For this week’s adventure, we had been planning it for a week. Camp out on an old volcano in the west desert, soak in some hot springs, and go collecting crystals in the mountains on Saturday. Sadly, the weather cancelled this entire plan. Everywhere within 2-3 hours looked like it was going to be rainy and cold.
But we looked at the weather radar, and found one hole in the storms, on the north end of the San Rafael Swell. So we decided to try it. I had never been to that area before, but it was only about 90 minutes away, and we figured that it was worth a try.
We packed up, grabbed some dinner in Price, and then headed south, pretty much just going directly south for about 20 miles. We started to drive through some more interesting terrain… lots of sandstone cliffs and smaller rock formations. We saw RVs parked on every small turn-off, so we weren’t the only ones in the area.
We wanted to be away from the RVs and ATVs, so we drove until we weren’t seeing anyone else, found a large cliff that looked interesting, and parked at the base of it to camp:
And this is what children look like when they hop out of the car and realize that not only is is not raining, but there are rocks and hills to climb:
K and T quickly ran off into the hills. Once it started getting dark, I called for them to come back, and they did… eventually.
We set out some chairs, watched the sun go down, and slept in the back of the car for the night. It rained all night. I checked the weather radar again around 2 AM, and it said the rain should stop by 3, and it was right – the morning was free of rain, even if the ground, our camping chairs, and my jacket were soaked. I have no idea who left my jacket outside…
We woke up at dawn, had some breakfast, and started exploring. Well, I started exploring… the kids started shooting their bow and arrows, wandering all over in search of arrows once they had been launched into the distance:
I had never seen much written about this part of utah, in terms of rockhounding, and I discovered why – it is all sandstone, and the ground is pretty much just… sand. We did find a few interesting rocks which I wasn’t able to identify, but I brought home ot investigate later. But mostly, there was grass and cactus:
As I walked around, I realized I should have driven another half mile the night before. We went around the side of the cliff, and found that there was an even more interesting place to camp on the other side, with cliff faces surrounding a small valley on 3 sides. We spent a few minutes yelling in all directions, as the echoes were impressive.
No matter how much I wanted to explore, the kids were pretty much focused on only two things — climbing rocks and shooting arrows. But everyone had fun.