Diamond Fork

Whether we chose the mountains or they chose us is still undecided but either way we piled into the car and drove, no specific destination in mind. It had been a long while since we had done this. Exploring new and interesting places and checking them off of our “must see” list one by one. A weekly occurrence turned monthly then not at all. Despite our promise to not allow meaningless adult distractions and stressors to get in the way of our memory making!! Lets be real, life happens. No point in beating ourselves up about it. We move forward and pick up where we left off.

Not sure what made this particular day any different. Maybe a bit of cabin fever. Maybe the allure of a cloudy grey sky that promised great photo lighting ūüôā Maybe a little of both. Whatever the motivation, we packed our camera, snacks, some extra jackets and hit the road. A 30 minute drive south brought us through Spanish Fork Canyon. Never one to take the same route twice, my husband chose Diamond Fork Canyon as the side road to explore. We parked and let the kids run around a beautiful campground (which we will be returning to in warmer months). They climbed, jumped in puddles, attempted to restore a birds nest and collected rocks. We even set up the tripod for a family picture. Our oldest, having recently shown an interest and an eye for photography, snapped some photos of my husband and I which I am completely in love with. ¬†Im hoping this is an interest he continues to foster.

On the way home, before exiting the canyon, the smell of sulfur filled our car. The kids complained about it until we explained to them where it was coming from. We had come across the most beautiful, crystal blue water and realized that the water was flowing from a natural hot springs just a few feet ahead. Add this to our list of must see places.

  

Day Tripping: Bryce Canyon

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This has been a pretty harsh winter with very little activity. I wish I could say that no mater the weather we still get out and adventure but that really isn’t the case. My husband and I used to pride ourselves on how we could just get up and go. No destination. Just a car full of camping gear and a desire to explore. I feel like with each child the number of spontaneous road trips has lessened but I don’t think it needs to stay that way. After sitting indoors for days this winter, the moment that snow let up I was ready to hit the road. My husband was all for it of course. We chose Bryce Canyon as our destination. Its only 3.5 hours from our house and it really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The kids had so much fun looking out at these amazing structures and also learning about the National Park in the booklet we received on our way in. The only down side to visiting places in the winter is that a lot of the roads are closed. I cannot wait to go back in the spring when more roads are open and we can camp and stay for a longer period of time. But this definitely put our minds back in that place and time when a day trip or over night camp trip was no big deal and happened almost every weekend! Living in Utah means that we are surrounded by beauty and now that our youngest is a bit older I think this summer is going to be filled with adventure. Kids shouldn’t mean less trips. In fact it should be the opposite. I want them to see the world!!

The Camping Blog

It was my husbands birthday this week and as always, a camping trip is number one on his list of things to do. Its a really good thing I enjoy camping! I like it even more since moving to utah. It is just so beautiful here.

Camping with my husband usually goes as follows: He picks a general area and then we just drive. No exact destination planned. We drive until we find something that looks appealing to us. Years ago, this was a totally different experience. We used to be pretty legit campers in that we would just pull off any random dirt road and camp without the “luxuries” of a designated campground. No bathrooms. No tables. No cement fire pits or grills. Just us and nature. My oldest son got to experience this which has turned him into a pretty bad A camper!

Now that we have 3 kids, one that is only 2.5 months old, I was not as excited to rough it! So when we stumbled upon Lodgepole Campground on our drive through Uinta National forest, I was, shall we say, a very happy camper! The second we entered I could tell that this place was well kept and clean. The cleanest campground I have ever seen. It was gorgeous. Each site had a paved area with a fire pit, a grill, a table and a paved parking space. Many campgrounds I have been to cram each site on top of the other so you feel like you have zero privacy. This place was spaced out with each site having plenty of room and there were restrooms¬†every few sites so you didn’t have to walk a mile to go¬†the bathroom (these bathrooms also had working toilets!! REAL TOILETS!! AND A SINK! major bonus!!). The bathrooms were just as clean as everything else. Not to mention that your surroundings are just absolutely breathtaking.

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I had some reservations about camping with our newborn but I was prepared and packed everything that I thought I could possibly need (we were only staying one night). I also had to pack for my toddler. My 12 year old thankfully now packs for himself. Here are my lists for the babes:

Newborn camping needs

  • More diapers than I would ever use
  • More wipes than I would ever use
  • A million blankets (lightweight and heavy) really just 2 of each
  • Multiple outfits (long and short sleeved onesie, pants, jackets, one piece pajamas, socks)
  • boppy
  • pacifiers
  • bottles
  • 2 hats. one for nighttime and one sun hat
  • burp cloths

Toddler needs

  • Diapers
  • a few clothing options (t shirt, long sleeves, fleece pants, shorts, bathing suit in case we camp near water,warm pajamas, hats, multiple pairs of socks, sneakers and sandals, jacket)
  • pillow from home
  • favorite blanket
  • pacifiers
  • cups

Other things I always bring

  • benedryl!! (my oldest once fell into a bush within 5 minutes of us getting to camp and immediately started itching and his skin bubbled., I now always bring this with us)
  • first aid kit
  • plenty of water
  • towels

Once we saw the place we selected our site and immediately set up camp. I placed blankets out on the table to serve as my changing table and also set up a little sitting area in my trunk in case i wanted to bring the baby in from the open air.

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My husband set up our tent and the older boys helped him collect wood for the fire

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When the set up was done, we took a walk to check out the rest of the campground and some of the hiking trails.

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Once the sun went down we settled in, ate dinner, made s’mores and sat around the fire until it was time to head into our tent, snuggle into our sleeping bags and go to sleep.

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It got pretty cold in the middle of the night. Lucky for me, my husband knows what he is doing when it comes to purchasing camping gear and bought each of us a mummy sleeping bag. They are so warm and you can actually tighten them all the way around your head if you need to.  They are the most amazing sleeping bags on earth! I slept with the baby snuggled next to me in mine. http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/store/details/Suisse+Sport-summit-0-5-degree-mummy-bag/0720131131279/_/A-4509881?#.V1nrcrRH2Rs

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The next day, before heading home, we traveled about 5 miles up the road to Strawberry Lake! There is also a little river that runs through this town. So worth the extra few minutes in the car. I definitely want to come back and check out the area more. There was the cutest little lodge with a restaurant and a mercantile store. The water was crystal blue and people were out on their boats. I felt like I was in another world.

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I have to say, this was the best camping experience we have ever had. I think its safe to say that my husband enjoyed his birthday and I am always happy to get my kids out into nature, away from tv and electronics!! It so fun watch them invent ways to entertain themselves with what they have in their surroundings. They both found little round pieces of plastic that they raced down a hill for hours! I can’t wait to go again. This may end up being our go to camp ground from now on.

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