Well we finally did it. We went camping as a family. I’m not much for camping. Really it’s the dirt and the outhouses I don’t care for, and those were the main two things we had to put up with while camping at the Valley of Fire this past week, luckily it was just one night.
It all started when I said I wanted to go to this store in St George Utah. I wanted to try on the swimsuit, tankini short set, and rather than just order online and take the risk of not liking it or it not fitting right, I thought a day trip to St. George would be fun along with some good ole Chuck A’ Rama, which I can never pass up, in which you all know that. Jon thought a trip to St. George followed by a night of camping at the Valley of Fire would be fun. I saw an opportunity to go to Utah and I took it. So we went to Utah this past Thursday and the Valley of Fire to camp and came home on Friday. It was good that we went on the trip and I tried on the swimsuit outfit. Thanks to my large hips and small boobs my body was disproportioned for the shorts and tankini set, in which the store doesn’t sell them separate, just as a set. Hello! Most women do not have uniform bodies. I have a size medium top but a size large butt, sometimes I can get the small top and the medium butt, but then I’m labeling my boobs small and that’s no fun, but my butt does like to be a medium. Anyways enough about my body. I didn’t buy the swimsuit combo but I did buy some cute board shorts.

We ate lunch and headed back to the Valley of Fire. We got there by way of Overton and visited the Lost City Museum while we traveled through. (Jon had seen the sign on the way up and thought it might be fun.)
It was $3 for each adult and free for those 18 and younger. ( I wonder if we’d gone there when I was 20 if I could have convinced her I was 18?) I don’t know if the museum was worth $6 plus another $6 for the corn necklaces we bought the girls, but I know they mostly just need the support of income rather than surviving on just donations. We like to support things like this so we did.
Lilah had fun looking at the Indian homes and was asking lots of questions. She loved looking at the representative archaeological sight and asked a million times what the woman was doing. (It was as statue of an Indian women grinding maze, or corn.)
We left the museum and set off to the Valley of Fire to set up camp.
Once to camp Lilah couldn’t wait to hike. I occupied her by having her find animal tracks around our camp, she then started making tracks and would tell us to follow the Lilah tracks, or the Mommy tracks or the Eden tracks. I helped Jon set the tent up and then as he got the sleeping bags ready I went hiking with the girls.  We spotted a jack rabbit that came withing 10 feet of us and also yelled for Daddy when we reached the top of one of the “mountains”. Of course I didn’t have the camera due to carrying Eden most of this time.
After Jon was done setting up camp we all went hiking.
When we were at camp the girls occupied themselves by playing in the beautiful red sand. I did let them play in it but I drew the line at laying in it. I didn’t get any pictures but they sure had fun with it.

It was a beautiful night. We enjoyed a tinfoil dinner of salmon with yummy broccoli, cauliflower and carrot. They turned out great.
The night was windy though. Even though I was spoiled with an air mattress and a new sleeping bag, I felt as though I was awake more than asleep. The wind rattling the tent made it hard to sleep and Eden was pretty restless during the night. Luckily Jon was next to the girls so I just had to nudge him to have him take care of them. 🙂

I was going to take a picture of our tight sleeping quarters but I forgot. Our tent, which we inherited from Jon’s brother Conrad when he had to leave it behind, is just 8×8 feet and about 4 feet tall at it’s highest point. We fit a twin sized air mattress, that I was willing to do without but Jon thought we should use it anyways, Jon’s sleeping bag and the girls bags were folded in half and took up the space of one sleeping bag. We initially borrowed bags from Jon’s parents but they were too light and so we plundered my parents camp stuff Wednesday night before we left and found heavier ones which came in handy on the cold night.

Thursday was cloudy, cold and windy. Our luck with dinner the night before was just that, luck. Jon wasn’t able to get the coals hot and keep them hot on Thursday so our eggs were cooked just enough and the sausage not enough, though Lilah ate it before I could tell her not too. ( Some of the sausages were done more than others and she and Jon never did get sick. ) This was our first time cooking with charcoal, so I think one meal success out of two ain’t bad.
With all the wind I had Eden in the car for most of the take down. She kept getting upset because the table cloth was being blown by the wind and she didn’t want to move from the bench so I put her in the car. She was a real trooper and sat in her seat for the hour or so of taking down the camp. Of course I was in and out of the car. I also gave her books to look at. I think she was just tired form not getting a good nights sleep or a good nap the day before.
We left earlier than anticipated because of the wind.
Instead of doing lots of hiking on Thursday we packed up and drove around. We hiked a little at the White domes. The girls liked sitting in a cave.
Then we went to the visitors center before we left. By this time Eden had fallen asleep so I stayed and took a nap with her while Jon and Lilah went to the visitors center and climb a few rocks.

It was lots of fun. Lilah didn’t take to well to the outhouse but she still used it. Anytime we had to go she’d cover her nose for the whole walk there, but once out she’d breath deeply. I think I hid my disgust for the outhouse pretty well and never vomited while there.
We hope to return there again. Lilah had so much fun climbing and Eden did too. We need to enjoy God’s beauty more often. I think they’ll just be day trips though. I’m not fond of camping, though it was a little fun.

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