We made a discovery last weekend. The majority of Southern Utah probably knows this, but it’s news to us. You can drive up Cedar Mountain and camp pretty much anywhere you want… for free. I heard this amazing news from a friend, but the idea of driving an hour at 6 pm and not knowing exactly where I was going to stay stressed me out a little bit. We got up there and drove around for probably 40 minutes, saying, “Should we just go back to the campground?”, “No look there’s people just camping over there.”, “Really we can go anywhere.?” Before we finally decided to take a side road and just go for it. It was magical. St. George is HOT still, soccer season will soon be taking up our Saturdays, and when we are home I always feel pressure to be working on something or other. This get-away was perfect, and totally worth the entire day of work that it took to make it happen.
We got up Saturday morning and headed to Mammoth Caves for our first stop. We were all pretty excited about going cave exploring until we got there and saw the sign stating that this was a protected bat habitat. That made me a little nervous, but I bravely went in, although I was a little jumpy at first. We didn’t see a single bat. Whew. There are 5 different entrances, some caves are tiny some you can stand up in. We spent an hour and a bit exploring the bigger ones, none of them went very deep.The head lamps were a big hit.The front of one of the caves has a grate over it that they can close in the winter to protect the sleeping bats. Watching my inflexible husband get it and out of that cave was one of the highlites. We also hiked up to cascade falls. No one was excited for that one except me. The views were gorgeous, the falls were less than inspiring. I love Anna pouting in the back of that last one. This one got amazingly dirty. After the hike we decided to try fishing at Duck Creek. We caught absolutely nothing, and Justin wore himself out trying to help all three kids. But we got some good pictures.
Max liked to try out his dance moves while waiting for his pole to be ready. The noise may or may not have contributed to our lack of catching anything. I look exhausted in this picture. Everyone slept well, but I was still tired. On the way back from fishing Justin grabbed me a DP and I was ready to join the party again. Chica loves to cook. She did a great job on dinner. Justin taught Anna and Josh how to carve. Anna found her new love, she carved wands for as long as we would let her and now wants her very own pocket knife for Christmas.While the kids carved and Max napped, I read. Heaven. The Boys in the Boat is a really good book, just FYI.
We made some s’mores with cookies and cream chocolate and carmelos. I’m pretty sure the Carmelos won the taste test. Camping is not complete without a night hike. The moon was amazing. It was so bright you could hardly see any stars. The next day we packed up and were even on time for church…. we were all in bed about 7 that night.