Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Break - Moab Day 3 - Rock Climbing

It was our last day.  We checked out of the campground and stashed the pop-up in a parking lot so we could explore "Wall Street."  There are dozens of rock climbs along these cliffs.

We decided to make a quick stop for a climb.  First Wes pretty much walked up the side of the cliff to hang the rope.

Cate reached the top of our climb...but look at the sheer cliffs above her.  Pretty dramatic!
 I-man was next.

Addie.  First with the shoes.
Then without the shoes.
Little sister says "I want to try that!"
Lastly...Mom.  Yep - they talked me into it.  It's been a long time since I put that harness on!  Wes bought it for me for my birthday before we were even married!
I guess it's a good thing for my kids to see that I can actually do other things besides take pictures!
Moab is a wonderland of outdoor activities!  We only touched the surface of all the things there are to do.  But we had a fantastic time!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Break - Moab Day 2 - Rapelling

I have a distant relative that owns some property outside of Moab and he had given us permission to rappel on some of the routes he has bolted.

Hang on tight!  Ha ha. This is a trick photo - the girls are actually laying flat on their stomachs.  I just rotated the photo.  It was Addie's idea.
We picked an easy route to start because it was Cate's first time.  Isaac rappelled first to check things out.  
Very interesting white sandstone formation that looks like...Sarah crouched in the fetal position.
Cate was a pro and showed no fear!  

Did I mention poor Sarah was sick the entire trip?  She was such a trooper!
No big deal for Addie.
Cate was up for round two!
Then we moved to a different cliff - just a bit taller.
I belayed from the bottom so taking pictures was tricky.  I was surprised when Cate was the first one to back over the edge!

I-man was really getting some air this time!
Next thing I knew...a second rope came tumbling to the bottom with a request for Isaac to belay.  Addie (with a backpack full of gear) and Wes rappelled at the same time on the same rope - counterbalancing each other.  Clever!

Turkey anyone?
We were all pretty exhausted after this day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Break - Moab Day 2 - Fisher Towers

The hike to Fisher Towers was another first for me!  This was a spectacular hike that isn't extremely strenuous.  Highly recommended!
This was our view from the parking lot.

I am starting to notice a pattern...Wes and the kids 20 feet in front of me.  I think this might be my view for the rest of my life - with the distance separating us getting longer and longer!
This kind of reminds me of the drip castles we used to make at the beach with Julie.

This place is other worldly!
We knew that this was a very popular place for extreme rock climbers and were lucky enough to spot some on our hike.  
The height of these cliffs just can't be captured in photos!
We kept track of the progression of the rock climbers as we continued on our hike.  We met a man who was scouting out the area for a commercial shoot.  He had some extra time and was photographing these climbers.  He told us the lead climber was a tiny blonde woman.  We didn't get to see it - but their final destination is the very tip top of that farthest Left tower.  Yikes!

We thought it was appropriate that we had goldfish and Swedish fish on our hike to Fisher Towers.
The film scout kindly offered to take our family picture.  You can barely see them but the rock climbers are on the cliffs behind us.
See my family hiking at the bottom of the cliffs?
 The little girls and I turned back early and enjoyed a nice leisurely hike back to the car.  Wes, Addie and Isaac hiked on further but ended up back at the car about the same time because they ran the whole way back! (Wes is reading Born to Run right now.)

We finally finished this hike and then ate lunch at Slickrock Cafe.  Then we headed to Dry Valley for an afternoon of rappelling...we'll save that for the next post.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Break - Moab Day 1

We took advantage of this Fall break to get some use out of our poorly used pop-up trailer (something that Weston frequently laments).  We headed to the wonderland of Moab.  We had a late start so we didn't arrive at the campground until after 10 pm but luckily the set-up went smoothly and the kids settled in for the night without a glitch.
The next morning we hiked to Delicate Arch.  Surprisingly I have no memory of ever having hiked to this spectacular arch before!
Within the first 100 yards we spotted these cool petroglyphs!

It might look like we are the only ones on the hike...
But we weren't.
"Cairn" is now a regular part of their vocabulary.
These two can't resist tossing the football at every turn.
Yay!  We made it!  We sat and waited until the people obstructing our view of the arch eventually followed the unwritten rule:  Don't stand for long periods of time under the Delicate Arch when dozens of people are waiting to take pictures of it!

This little guy was anxious to pick up the crumbs of my granola bar.
And then he kindly posed for a picture (see bottom Right corner)
I-man spent a few minutes with his sketchbook.
My boys. 
Our few minutes of fame under the arch.
Don't ask me why but the kids wanted to lick the arch.  Hmmm.
You can see the arch looming behind us in this picture Isaac took.
Trips with our family usually involve some type of jumping.

Our way back out was through this tiny arch.  There is something about the orange sandstone against the blue sky...stunning.
Looking back at the arch see if you can spy Wes and Addie hiding in a small cave...

Addie and Isaac doing "baby freezes" (a breakdancing move) on the cliff.
I just randomly caught this picture of Addie!  Hilarious!
After we left Arches, the kids spent a few minutes climbing the big sand dune right outside the entrance.
Back at camp we took a refreshing swim and then started a campfire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  The cool, crisp evening turned into a cold night and we were happy for the heater in the pop-up to keep us cozy while we slept.