tell you I am sold. Driving the camper to Zion in January with the mini van took two extra hours because of the added weight. I could barely even feel that thing behind us this time! I really drug my feet to give up my sliding doors but I don't regret it. We got to Horsetheif BLM campground at 11:30 am and set up shop. After a quick sandwich lunch we headed to Arches National Park to tackle the biggest hike of the weekend- Delicate Arch. Evan ordered the kids hydration backpacks for this family trip which did two things- got them PUMPED to go hiking with us and also required us to find a tree to pee behind every 10-20 minutes... literally. I am so proud of the kids for doing this hike- it is 3 miles round trip and even Vivian did it almost exclusively on her own- that family picture in front of the arch feels like a digital trophy.
Saturday we spent the day in Canyonlands- it felt very similar to Dead Horse State Park we visited last spring during the pandemic and the kids had the very best time. Evan flew his drone which always makes him giddy to get some crazy footage. We stayed in the Island In the Sky area the whole time and hit this visitors center first for the junior ranger books (obviously), then Schaffer overlook, followed by Mesa Arch hike which even Noelle did all by herself. Then we had a picnic lunch where the kids ran around the rocks for two hours with their walkie talkies and sticks pretending to be ninja turtles and Evan and I swapped naptimes on the firmest mattress of all time. Our finale was the White Rim Overlook hike. This entire day emphasized every reason we go camping- our kids don't fight and actually play together happily, there are no screen time negotiations, they are getting fresh air and sunshine and exercise and appreciating God's creations. Just all the things. We watched "Little Rascals" around our dinner table in the trailer because it was so windy outside our food kept blowing away- pretty fun to share your childhood faves with the next generation.
Sunday morning I woke up to some adorable Mother's Day cards and camping french toast- which is way better than regular french toast. It's so fun to read my kids perspective of me- Winston wrote: "My mom is 32 years old. She likes to cook. The best thing she cooks is chicken noodle soup. Her favorite food is apples. Her favorite thing to do to relax is read her scriptures. We like to snuggle together. She is really good at cooking. My mom takes care of my sisters while I'm at school. As you can see my mom is special because she is really nice."