As part of my on-going quest to avoid sliding deeper into hermit status (and I'm serious about that--I can get in a rut where I realize I have literally not left my house--even for the mailbox--in three or more days--that is SCARY people--but that is just when I've been deep in the clutches of a mind-engrossing, time-sucking thing called college, on the internet), as I was saying, as part of that on-going attempt, I sat down with some of my extended family and planned a lot of trips this summer.
One of those trips was to Moab to see Arches National Park. I'd never been there before. I'd never been to any of Utah's national parks until my visit last year to Zion.
I went up a day early by myself with my four kids to get a campsite by myself (did I mention I was by myself?). I was worried if we showed up on Friday night, we wouldn't be able to find a campsite. Considering once I got to Moab, I drove around for 2 hours trying to find a campsite, that was probably a good hunch I had there.
June is a popular month for Moab. It's hot, but has not yet progressed to "rivulets of sweat if you dare to twitch your pinkie finger while sitting in the shade" hot.
Setting up camp was an adventure. By the time we found a campsite, it was a rush to beat the sun. It happened to be a windy day (when I saw the weather forecast, it said gusts up to 25 mph). I'm not sure what mph gusts I was battling, but tents are much like huge sails. After I eventually got it to stand upright, it was a fight--me against the tent, to keep it on the ground.
At one point, I'm digging my toes into red sand, trying to keep calm and I'm holding onto that tent as hard as I can, as I call for Xander and Max to grab the biggest rocks they can find to stuff into our tent so I can manage to stake it. I really feel a kinship with Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I had previously lacked (that link has nothing to do with staking; I just thought it was funny). I can now say I have staked something that was trying to get away into the blackest night in order to protect mankind.
I staked the tent and then I made quesadillas on the camp stove. In the almost near dark (by the time I made mine, there was no light left). As I started to make our dinner, I noticed some bicyclists on a little hill near camp. And they were making the coolest silhouettes.
So, of course, over the next few nights, we had to try it ourselves. Here's what we came up with! (We had a great rest of the trip--maybe sometime soon I will post the other photos I took of the park).
All my kids and my sister's kids:
My sister and her family:
David and I:
My sister and her husband:
My dad and mom:
David and I:
My dad and mom again:
And photo credit to my sister who took the ones that I was in (I took the rest).