Monday, June 20, 2016

City of Rocks Rangers

I took the kids on a field trip to one of my all-time favorite places, The City of Rocks National Reserve, last Thursday. Kellie and I planned this trip because we are Fun Moms and we can handle two sets of boy twins, an 11 year-old boy, a 9 year-old girl, and a dog all by ourselves. It was a three hour drive for both of us coming from different directions. I don't know about Kellie, but I heard a lot of, "MOM! Look at that truck with two trailers!" during my journey. I tried to keep my headphones in and listen to a book while the kids watched a movie, but Emil thinks I can do anything and so he kept asking me to pass him stuff and turn around to see what he was doing while I was trying to drive 80 mph on the highway. We eventually got to the little brick house serving as the visitors' center just outside the City of Rocks.
The little twin and the big twin - Max, Colin, Nick, and Emil.

Kellie has been to the City of Rocks probably more than 100 times, but she didn't know about this visitors' center or the junior ranger program. How fun to find something new! The ranger here tried really hard not to roll his eyes when I asked if the kids would need to listen to a ranger talk for their badges. This is the City of Rocks, not Yellowstone! My kind of park.
Kellie's boys wanted to stop and watch a climber (that's right - one climber), so of course my boys wanted to as well. Max brought his binoculars. :)
I believe that's Elephant Rock? My favorite thing was there were no parking lots next to the rocks - we just pulled off the road and got out. 
The kids climbed all over Bath Rock, but not to the top.
This is somewhere near the top of Bath Rock in March 1993! That's Kellie, Anne, and me. Twenty-three years ago! Emil says I kinda look different. He thinks I look like one of his cousins - he can't say which. I loved it when those two would take me with them on school breaks. :)

Emil, Nick, and Max. It's not as high as it looks.
Emil asked me to get a picture of him with Nick. They get each other.
Bridget had as much fun as a girl surrounded by crazy boys could have. She was game. :)
After looking at my photos, though, I think Emil was the winner. He loved everything about the City of Rocks. 
Colin liked it too, but he has one more ounce of caution that Emil doesn't have. And he scraped his head on a rock. Probably right here.
I had to knock on the door of the visitors' center to get those guys to open back up and check the kids' workbooks, administer the Junior Ranger oath, and give them badges. It was 4:25 and we were right there on a picnic table in the front yard! What are they doing closing up shop so early?!
Max, Bridget, Emil, Colin, Xander, and Nick.

We came back to Kellie's parents' house in Oakley for some hot tubbing, riding the little four-wheeler, tacos, a quick trip to the Oakley Pool, Sponge Bob and bed. It was a big day. I'm so glad we did it! Introducing my children to my favorite stuff is the best! On the way home we stopped to visit Grandma Shirley, which kept me from falling asleep but also put us in rush hour traffic through Salt Lake to get home. I can't remember the last time I was so tired. Still - I'd do it again. :)

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