I am back in Salt Lake trying to recover from such a fantastic weekend. I hate coming back to work after a mini vacation, I wish I could stay in Arches for another week.
E and I left on Friday morning and met my family on the way. We caravaned to our condo in Moab and got there around 1:00 pm. After we unpacked the cars and enjoyed the sun (clear and mid sixties!!!) we decided to go on a little hike, everyone was itching to stretch their legs and enjoy the weather.
That night Laura and her family was in charge of dinner. We sat down to a VERY deluxe cocktail hour (like I said, cocktail hour is not to be taken lightly in my family) and a wonderful dinner of chicken tacos, veggie enchiladas, margaritas, and more. By the end of the night when it was time for homemade strawberry shortcake we were stuffed.
That evening was wonderful. It truly was. After my parent's divorce and my grandpa's death family affairs felt extremely sad, but this felt normal again. I was surrounded by family and we were all laughing. Kendra got her guitar out and amazed us with her voice, and we played a silly game called Apples to Apples for more than an hour, laughing the entire time.
The next day we woke up bright and early because we wanted to do a long hike. Grandma was in charge of breakfast and made gourmet french toast, ham, grapefruit, juice, and berries. After breakfast we all packed our lunches and headed out. We wanted to head into the park and do a hike that was one of my Grandpa's favorites - Devil's Garden and the primitive loop trail. My Grandma at first was a little concerned about the difficulty of the hike (6 miles plus many areas where the trail is thin or challenging) but in the end decided to join us.
We were so glad she did join us! The trail was FANTASTIC! E and I had hiked part of that trail many times, but we had never done the entire six mile loop. We were so glad we did, Double O Arch was stunning, and Fin Canyon was so cool to hike through.
Once back to the condo we all took a little nap and started cocktail hour again. Tonight my Mom made dinner, we had really yummy chicken marinated in garlic, yogurt and lemon juice, baked sweet potatoes, and spinach, along with a lot of pre-dinner snacks of course! For dessert my Mom and Chuck made a yummy banana cream pie.
After dinner we chatted and got more and more tired. It seemed that everyone wanted to go to bed early after the long hike we had taken. E and I headed back to our room around 10:00, which is pretty early on a Saturday night.
On Sunday morning E and I were in charge of breakfast, so we woke up a little earlier and started making hash browns, sausage and sweet rolls. We also had OJ and grapefruits. The breakfast was a huge hit, and before long 20 hash brown patties, 35 sausage links, and 40 sweet rolls were devoured.
After cleaning the dishes everyone made their lunches and packed up their cars. We wanted to take a quick hike before heading home, so we chose Negro Bill Canyon. Once we got to the trail head we realized how COLD it was! We put as many layers on as we had and headed out. Everyone was shivering, but once we got moving we warmed up a little. Because Negro Bill Canyon isn't exactly a short hike (two miles each way) we were trying to keep a quick pace so we could reach the arch before it was time to turn around. Once at the arch we all sat down for lunch and we stopped moving and got cold again. As we sat there it started to snow! I guess it was cold! We hurried and packed up the rest of our lunch into our packs and started to hike back. Luckily it only snowed for about 15 minutes and the hike back wasn't too cold.
On returning to our cars everyone said goodbye. My Grandma was headed strait home, my aunt and mom were going to continue up the river, and E and I wanted to check out a ghost town on the way home.
Thompson is a ghost town that my Mom found awhile ago, and E and I have been meaning to stop there forever. Finally it was our day! E and I love ghost towns, checking them out is our of our favorite hobbies, and we've visited a lot of them in Utah (however looking back I realize I haven't blogged about many of them...). Anyway, Thompson is a weird town. It is a depressed area with a very low population (maybe 20 people live there?) and there are a lot of abandoned buildings, including an entire motel, train station, restaurants, and all of main street.
I hopped out of the car and shot some photos and explored some buildings while E waited for me (he doesn't like to go into abandoned buildings, he usually waits for me). The motel was beautiful in its own way, and the main building on main street was creepy and dark. After a handful of photos and freezing my fingers I climbed back into the car and we headed home.
It was a great weekend. (And this post has reminded me how horrible I've been with logging my ghost town/ abandoned building explorations, I've got some catching up to do).
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