Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Outsider's Perspective

Last weekend, our little family joined a group of 27 other relatives and went to Moab. Moab is considered a great place for hiking, mountain biking, four-wheeling, and general off-roading.

I didn't do any of that.

Without participating in the traditional Moab activities, I write now as a complete outsider from the grand adventures. Let's see how Moab looks from that side, shall we?

We started out bright and early. Or at least early. It wasn't really bright yet...

We stopped at McDonald's for some breakfast, filled up on gas, and headed to our designated meeting location to caravan down south.

After a bathroom break at a rest stop and a snack break at Walmart in Price, where we added two more cars to our already four-car parade we arrived at...the lunch break.

The girls danced with their much older cousins (well, Dad's cousins) and started the first of many rock piles to come. Good thing Dad and Grandpa Pyper were so accommodating.

We were only seven miles out of Moab at this point, but it was too early in the day to check in to the RV resort/campsite where we'd be staying, so we pulled aside for the first bike ride of the weekend. Admittedly, Chris and I were a little clueless as to what the plans were...we've never gone before and we were with a group that goes twice a year for the last [insert some large number here] years. There was a certain level of assumption, since they have a regular routine followed on each trip. We didn't know that plan and therefore didn't necessarily know what to expect at any given point. But we managed ok anyway.

Chris all ready for his first even official mountain bike ride! Thank you, Brian, for letting us borrow your bike.

Jane wanted to go, too.

Sadly, she couldn't quite keep up. We all stayed behind and settled in for the wait.

The scenery was nice, despite spending three and a half hours in nothing more than a dirt parking lot.

Chris had the better view, I think.

He had more company, too.

The girls and I did get to hang out with Melissa, Lorilynn, Edie, Kambri, and Grandma and Grandpa Pyper. That is, right up until the wind became so strong that the dust blowing around forced us back into the van.

More to the point, we went to the front two seats of the van. As we had not been to camp yet, the van was still full of all our gear, meaning there was no room past the front seats. Sigh. That was a long couple of hours...

Once all the bikers returned, we loaded up again and headed into Moab proper for dinner. And a couple hours after that we were checked in and getting settled in our cabin.

Nice place--no inside pictures, though. Sorry. That first night was a little hectic. I was really worn out from all the car time and watching the girls with nothing to do time, and we didn't get into camp until it was already starting to get dark. We basically had time to dump all the stuff into the cabin, put the girls to bed, then we went to bed. Not the most exciting introduction to camp ever. Then we woke up really early so Chris could get ready to go on a hike to Delicate Arch. The girls and I didn't go because we didn't know how it would be for me (pregnant) and them (short and often uncooperative walkers), so Chris went out with the group alone. In hindsight, we should have gone. We had a hiking backpack that Megan could have ridden in and Jane would have been fine walking it. Oh, well. We'll know next time.

It was a good time, though, for me to get the cabin more organized--that helped my mental sanity for the next two days. Jane and I also had plenty of time to discover the greater amenities the RV resort had to offer while Megan took a nap. All kinds of fun things like...

a playground,

tether ball,

giant chess and checkers (middle schoolers not included),

and...whatever this game is called.

It was probably the best since it provided such a variety of entertainment, like counting,

step stools,



and hats.

Despite all that fun, I admit, I was pretty disappointed when Chris came back and I saw what we missed in his pictures.

Ah, that would have been cool. I'm glad that Chris got to go, but pretty sad that the rest of us missed out. Next time.

At least we could go back in the cabin when the wind got too strong and too cold, as it apparently did for them also. They were just stuck on top of a mountain.

That afternoon, Chris took off with the men-folk to ride Porcupine Rim. It wasn't until they got back that I learned this particular trail has caused, I believe, the most biker deaths in the area because the trail goes straight along the edge of a very high cliff. Um, thanks for not telling me...I think... Either way, I don't have any pictures of that ride. I'll have to get copies from Bruce sometime.

While the guys were gone, all the women and children went--where else?--shopping downtown. I told the girls they could each pick one thing for me to buy for them. Lucky me, Jane picked a bracelet that only cost $1.49 and Megan doesn't care, so she got the same thing. Me? I bought something completely un-Moab-related that I still happen to really really like.

Souvenirs are all about personal taste, right? Well, this one fits me well.

From my side, Saturday was the closest I got to really feeling like a tourist having the Moab experience. The last ride for the bikers was Dead Horse Point in Dead Horse Point State Park. I don't know about you, but I was not aware that our fair state had a park named after dead horses. Learn something new every day.

The riders heading out--we were down to only three families by this point, instead of the previous eight.

Our waiting location was better this time. The parking lot was paved, so Jane could actually ride her tricycle successfully.

There was also a visitor's center that we spent a fair amount of time in, taking advantage of the kid corner they had set up.

The scenery was good, too.

We even saw Christopher! He's the one in red.

I had fun taking pictures of the girls. Even if they weren't always cooperative.

The group all split after that ride. The two other cars headed out to make the trek home. We drove a little farther into the park to see the actual Dead Horse Point. The legend is that cowboys would round up the wild mustang horses in the area, then corral them in on that peninsula. They'd take the horses they wanted, then leave the rest trapped there, where they'd die of thirst within view of the river 2,000 feet below. Sad.

I was glad we went, because it was well worth the view. We didn't stay long, though, because it was really REALLY windy and cold. Jane also tripped and scraped up her knee and never really recovered until she fell asleep in the car. At least we got one family shot on our trip, even if it isn't the most flattering picture we've ever had taken.

All told, it was a good trip. It was hard with such little kids, and things were awkward at times because we really did have no idea what was going on, but I'm glad we went. We'd like to go again.

One final note: You may have noticed Jane's hair in the previous pictures. I am one who is highly opposed to dealing with her hair during trips away from home, particularly when we'll be spending a lot of time outside in the wind. This was my chosen hairstyle for Jane this trip.

27 elastics total. It was way worth it. I did it on Wednesday night. This picture was taken on Saturday night, after sleeping on it three nights and playing outside in strong winds for three days. It isn't hardly coming out at all. Yep, definitely worth not having to brush her hair multiple times every day.

It only took about ten minutes to get out. Our trick is a seam ripper. Just pop it under one loop of the elastic and cut it, then unwrap. I buy 100 of those little elastics for a dollar, so I don't feel bad about using them only once. Again, the convenience is worth the cost.

So, good trip. Let's hope we can work it out to go again, even if we have three small children next time...


Brenda said...

I did manage to go on this trip once. You guys went to different trails than I went on though. When we hiked up to delicate arch we couldn't hike down underneath it because the wind was so bad. Looks like you got some good pictures though.

Rebekah said...

Wow I can't believe how amazing it is there! I need to take a trip at some point. PS, the game you couldn't figure out was Chinese checkers :D

Liz, Karl,Madison and Brooklyn said...

I'm surprised you didn't know what chinese checkers was :) Looks like a fun trip. Probably more fun not pregnant and with little toddlers but still fun to get out.

Molly said...

You are a trooper. I freak out taking my kids to my inlaws for a weekend where I'll sleep in a bed and room. I loathe sleeping elsewhere than my own bed, have a hard enough time sleeping (being pregnant and all)anyways. I try to avoid trips at all costs. Literally. I can come up with excuses like you wouldn't believe.

We Krazy Knuts said...

Oh that is so fun! And I feel ya...I've been married to a Moabite for almost 5 years, go to Moab multiple times a year, and still can't say that I've been to Arches National Park...never seen Delicate Arch or anything...kinda pathetic, eh?

Tannie Datwyler said...

That sounds fun... but not AS fun as if you hadn't been pregnant. I LOVE Arches National Park - so beautiful. You'll have go go again.

Way to go on the hair do by the way - I'm with you, a seam ripper words great (I actually use a pair of tweezers, does the same thing).