Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Arches National Park

Stephany had never been camping before and asked if we could go while she was here. We're always up for an excuse to camp, and we'd always wanted to go to Arches so we decided this would be the perfect time.

We packed up the van Thursday night and left Friday afternoon. We stayed at a KOA campground(I won't stay in remote camping areas; only really crowded ones because I'm afraid of bears) in Green River, Friday night. They had a swimming pool, which was too cold to swim in for very long, and a play set that my kids loved and spent a lot of time on. The kids had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner though I'm not a fan of either one, so the adults made foil chicken fajitas for dinner which were the best ever, and completely Scott's creation. He's got some amazing skills. We made s'mores, sang a couple songs, read scriptures and went to bed.

The girls slept in our eight man tent and the boys slept in a little two man tent. I brought the pack and play for Jane which worked wonderfully. I'm not a fantastic outdoor sleeper because I wake up from the slightest noise, which is why I sleep with a noisemaker. I did put batteries in my noisemaker and used it, but I still woke up twice when Elisabeth talked in her sleep, twice when Jane sat up and started sucking her fingers, and two other times just because I was afraid the girls may have gotten out of their sleeping bags, and they did, and so I got up to recover them. It wasn't too cold at night, but it did get down into the low 50's which is too cold for a baby with no blankets. One of the times I woke up I needed to use the bathroom. I hate using bathrooms during the night at campsites. I mean, KOA's are clean and such, but I just hate walking out in the dark by myself. As I walk, I always think of scenarios that could happen, you know, with some strange man cornering me, and what I would do: yell, kick, fight etc :). Thankfully, so far I haven't had to use my karate skills. :)

Elisabeth reading the scriptures out loud:

In the morning:

Jane and I got up around 6am, the others slept in until 630 or 7am. We ate some granola and milk, fruit and string cheese and then packed up camp. The KOA had a continental breakfast at 8am so we grabbed a few things and then took off to Arches. Arches is a hot desert. We wanted to go early enough in the summer(and in the day) that it wouldn't be too terribly hot, but it was still in the low 90's when we were there, and there's really not much shade at all. So the kids were done after one hike :). Stephany and I went on one other hike; we actually ran it. We thought we were just walking to a scenic point but then we noticed the trail kept going and going. We ran because we didn't want Scott and the kids to have to wait too long. Seeing the arches is pretty neat. God's creations are amazing. While we were hiking, this shirtless guy with nipple rings came up to me and asked, "Are they all yours?"(he really overemphasized the word, 'all') referring to our four children. "Yep," I answered. He shook his head and added, "You look so young. I saw you with the baby first, but then I saw all those others..." he trailed off. I smiled and said, "Thanks. I think." This was not the first time I'd had someone say something like this to me. In fact, whenever I'm out with all four, it seems to me that someone says something. Sometimes people will comment on how many children we have and then rolls their eyes or do/say something else negative, but sometimes they're friendly or will just laugh and say, 'I bet you've got your hands full.' And it's true. I do. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

After Arches we went down to Moab for lunch and started on our drive back home. The two oldest kids were entertained by an audio book I checked out from the library(thanks Maren for telling me about this! You're a miracle worker!). There was still some whining, but overall they did pretty good on the road trip.

When we got home, Annabelle didn't want to go to sleep(nothing new). So Stephany bargained with her, painted her nails and then she went to bed. Thanks for coming Stephany! We had fun spending time with you and we miss you already!


berrymom said...

I am glad to hear about your camping adventure. Were you just exhausted? I haven't been brave enough to camp in a tent with a baby yet. We also LOVE books on tape. We don't go on a car ride without one. Thanks again for having us. You are welcome in GJ anytime!!!

kelley said...

What a fun trip! I still can't believe I've never been to either of those parks. Someday. And I love that Annabelle is in a skirt. What a little lady.

The Horne's said...

Wow this is just so beautiful! I would love to visit Utah one day!! So gorgeous! Great weather, great landscape, and you are right, God's creation is SO beautiful!!
You look great Elisa, you are such an inspiration! I think you are the smallest you have ever been after having 4 babies!!! Your family is beautiful!
Love to you guys!

Elisa said...

Jen, you know, it sounds strange but I really wasn't too tired even though I woke up so many times. Maybe it's the green smoothies :). Remember that one I froze and took with me? I had it for breakfast that morning.

Kelley, Annabelle is in a skirt or dress many days of the week :). These one's are a skort so she's able to modestly do a lot of active stuff in them still :).

Heidi, you should visit Utah. If you do, you're more than welcome to stay here. It's only a 13-14 hour drive :)...we do it every year with our family. And thanks for the compliment! I was a little overweight in high school, which is when you knew me. Once I got married I started taking better care of myself and have been able to maintain a healthier size...besides when I'm actually pregnant. I always seem to gain around 50 lbs when pregnant. I wish I could stay in the normal 20-30 lb range.