Before kids E and I were out of the house every single weekend all summer long, it was blissfuly wonderful and busy and a little bit dirty, because we did a lot of camping. For six years we've been waiting for this day to come. A day where both of our kids were big enough to camp, be away from home (and enjoy it!) and adore the outdoors as much as E and I do.
Once my mom learned that the kids did beautifully in Zion National Park earlier this year, she was quick to make a reservation too, not wanting to miss out on this magical time when the kids are little and so full of wonder.
She reserved a spot in Red Canyon near Flaming Gorge. We were a little worried at first, the campsite was high above the water, and a drive to the beach took nearly forty minutes.
But we really shouldn't have worried. The spot was spectacular. The view above was a ten second walk from our tent. There was a well known mountain biking trail directly next to our site and both kids tried mountain biking for the first time. The high alpine meadows were filled with rabbits, marmots, big horned sheep, tons of birds (we even heard owls at night!) and the weather was perfection.
We've waited a long seven years to return to our beloved mountain biking!
The kids did perfectly at nighttime and were excited to check out the view of the canyon and gorge first thing every morning.
On Saturday we were lucky enough to reserve a speed boat for the day, and spent the entire day zooming down the huge gorge, with miles and miles of steep shoreline.
E was more than happy to drive the boat and was giddy that he could crank it up to 60mph. We were flying!
Almost all of the shoreline is steep cliffs or embankments. Almost no beach at all. Which worked perfectly for me, because I love nothing more than jumping off cliffs. (Remember I did it even while pregnant with James?!)
Our handsome captain.
Our co-captain who would beg to go faster, no matter the speed we were currently going.
I jumped off a lot of beautiful spots. And the water was dreamy! Not cold and perfectly green blue, and clear!
Campsite time was filled with lots of giggles, bike rides, animal spotting, and fire building.
A huge heard of big horned sheep moved through the campsite more than once. It was magical to see.
On the last day we took a tour of the Flaming Gorge Dam. James, particularly, was so excited. James has a connection to water, particularly moving water. I think he may work as a hydrologist one day.
Dam that's awesome. ;)
After our tour, before we headed home, we decided to play in the perfectly clear river below the dam.
When it comes to my kids and rivers, clothing only lasts minutes. Soon it was an undie swimming party. The water is 55 degrees leaving the dam, but no worries. Cold water just makes the swim extra brisk!
Undies always. Just like I did growing up. I swam into my undies until... wait, now that I think about it, it's never stopped. I stripped down to my undies only two weeks ago at a local waterfall. ;) Shhh...
Flaming Gorge, you will be missed. We CANNOT wait to go back.