The boys and I are back from a camping trip with Grammy and Grandpa to Arches National Park in Utah, perhaps my all-time favorite place to go when I was a kid. With climbable rocks in all directions, it is the ultimate natural playground for kids (and adults) -- and it also happens to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
To keep young kids safe, it was definitely good to have three adults since our campground was surrounded by climbable rocks and chaseable lizards that beckoned Will and Owen even as we were trying to set up tents and prepare meals.
But the desert wildflowers were in bloom, the snow was still lingering on the mountain peaks in the distance, and we were all captivated by our surroundings. Will was inspired to hike further than he ever has in his life. We let him guide us and he learned to spot the cairns that marked the trails when they were crossing long expanses of rock. The highlight for Owen, who did his share of mild rock climbing, was rolling and tumbling in the sand at Sand Dune Arch. For Will, it was some big-kids-only rock climbing with Grandpa.
Here are some snapshots of the trip: