Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quick Getaway

Our family headed north to enjoy some cooler weather for a few days this past weekend. Dave selected an area by the Blue Ridge Reservoir  in the Coconino National Forest for our trip.  We left midday on Friday and setup camp when we arrived. The kiddos wanted to explore, so Dave set off with them to look around the area. When they came back, Aine was excited to show me the ridge area and the amazing views. The two of us set off again. The view was amazing. It was so green compared to our normal desert views. Aine spotted some water which had collected on a rock. She floated a few leaves and discovered other creatures in the water. We also spotted some deer or elk scat as well as some intricate spider webs.

The reservoir, dam and a bit of hiking were on our agenda for the next day. After Dave made a yummy breakfast over the campstove (campfires are currently prohibited due to wildfires), we set off. The reservoir is a canyon lake. The sides are steep and the water was a bit lower due to work that is scheduled on the dam this year. As we made our way along the road, the lake looked much more like a river coursing through a ravine of trees.

We made it to the trail and set off to explore the dam area. The path began as a dirt road to a viewing area for the dam. Initially we examined the dam through chainlink fence. The path, however, continued, so we followed it past the fence into an open area. Dave spotted the trail and pointed out the rest of the route.

Moving toward the water on the other side of the dam, we discovered a shallow stream. Benton worked on throwing rocks into the water; Eamon spotted a large crawdad in the water; and Aine floated her feet in the water. All of them enjoyed climbing over rocks and fallen trees by the water's edge. We spent some time enjoying the stream before we set off again.

Aine and Eamon set the pace with Dave following the trail to the base of the dam. Benton and I meandered along behind them studying the plants and rocks along the way. The kiddos touched the dam and tested out the fantastic echoes.

We returned to our campsite to find our friends had arrived. They brought their fishing boat to explore the lake, so we headed back to the reservoir. The men and children piled into the boat. Benton had fallen asleep, so I sat with my friend in the car while he slept. No sooner had they entered the water then rain began to fall. At first, they were sure it would pass. Over an hour later when the rain had not abated and hail and lightening added to the mix, the men returned with soaking wet children. Everyone climbed into the car and the moms headed back to the campsite with the kiddos. When we arrived, we found tents with open windows. Each of the families had forgotten to shut their windows, so we now had two tents full of water. The men soon returned with the boat. Dave was cold as were the kiddos. We decided we would need to sleep somewhere other than the tent and the soaked sleeping bags. The car would not fit our whole family, so we left our friends to sleep in their van and headed home. Despite the rain, we loved our trip and all want to go back soon. Eamon did not want to leave and wanted to sleep in the tent with his wet sleeping bag. He was having that much fun!


  1. Great pictures!! Sounds like it was a great experience!! It brought back so many wonderful memories that I have of my childhood and tent camping as a family!!

  2. It looks and sounds like you all had so much fun!