Monday, September 21, 2015

Utah 2015: First Family Camp Out on the Books!

Thanks to the kindness of my brother Matthew we were able to put our first family camp out on the books. Reid has been dying to go camping for a long, long time. Camping has always been something Ben and I loved doing together (we honeymooned in Yellowstone and often made weekend trips to Shenandoah when we lived in Virginia). But since we've had kids we have not been camping once. Not once (I've gone on my own with Church youth groups). I do blame part of that on Wisconsin, it just isn't as camping friendly as Utah. Virginia wasn't exactly camping friendly either, but Shenandoah sure was. National Parks are another thing Ben and I both love. So it made perfect sense that while we were in Utah we would visit several National Parks and go camping as a family. We just needed the gear. That's where Matt comes in. He was very generous and loaned us all the equipment we needed.

I figured it made the most sense to camp in Capitol Reef National Park, and I'm glad we did. It is a very camping and family friendly park. Though it is the closest Utah NP to my childhood home, it is the only Utah NP I've never actually been to (driven through a time or two, but never stopped and stayed awhile). In preparation for our NP tours I checked out a couple of books from the Oshkosh library and I mapped out a very detailed National Park Itinerary. I'm grateful I did.

One book described the central point of Capitol Reef as an Oasis in the desert and we found that to be a perfect description. And that's what made it the perfect camp out! There is a large orchard with various fruit trees and we just happened to be there during the U-pick season. This area of the park is perfect for picnicking. The camp site itself has several bathrooms and lots of lawn space. Each spot had a fire pit with a grill and a picnic table. Our fire didn't turn out well, but we didn't need it so that was just fine.

Near sunset wild turkeys and large groups of deer came wandering through the site -- snacking on the fruit trees. Once the stars were out the ranger held an astronomy program that Reid and Ben were able to attend. Most of us even got a full night's sleep. Overall it was a very successful camp out and well worth the extra effort.

Reid was especially grateful that we went camping. The whole event seemed pretty magical to him. And I must admit I loved falling asleep to the sound of the nearby Fremont River and waking up to the crisp mountain air (even if there was lot of waking up and falling back asleep in between).

It's wake up time daddy!

Gorgeous sunrise view, river and mountains on one side, happy kids on the other.

1 comment:

Pa said...

Great fun! Sorry we didn't go camping with you as a child. Camping kinda creeps me out...

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