Saturday, July 9, 2016

Camping in Sedona/Slide Rock

It might seem a little overboard to go camping two weekends before the longest road trip of our lives (or at least mine. Growing up travelling was all about the destination, not the journey), but we needed this trip as a trial run. Is it possible to survive in a tent with three children ages four and younger and still have fun? The answer is yes.

Colby spiked a fever the day before (102.7) and we almost stayed home. If it was just me, I would have stayed.  But Robb insisted on packing everything up the night before, just in case, and that plus Colby bouncing up and down in excitement meant we went despite a low grade fever.

Sometimes Robb is right. Colby was fine. 

We set up camp in a primitive camping area (meaning Alice learned what a blessing indoor plumbing is...actually she was pretty proud of herself, "I pooped in the woods, Daddy! Not in the tent. And that's where it lives now"). 
And then the Bloods and Hays piled into our minivan and traveled to Oak Creek. It's one of the few streams in Arizona with a year round water flow and runs through a gorgeous red rock canyon.
We ran into a stormtrooper on our way down. Colby's, Day. Made.
The water was cold (another anomaly in Arizona) and gently pushed and prodded you down the "slides." I only made it down twice (the only downside of being Claire's designated snuggler), but the views made up for that. 
Colby always has the best expressions. It looks like Robb's trying to strangle him.
Robb and Aaron went cliff jumping, while Ashley and I stayed with the kids and watched them get really dirty.
Elliot and Alice are notorious for finding the dirtiest spot and then parking there and having a great time together.
Dominos Pizza for dinner and the kids were in bed, but not necessarily asleep by 8:00 (Alice at least stayed up until 9:40 before she went down). Our initially quiet campground filled up, but at least the groups of hyena-cackling drunks, mariachi enthusiasts, and the ATV road warriors were a good distance away,
Ashley won a round of Citadels, we did a little stargazing, and then everyone went to bed. All things considered, it wasn't a bad night. All three kids woke up on separate occasions and I couldn't find Claire for awhile (our tent was on an incline and she'd slid over three feet from her blankets), but they staggered things so we had a couple three hour blocks of sleep.
At 4:40 everyone woke up and by 5:00 there were three extra people crowding into our bed. Laying on my pillow I could see the four people I love most in the world all snuggled up. I really wanted my camera, but decided to savor the moment instead: Claire beaming up at me, Colby and Alice on either side laughing at her, and Robb trying really hard to get back to sleep.
We gave up on sleep at 6:00, made some delicious blueberry pancakes, and packed up camp. 
Alice spent most of her time collecting these green "beads" we found all around the campsite
On our way home we stopped at Montezuma Castle National Monument and got a stamp for our passport book. The ruins were pretty amazing: a four story fortress built into the cliff side. The park ranger gave Colby and Alice a tic-tac-toe scavenger hunt to earn their Junior Ranger badges. Colby wanted to find every single item and was pretty upset when we couldn't find a squirrel. Fortunately, he saw something which may or may not have been the long sought rodent, and if it was good enough for him it was good enough for us.

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