Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Canyonlands: Needles

Molly had made reservations for a campsite in Canyonlands months ago for Memorial Day weekend. But as is the custom, we were thinking about skipping out when it comes to the week of. This time it wasn't just the weather, there was also a dread flu bug running through our families. I personally couldn't think of anything worse than having the flu while camping in the rain.
But in the end, we decided to go and we hit one spot of absolutely crazy weather just before Moab, and then it all looked fine. We were staying here, down in this little hollow of rock in the Needles area. I think it was the Squaw group campsite.
 The kids immediately discovered that they could scramble up the rocks next to the campsite and explore up above all of the adults who were busy setting up tents, cooking meals, or just being grateful that the kids weren't underfoot. We did have to howl to them once or twice to come down or get away from the edge, but no one fell off, and they had a grand time up there. 
 On Saturday we took a few short hikes. This one was around an old herding campsite.
 The kids from the first night of camping. Three families came on Friday and two more joined us on Saturday.
 These folk came despite being on the cusp of a move across the country. Very brave!
These kids have been friends for a long time, and it shows. They zip together like a zipper and it feels like there are half as many kids. Then they zip off and around. They do show up to meals, though!
There were plenty of flowers in the desert in springtime. 
My favorite.
 We stopped by the rangers' station and watched a movie and chatted up one of the rangers about skulls. After this, Will came down with the flu. He, poor thing, had to hang out in a hot tent being sick. Thankfully we had three tents for our family, and so he could hang out in peace. It was also helpful that the bathrooms were close by and they were really nice -- tiled floors and corian counters. No showers, but I am learning that's what the camping is all about.
  Then we went back to the campsite where we were there to receive our friends. Here Sebi, Kate, and Joss are up at the top of what the kids named Mount Stupid Turtle (it was originally called Mount Stupid, and then they decided it looked like a turtle).
Once they got their tents set up, we decided to climb up to see what the kids had been doing every time they took off. The views were spectacular and we sat up there and talked and made the fathers go chasing after the kids to make sure no one fell down a crevasse. No one did.
The scenery was breathtaking. You can see from the sky in these photos that it was sort of touch and go all day, but we managed to escape without rain on Saturday.

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