In October, we went on a Fall Break trip with some friends in our ward. The Grubers, the Millers, the Perkins and us all went camping in Green River, UT, and spent a couple of days wandering around Goblin Valley. It was a lot of fun, and I sincerely hope it is not the last time we go on this kind of trip with them. As we drove down, we were caught in a huge down pour and had to set up our tent in the rain.
We were the first ones to the site, so we set everything up, and then hunkered down for naps and quiet reading time in the tent while we waited for the other families to get there. The Perkins were there a couple of hours later, so we helped them set up, and got dinner cooking so that it would be hot and ready when the Millers and the Grubers showed up. I also wanted to get a good fire going so I could warm up. We had Cafe Rio salads for dinner, and awesome s'mores for dessert. Our kids ran around so much with all the other kids that they went to bed really well. We brought Luke's pack 'n play, and he went down and slept through the whole night. This meant that Ross and I got to stay up late and talk by the fire with our friends. It was wonderful. We have such wonderful friends, and I am so grateful for them all.
In the morning, we had a lovely breakfast of pancakes, bacon (made by yours truly-- I make amazing bacon!), eggs, and hot chocolate. When everyone had their fill, we cleaned up and headed down to Goblin Valley to play in the goblins. We packed along snacks and drinks to munch on through out the day so we wouldn't have to stop for lunch at any point. We LOVED the goblins. I could have spent a lot more time there, but we turned back when there were some potty emergencies. The Grubers and the Millers both had dogs with them, and if possible, I think that made the experience even better. Rosscoe Gruber, the hound, and Lincoln Miller, the English bull dog both ran around like crazy and loved every minute of it, and Paisley Miller, the Shitzhu puppy spent most of the day in a home made sling on Katie Miller.
After everyone visited the facilities, Jake Perkins led us on a hike to a really cool cave called The Cave of the Basilisk. I was on Luke duty on the way there, and the hike up the hill and down into the cave got pretty intense. I was pretty proud of myself for making it. The kids were all awesome. Their little legs got tired towards the end, but the only whining I ever heard from any of them was when Lizzie Perkins fell and got some thorns in her hand which made some completely legitimate reasons for her to be sad for a bit. Some Hello Kitty fruit snacks from our pack calmed her down, and she was pack to her sweet self.
Back at camp, we had a lovely Mexican haystack dinner made by Shellece Gruber, and relaxed. Debbie Perkins made some amazing pineapple upside down cake and hand crank ice cream. We were all pretty tired, but the whole day was fabulous. I got lots of teasing for taking a shower and shaving my legs. I have a problem. The kids went to sleep even faster that night than they had the night before. We had another lovely evening talking with the other adults, and it was really amazing. I learned so much about them all, and got to snuggle Katie Miller's cute puppy.
The next day we had another great breakfast and spent the morning at camp throwing a frisbie and enjoying each others company while we waited for Sean and Aseanna Gruber to come back from their run. Aseanna was training for a cross country meet at school, and nobody minded having some time to play around while they got in their needed miles.
Later, the Millers headed home, and the Grubers, Perkins and us headed to Little Crazy Horse Canyon for a really fun hike through some narrows. Because of the rain the day we came in, we had to stop about half way through the loop because the trail was flooded. If we hadn't had little kids, it probably would have made for a fun adventure, but it worked out fine. We really loved this part of the trip!
When we sat down at the end of the path to rest, one of the ovarian cysts I had been feeling burst, so that was fun. Suffice it to say, I had Ross take Luke for the hike back to the cars. The Perkins headed home after this, and we went back and forth on whether to follow them, or stay another night at the camp site with the Grubers. We didn't fully decide what to do until we were filling up and grabbed some Subway for dinner. Ross chose to go home, so we had a fun drive home.
I know I said this before, but this was an excellent trip. We all had so much fun. That will not be the last time we go to Goblin Valley or do something like this with those families. It was the first time we had planned a trip like that with people outside of our family. I am so grateful we stepped out of our comfort zones and made all of those amazing memories with some people we truly value. The kids kept saying over and over that it was the best vacation they had ever been on. Now, they say this about every trip we go on, but it is still music to my ears.
Here are some pictures for those who made it through all of that. :) They are not in order as I took them from a bunch of different cameras and other such devices.
Playing in the goblins. I told the kids that they were in charge of their sweaters and would not be carrying them. I love Sara's creative solution to that declaration.
Emma and Lizzy racing through the mushrooms.
Katie with her cute sling for Paisley.
Luke really did have fun even if he looks like Grumpy Cat . . .
The Cave of the Basilisk
I was so glad to finally be down there. It was intense with that pack on. I was so worried that if I fell, it would just be me getting injured. We made it!
See how steep that got? It was worth it, though. Great idea, Jake!
This was the Little Crazy Horse Canyon
I am entertaining Luke, NOT flipping off Ross, I promise...
This is where we were when that stupid cycst burst. OUCH! It was still fun, though.
I know there are more pictures out there, so maybe I will add more when I find them or get them sent to me.
*These are from Shellece Gruber's camera*
Ross is up there with Luke in the pack. Our whole family ended up joining him, but we didn't get any pictures. Sean Gruber is in the hat in the middle, and pretty Aseanna Gruber is to the right.
This was the path up to the cave. We were not warned about the rock climbing...
The trek into the cave.
Just channeling their inner Atlas. :)
The Grubers, including Rosscoe. We love this family.
I included these just because you can see some of our troops there in the back.
I don't know how I went on a trip like this without getting a good picture with Debbie Perkins as she is one of my dearest friends. Here is her back side and the profile of her husband Jake.