Here are a few more pictures from our Timp Caves trip.
On our way up we ran into the Bells.
This was everyone in our group. Rachel's brother in law and his son were the ones that hooked us up with tickets so we wouldn't have to go super early in the morning to reserve them, since all the "buy early" tickets were sold out.
Rachel's nephew, Tanner, was a hoot! He is SUPER friendly - to everyone, loves The Magic School Bus, is super smart and knew all about cave formations and such (from Magic School Bus), and insisted on being in an Ellis family picture. We'd adopt him any day :)
After having lived in Utah for 22 years, I FINALLY did the whole Timp Caves thing. Eric had never done it either, so we were both really excited to experience it. The day before Eric and I drove around for close to 4 hours trying to find an open campsite up American Fork canyon. We ended up finding a spot by Cascade Springs, so closer to the Sundance side than the American Fork side. Some of our friends met us there for a fun evening, a sleepover, and dutch oven biscuits and gravy for breakfast (Eric's delicious specialty)!! Lindsay had to go home in the morning, but the rest of us, including Jeremiah, Rachel, and Micah headed to the Timp Cave visitor's center to start the trek.
It was a lot more grueling than I had in mind. There was an old woman who reminded us of the tortoise in the tale of the tortoise and the hare - slow and steady wins the race. I couldn't believe her ambition!
The trails are freaky. There are shear cliffs on one side of the trail at all times. Most of the trail has no barrier between you and the cliff. I've had many nightmares since about Reese running off the trail. My advice - make sure your kid is either in a backpack strapped to you, hold them, or insist they hold your hand at all times. I'm surprised they haven't put guardrails up along the whole trail.
It was neat! Reese loved hiking around through the cave and shining her flashlight at everything.
Even pregnant Rachel hiked it like a champ! Ah, her belly is darling and although I don't carry my babies as elegantly as she does, it does makes me excited to be pregnant again one day :)
Finally a barrier! I can breathe easy for a moment!!
Salt Lake City has SO many fun [and free] activities. Pretty much every night (and in actuality probably every single night) they have some sort of concert/movie/show that is free. Some end up being awesome, others not so much. This event, a concert at Pioneer Park, provided us with fantastic people watching. Do these people really live in the same city I do?? Awesome!
I LOVE these two little munchkins. And can I just say, it just gets more fun all the time! I love seeing them interact. Ivan now pulls himself everywhere - and pretty quickly too - and loves climbing all over Reese trying to get whatever treat or drink she is enjoying. They play really well together and he completely idolizes Reese. He laughs and laughs at her and watches her every move. Just watch out, he LOVES hair and pulls it any chance he gets, and if you aren't quick when giving him a treat, he'll snap down with his two sharp bottom teeth that he acquired a couple weeks back. I think Reese is learning to keep her hair far away from his fingers and toes and to be quick when feeding him treats. The first few months when you have two little kids vying for your attention and one of them being too young to do much interacting with other kids is so worth it once you hit this point. I'm loving this!
Can you tell Reese loves these glasses? By the fingerprints on the lenses, you can tell they receive a lot of love from her.
The other day we went on a long drive. We started up Parley's Canyon and drove up and down Lamb's Canyon and then headed over to the Mirror Lake Highway. We stopped at Provo River Falls - it is ROARING!
We drove by TONS of beautiful lakes (if I remember right, below is Brown Lake) and checked out the numerous campsites for future camping trips.
We stopped off at Mirror Lake, it was so swampy because the water is so high.
It was gorgeous. The temperature was much cooler than in the city - in the 60's in the higher elevations, and everything is so wet and green.
We stopped off at a ranger station that has a little display of the logging that used to take place up there, drove all the way through Christmas Meadows (precisely named with all the pine trees in the area) and a few miles into Wyoming, at which point we turned our GPS on and had it route the shortest distance - which usually means back roads. It led us on Chalk Creek Road, a dirt road that led to the darling town of Coalville. Pretty sure I wouldn't mind living there, it is so quaint.
Over the 4th of July weekend we went to Flaming Gorge. David and Nicole came along and we had a grand weekend. We made sure to take a stop at Dinosaur National Park. Reese enjoyed looking out the windows for dinosaurs.
It was blasting hot out!...at this point.
The Dam - always makes for good conversations using the word "dam" to describe everything.
David and Nicole "Toad" - as Reese calls her.
The weather ended up being pretty nice for the most part. It was plenty warm just filled with rain showers here and there. The water is still really cold so we didn't really swim.
Eric, David, Nicole, and Reese ventured on the kayaks for a bit.
Reese dragged her arm in the water and became so relaxed that she zonked out! She didn't even stir when we lifted the kayak into the back of the truck.
We took a drive through Sheep Creek Canyon one day and made a few stops at different beautiful places - one being Brown Lake.
Eric took a swim in the freezing cold water. I was tempted, but after getting up past my knees decided against it.
The kids played on the shore throwing rocks and striking model poses.
In the evening we ate good food, sat around and learned new things about each other, played a lot of Bocce ball, and enjoyed the sunsets. I was pretty proud of the menu we planned. It is nice to car camp because you can make yummy stuff. Some of the highlights: dutch oven peach cobbler, dough on a stick with honey butter, mountain man breakfast, and Navajo Tacos.
The rain storms created some beautiful skies and rainbows.
On the 4th we hung out for a while, throwing rocks in the lake, and then packed up and started driving home.
These 2 have a special relationship! So sweet!
My handsome boys!
We stopped at Fort Bridger. They were having a fourth of July celebration. We put Reese in the pile of wood shavings to look for money with the other kids but she wanted nothing to do with it. We had woken her from her nap just minutes earlier so she wasn't too enthused.