Friday, April 7, 2017

A Pair of Canyons

We sat down to plan out the next couple months of camping and realized we don't have a free weekend until June. 

No camping until June--what a depressing thought. To make ourselves feel better we decreed all Fridays from henceforth be hiking days (except next Friday when we'll all visit the dentist). 

Our first hike was through Hidden Canyon. It was supposed to be 1.5 miles...but it was more like 2.3 (according to Robb's phone). 
To distract the kids from their tired feet, we started teaching them the different names of cactus and other plants along the trail. The desert really is a beautiful place and I love sharing it with them.
Mandatory snack break
Almost everything blooms in the desert if you catch it at the right time

Today we hiked Honeybee Canyon, a 2 mile hike in a wash/trail running past some petroglyphs. 
Alice had a rough start (Bah-boo was missed in the car, she didn't want to use the bathroom, and she didn't want to hike), but she warmed up as soon as we got going. 
 Alice and I trailing behind the boys
 While stopping at a 200 year old dam built by sheep farmers, Colby leaned over and said "Look at the beautiful world!"
 "Take a picture of me, Mom!"
 Both kids kept sneaking off the trail to do a little rock climbing. "Let's explore the world!" or "wohd" in Alice's case

Monday, March 6, 2017

Death Star Play Dough!!!


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Colby's first blog post

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tumacácori

December was cold (i.e. 40's/50's...we're wimps now) and packed with activities, so we took a break from hiking and camping. By January we needed another adventure. The weather report threatened 20 mph winds and a 60% chance of rain, but we decided to risk it anyway and drove our family to Tumacacori National Historical Park
Awesome picture brought to you by Robb
It's the site of an old Spanish compound with the remains of a mission, store house, cemetery, and an orchard. The sweet ladies at the front desk gave us Junior Rangers tour book with things to look for and questions to think about. Had the weather been 15 degrees warmer, I think Colby would've enjoyed it, but it was chilly and he really wanted to go home or at least the car...anywhere with indoor heating. We managed about 60% of the tour before Colby and his red nose had enough.
And somehow we convinced him to finish our trip with a short hike down to the river (running water in Arizona never ceases to amaze me). Everyone was happier. Maybe it was the sun finally coming out and warming us up. Maybe it was being out in nature. Maybe it was the promise of snacks on the way back.
It hailed a little bit just before we hit the Visitor's Center and then we were back in car (which we left wide open...thankfully nothing was taken).
As we were leaving:
Lakin: "Did you guys have fun?"
Alice: "Mama, do you know what pandas eat? Bamboo!"

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chiricahua National Monument

Robb immediately got to work making dinner in the dutch ovens which left me in charge of the tent. Thanks to two solid weeks of camping every other night, I'm pretty familiar with the whole set up process.  but Ashley came over to help and together we got it up. Then I put Claire down for nap, when I came out I found Colby, Alice, and Elliot running as fast as they could from "the troll" aka Aaron who was guarding his bridge.
Robb made us pulled chicken sandwiches with peach-blueberry cobbler for dessert. He's pretty amazing. The sun set really early, so even though we got everything finished on time we were eating in the dark. Alexandra and Chris entertained us with their "camp fire riddles" or logic puzzles you use yes or no questions to solve. Trent decided to add his own, "A man goes into the woods. Bang, bang, he's dead. What happened?" I'm still trying to decide if he made that one up on the spot or not.
The mountains right behind our campsite
Then started my best night of camping:
:: All three kids were in bed by 8:00 without much of a fight 
:: I won our round of Bohnaza  
:: Our neighbors and the campground in general were quiet...in fact, we were probably the loud ones until we went to bed around 9:15  (and I didn't hear a single note of mariachi music)
:: All three kids slept in until almost 6:00 
We bundled up our Arizona babies good
The next morning Robb split our logs and kindling to fit in our tiny camp stove so we could have a ranger-approved fire. We ate breakfast, broke camp, and were just driving off for our hike when the Wiscomb's car stopped shifting gears...so sadly they left to get that fixed.
The loop was 3 miles and we weren't sure the kids would make it (we even did some small practice hikes around our neighborhood to get them ready). We had to turn back after 1.2 miles because Elliot and Claire were getting tired, but Colby and Alice walked the entire way by themselves. Proud parent moment.
Alice was our little fearless mountain goat. Once we reached the Grottos she insisted on climbing through the rock formations
Colby wasn't sure he wanted to join her after he saw the giant boulder above, but he came after we promised it wasn't going anywhere. Alice keeps us adventurous and Colby keeps us safe.
"Wall Street"

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Trip Dynasty: Big Sur-ish

The plan was to drive down highway 1 and explore the parks around Big Sur, but after an hour in we learned all the parks were closed due to fire. So we snapped a quick picture and backtracked to the main highway. 

Lunch was at a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, somewhere in the San Joaquin Valley, that met our need for great tacos and got us caught up on the Olympics.
Our AirBNB was a condo at a Ranch House in Acton, California. The hostess was very welcoming and with some creative arranging we found room for everyone to sleep, but the best part was the pool. We scarfed down dinner and all took a swim before the kids went to bed. Then the adults snuck back outside to hot tub and mess around once the bedtime rituals were over. Aaron managed to shove Robb in the pool by telling him that dangling your feet in the pool water while sitting on the edge of the hot tube gave you the perfect mix of hot and cold. 
It was a great way to end our two week trip. We're already starting to plan our adventure for next year (because when you have friends like the Bloods, one epic vacation is not enough).