Only one of the greatest trips ever!
See the famous Arches of Utah before we move away, perhaps never to return? Check.
Go on that serious camping trip we've been meaning to do for the past 3 years? Check.
Do all of these with a 13.5 month old and an almost 6-month old, and not only survive, but have a great time? Check. It can be done, people.
I came home with 371 usable photos....so I won't subject this audience to the full recap. But here are some highlights.
By a happy accident, when I went to book our campsite, the areas at the park were full. Instead, I found one in a remote part of the Manti-LaSal National Forest, called Warner Lake. It was a bit of a harrowing, 40 minute drive from the park to get there.
We could have stayed there for the whole trip and been perfectly content. But there was so much more to explore, just down the mountain.
We had planned to spend time in Arches National Park, the Moab area, and Canyonlands National Park. We even thought about driving home by way of Captial Reef and some other Southern Utah attractions.
But we were enchanted by the arches...
and we spent 2 days exploring every inch of this park instead.
Alongside the fantastic scenery, we enjoyed some quality family time (and some quality Stricklan time) - a much needed boost before we set into full-blown moving mode.
Just to keep it real, camping with babies is doable, but it isn't the same as camping with adults. There were lots of extra layers, less sleep than usual (even for camping), and lots and lots of stops along the road for feeding, diaper changes, and I've-been-in-my-car-seat-for-many-hours-and-am-passed-human-endurance meltdowns.
Not all of the trip was one big ball of happiness:
But the good outweighed the bad - by far. The work we put in (which was substantial, I'm not trying to sugar-coat here) netted a beautiful family memory. We're already planning to meet up for a joint vacation somewhere in California next year. Are we a little crazy? Maybe. Do we have lots of fun? Always.
I guess my point is, that if you want to have moments like this:
You have to be willing to get out there, take some risks, and ride whatever comes. For us, it's always been a good choice.
Thanks Jesse and Catherine, for being just crazy enough to come on this adventure with us. We can't wait until the next one!