Destination:Moab (continued...)

I wonder if after reading part one of our "Spring Break, Moab trip" you thought to yourself... "seriously?...this girl has lived in Utah all her life and is just now discovering Moab??"

Well, yes...I am.
My parents were right, I don't catch on too quickly.
However, being in Moab...with all my crew, I couldn't think of a better place to be.

We left the hotel early (noonish) and set out for Double O Arch.
Wade was dismayed to find out his DS didn't have wi-fi in the middle of a desert. 

River is proudly pointing to her knee, the first casualty of the day.
Who dresses their children in shirts to go hiking?

Even as we walked down the trail, we couldn't help but draw some strange looks from the other tourists. Some people thought we were a school group.
As this couple approached us, the man said "oh, I love a parade!"

I finally insisted that Wade holster his electronic device until we got back to the car and I tried to show ornery baby Canyon that hiking and sand can be loads of fun.

He was loving every minute of it.
At  least the girls were momentarily amused.
For one tiny second no one was reaching into my pockets for fruit snacks or gum...
asking me to carry them, or arguing over who gets the goggles when they get back to the pool.
I can't figure it out...
somehow fine, cool sand
always possesses some sort of mystical Valium-like qualities over my kids.

Lauren was still trying to prove to Wade that she, at one point...indeed had wi-fi on her iPod.

Dean and Brett went on a Walk-About...cause that's what men do.
And then, because I am truly the nerdy mom that I am...
I pulled out the leftover Christmas candy. 

Confession: we didn't make it to Double O Arch. We turned back after the Pine Tree Arch.
The look of dread we were getting from people on their way down the trail and the buzzards circling overhead wasn't too encouraging.

We tried to create a little fake excitement,
in order to ease our conscious about wimping out on the hike.

 "Oh no Wade!

Brett is falling to his death...

save him!"

But honestly, the kids were never as excited as they were at the sight of a little three inch lizard.
So we left with our heads hanging down...but quickly redeemed the whole day by finding my favorite spot in the whole world (yes, i live a sheltered life.)
A few years ago...on our first trip to Moab, we happened upon a majestic arch...but I had no idea what it was called or how we found it. And then coincidentally again years later we stopped along the road to eat lunch and stopped at the very spot we discovered all those years ago.

I think the Arch is called Skyline Arch...but of course, is now re-named Roberts Arch.

The boys marking their territory...again.

This arrow points to the place where within the hour my precious children would hiking up to and wandering around on. Hard to imagine such carelessness huh.

Before the kids got any crazy ideas, I told them that the Arch was impossible to climb up on. Brett smirked and promised me that he would find a way to climb it. I wish he had that kind of steely determination when it comes to making his bed in the morning.

The enormous boulders and passageways served as hide and seek for the kids and I was surprised that no one was at the Arch. We we had the whole place to ourselves.
(except for the buzzards overhead.)

I suggested that Dean wear his BYU shirt and hat so people knew where we were from,
 in case our large, loud family would be mistaken for some wealthy and famous European tourist group. 
I'm sure people couldn't tell we were from Utah County.

As a teenager, Lauren isn't nearly as spry and energetic as she was when she was little and we hiked the same place seven years ago.
Here is Lauren seven years ago...still wide-eyed, still a baby, still afraid of boys.
We hiked down the trail a bit and then Dean boosted the kids up on this rock bowl and let them run around. The kids called for Dean and I to join them...
They claimed to have discovered a new Oasis, the Fountain of Youth, The Garden of Eden.

And it was...

So I left the babies alone on the ground for the coyotes to mother.

Wade was in his zone. He found his zen. Actually...he was truly stuck and had to be pried out.

But they just couldn't leave well enough alone.
Dean boosted the three older kids up a dangerous crevice.
And then pulled himself up as well and they all disappeared for what seemed like an hour. 
And just when I started to contemplate my life as a widow...
I heard their voices echoing across the canyon leading me to their location.
                                                  I could hear them, but I couldn't see them.
 I backed up around a small mountain, and sure enough...there they were! 
                             Brett was so proud that he proved me wrong.
                                                    He shouted from the edge of the cliff...
                                                  What a humble little gentleman I am raising.
Brett still full of himself...pointed out the Superman carving in the rock.
(he didn't carve it by the way)
I indulged him.  "Yes, are Superman."

Dean found the very slot that we took a pictures in several years ago...
back when we just had four mild-mannered little kids. 

Now Dean and I are out-numbered, and the kids are older, wiser and meaner.

So when we suggested one more cool spot to hike,
the meaner, tougher ones vetoed our plan and sent us back to the hotel to swim.
Dean was scared and tried in desperation to grab my foot to rescue him.
The kids were like wild, caged monkeys.
So while the kids swam, I packed...and then while I got ready...the kids loaded the car...
And then while the kids played ball...I unloaded and re-loaded the car.
See that blue Rubbermaid tote and all those suitcases?
All of them plum full of dirty, stinky, sandy clothes... not even kidding you my friend.
After we checked out, we found ourselves
wandering around the cute local shops along Main.
We mostly just window shopped, cause every shop owner has nightmares of our crazy seven rummaging around their store looking for souvenirs.

One cute gray-haired store owner took a liking to the kids, specifically Brett (she practically proposed) and told us of a cool little-known park in the middle of town.

It was very cool, I am a sucker for unique parks. I told Brett if he decided to marry Beth, the store owner...we could have his reception at the park.

One last stop before we left town was to see some more petroglyphs on Scenic Byway 279.

                              The scenery was unmatched.
The kids crawled up cliffs and ran down rock ledges.

Sometimes I worry that I am too permissive...
                                                      I guess I could be a little more protective and concerned. 
I mean...I let my daughter (who notoriously injures herself by running into things) carry my baby down to the water's edge while Dean and I watch from the road 20 feet away...
                   meh,what could go wrong?

                               I was having a hard time leaving beautiful Moab.
                            I hated the thoughts of  returning to reality.
However, as I watched the baby cover the last clean item of clothing with red dirt...
I took it as my sign to leave.

And as we drove out of town... almost like a wave goodbye...
one of the kids pointed out a cloud off in the distance shaped like an Arch.
See, Moab is so cool that even the clouds are works of art.

During the drive home, Dean and I made sure to guilt trip the kids on how they better appreciate us...and how they should count their blessings that they had such a fun Spring Break.

Meanwhile I found out that my friend Ali took her kids to Germany and Paris on their Spring Break...

 I know!...Right?

shhh...please don't tell our kids.
We don't want to ruin the good thing we got going.


Roberts said…
Looks like a fun trip. We have gone down twice to Moab in a tent and both times it was horrible. The hotel looks like a better idea.
maddie said…
Hil- I would dare say your kids had as much fun in Moab as we did in Germany - just different scenery!! I'm all for a girls trip next time to Europe. I still want to see Austria, Switzerland, really everywhere! Maybe in 15 years when our littles are bigger!
Ali said…
that was me - Ali - not Maddie - but Maddie did have fun talking to you at the school dance! I laughed when she said you asked her who she had her eye on - and you agreed that the pickings were slim.
Platt Lucky 7 said… now I know what it would be like if I took MY bunch down to MOAB. It would be so similar almost scary even down to the cougar hat/clothes on the hubby :)
Anne said…
Your spring break was WAY better than ours....we spend our spring break calving in the snow!!!! You have such a beautiful family!

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