Friday, November 4, 2011

Goblin Valley

A few weeks ago, we took advantage of one of the last few weekends of good weather and we went to Goblin Valley. It was awesome! I love camping. I can't think of a better place for my kids and my sanity. Nowhere else can I let 'em run lose without worrying incessantly about what they're breaking and who they're bothering and what messes they're making. It's so relaxing! I know lots of people who hate camping for one reason or another (for other moms, it seems like it's mostly the dirt. Fortunately, I don't care about dirt at all. Especially fortunate since Landon is still a crawler and he loves to eat everything off the floor: rocks, beads, erasers, marbles, nuts, you name it! Needless to say, he was a mess!) or who find it more stressful than regular life, but for me, nothing could be easier. And I'm not so pregnant that sleeping on the ground is torture. It was perfect.
We set up camp on a little trail near this old ramshackle miner's house and once we set up camp, we wanted to climb up to the mine.
It included some challenges in the offroading department, which Brice was more than happy to attempt.
And then we hiked up this insanely steep mountain to get the the opening of the mine (which was sealed off). I am not the greatest climber.
I'm pretty much the biggest chicken in the world, which I guess is pretty contradictory to the rest of my personality, but is, nonetheless, the case. I HATE heights! And I hate feeling like I might fall and die. Weird, huh. The other factor is that for the last 8 years, most of those sorts of situations have happened while I'm carrying a baby on my back. Just panics me even more! If you've been with me on this blog for a while, you might remember my very first blog post about our trip to Zion's and all the great hikes we went on there. And you might remember that, despite the fact that for once I wasn't carrying a baby, I was still terrified! Nothing has changed. Yep, still a chicken. And my kids are ALL better climbers than I am. Even Alaina can climb faster and easier than I can. Getting shown up by a 2 year old....
The first night, we went to a guided tour in the park where a ranger taught us about the plant and animal life in the area and the rock formations and the stars. Landon was tired and fussy, so I missed a lot of it, but the older kids LOVED it! Ryker fell in love with the ranger, I think. ;)

The next day, we went back into the park, planning on another tour, but we got the time wrong. We still had a great time hiking around the valley floor with the "goblins" and playing hide and seek. Amazing place!

You see what I mean about letting 'em run lose?
Alaina and Daddy hiding! Shhhh!
Did I mention it was amazing?
Landon spent most of his time in a carrier on my back, but I picked a spot for him to get down and play for a while too. The sand was so fine and he really liked spreading it around on the rocks and sitting on them to play.

Raelin is an amazing climber. I rarely see her so bold and confident as she is when she's climbing something. Fun to watch!

Alaina liked to find rocks that became her cars and her cows. Funny little thing!
This was Ryker's dragon.

We played hide and seek for a long time there, working our way across the valley floor as we went. Ryker found a tunnel to hide in.
Alaina squeezed into a tiny crack.
Ryker went running across the valley to find Raelin
who was hiding here:

Later in the day, we went for a hike through a slot canyon. At the beginning we found a tree and Brice challenged Raelin to climb up the trunk and out onto a limb and then jump to the ground.
The first obstacle was this big branch she had to shimmy around.
Then there was a drop she had a hard time figuring out how to maneuver, but when she actually tried it, it was a piece of cake.
Then she just had to drop down below the tree and climb down Daddy (jumping was a bit much, she decided).
Throughout the rest of the slot canyon hike, Raelin was a mountain goat and Ryker was a mountain lion. Very fitting animals they each chose to impersonate. Raelin had a great goat noise she ran around making and Ryker growled his way through the hike.

Gotta love how the carrier accentuates the pregnant belly....
I have no idea what's up with the bubbles, but she was having fun with it and it was cracking me up! The concentration!
Even though it's out of focus, I had to post this picture. Love the face!
Alaina and Landon were having lots of fun playing in the sand at our turn-around spot
until Landon threw sand in her eye. Good thing Daddy was there to LICK the sand out!

Daddy gets big hugs from Landon while he rests and watches the older kids climb all over the canyon walls.
And Brice found this ledge he tried to climb. Almost made it!
It was a really fun and much-needed trip. I'm glad we got this last trip in before the cold set in!

Landon's Haircut

So sad! I absolutely LOVE Landon's hair!
It's so soft and long and curly and surfer-dude-ish!
But, alas, all good things must come to an end. At least, when it comes to hair, it's usually temporary. I don't know what it was about Halloween, but apparently we turned a corner and the "girl" comments began.
I knew that day would come eventually, but the sudden consistency with which I was getting comments that indicated people thought Landon was a girl meant that he really needed a cut.
I'd also been wanting to cut it for a while because it's in his eyes all the time.
I'd been debating about it and putting it off for a while because I loved his surfer look and because I didn't know how to cut it in a way that would free up those eyes without giving him a mullet but also without losing too much length and those awesome curls. I was planning to take him in for this first time so that I could watch how someone who knew what they were doing would accomplish that, but in the end, I just wasn't going to get around to it anytime soon so I did it myself.
I think his haircut looks just fine but I really just liked the shaggy, curly, mop so much better.
It was just so Landon. I tried to cut it as close to how it was after the last time I cut it (just trimmed off the goofy baby hair) so that when it grows a couple inches, it will go right back to the surfer-dude look. Let's hope it works!