a. It always is.
b. Anna and I have had crazy weeks.
But we did it and Friday morning we were off. Originally we were planning on "dry" camping off Willow Springs Road without any kind of facility support but decided that pit toilets were preferable to trailer toilets (in theory) and the fact that the Archview campground no longer has water to fill the tanks we took our chances with Moab's prettiest busiest campground - Sandflats recreation area.
Lucky for us we got a great site.
Friday was all about setting up and letting the girls stretch their legs. Amelia is a pretty good car companion, but Daphne has the patience of a flea and she was aching to be "Ooow" [Out].
They were pretty happy to be out of the car and playing.
We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows that evening and hoped for the best for sleep. Daphne has a history of not sleeping anywhere well, especially camping. She did...not great but we got some sleep.
The next day was arches, we actually had TONS of things we wanted to do but we figured Arches NP would be the one we could spend some time at and see different things. Did you know that if you have a bladder infection that it REALLY hurts to hold it in? I do know. Poor Amelia told us before we left that she had some problems going but its not too uncommon for her and we didn't think much of it, until we are waiting 20 cars back to get into arches and the poor thing is balling her eyes out cause she has to go so bad. We found out when we got home that it is indeed a bladder infection and she is doing much better on antibiotics. After unwinding from the trauma of the car in the visitors center, we decide to try out a new hike for Anna and me called Sand Dune Arch. It is towards the end of the park road and really short.
It turned out to be a perfect choice.
Its basically a tiny, short trail between 2 fins that have birthed a deep, soft fine sand dune with nice, cool, shady parts to play in.
The girls had a very nice time and Amelia took some great pictures with her camera.
This is the sand.
After that we had a nice little lunch and we decided to try to visit a less populated part of the park that requires 4wd. Amelia and I drove this road (creatively name "4WD Road" by the park) when we did our big adventure last year but she was asleep when we passed Eye of the Whale arch and so we didn't stop to see it. It was a good choice.
It is a very short walk to the arch itself and a really neat little arch. We got to play in the pond and see all the wildlife that we had learned about in the visitors center...the pond life section was Daphne's favorite. We saw shrimp and tadpoles and those weird looking mini horseshoe crab deals and everything.
Here is the view from inside the eye of the whale to the other side.
Back in the car the girls were pretty much spent. They didn't sleep well and haven't had naps. Time to get back to camp. The original plan was to drive to Bull Canyon to see the bottom of Gemini Bridges or to check out Kens lake, but I think some down time is in order.
Amelia and Daphne took the down time to play with dolls, and take lots of pictures
Having a trailer with big beds and lots of room to move around sure is nice.
Then we all worked together to make some dutch oven pizza from scratch. One of the easiest and tastiest DO meals ever. Here are the girls making sure the toppings are safe to eat.
20 minutes on the coals yields a perfectly cooked pizza with a lovely brick over taste. BTW, the coleman dutch over liners are golden...buy them. You just pull out the liner and voila! The dishes are done.
What a day. Time to relax and watch the show. Hoping that Daphne AND Amelia get some sleep tonight.
They don't. Well, its better, but I spent the night with Amelia on her bed and Daphne spent the night with Anna on her bed. We were so tired though that getting up to deal with them isn't too bad because we can plop right back to sleep. Its not a good nights sleep, but its better.
The next morning is the sadness of packing up to go home. I think we are all ready for our own beds, but we are going to miss it here. The good news is that its only 3 short hours away.
On our way out we decide to drop the trailer off in a parking lot off 191 to explore Tusher Tunnel, a short 5 mile drive off the highway to a cleft in the rock that goes all the way through.
The cool temps (65 inside the tunnel, 90 out) and soft sand are just perfect to stoke the girls fire and we went through the tunnel at least 4 times.
After that I popped out the awning and we had a hot, grumpy lunch. To be fair it was a very tasty lunch, but these were some tired girls and Amelia was really not feeling great. Time to get home.
The ride home was pretty uneventful, we stopped in Price for a caffeine break for Daddy and and ice cream for the girls
And then got to the business of getting home to clean up and get back to life. Anna was worried that I didn't like the trip, probably because I looked to tired, but I did. I loved it and despite the problems I would do it again in a heartbeat. The faces of these girls as they find a lizard, or played in the sand, or just had fun jumping on the beds was more than enough motivation for me.