Family Vacation? What is this!?!?!

Last week, over Spring Break, our little family took a vacation of sorts!  We journeyed down to Ramah, New Mexico to put the death date plaque on my parents’ headstone for my dad.  Dad left this earthly life back on December 12, 2015.  I sure miss him, but I know that he is truly happy being with Mom!

We crammed NINE people into our suburban PLUS took tents and sleeping bags!  Yes, we camped out the entire trip!  We left Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. and made it into Ramah at about 4:30 p.m.  We had a great visit with my Mom’s cousin, Dean Bond.  He was generous enough to let us camp out in his yard, but his wife, Billie, insisted that we all sleep indoors because it was still getting quite cold at nights!  Found out that his Sister is living up close to us and in our own temple district, and in fact…. I believe she was the one that stopped Ed and I at the temple a couple weeks ago asking if we would do some family names for her!  I thought her name sounded familiar but I thought surely no one from Ramah would be this far north!  I sent her a letter yesterday to see if it was her and will be interested to see if it was in fact her!

We left Ramah early Thursday morning.  We spent a lot of time driving on that reservation.  I surely hope our kids took a LONG look at that place and will realize just how good they have things in life.  After returning home, I think there was one prayer that just completely full of gratitude for how good we have things.  Running water, electricity, green grass, a big yard, a house big enough for our family, air conditioning, healthy children, cars that run…. the list goes on.   We were going to take off and go see Mesa Verde National Park.  I never had the chance to go while I was younger.  We stopped off in Farmington for lunch and drove around to see where it was that I was born and saw my Uncle Al and Aunt Rosie’s home!  That was like a second home to me.  It was good to see it one last time, because I can almost guarantee I will never make that trip down there again!

By the time we got to Mesa Verde, it was late.  There were very few people there, luckily for us.  However, most of the tours were not open as it was still early in the year–apparently they don’t really get going until after Memorial day.  Judging by the landscape and elevation, I can tell why!  This had to be my most favorite park to see…EVER.    I want to go back there someday!  We got out late at about 7 p.m. and headed for Monticello.  We got in at about 9:30 at night and found us an RV park were we could set up a tent and camp for the night.  Aside from the noisy highway that was close by, it was really nice.  We got up early again and this time we headed for Arches National Park.  Again, I have never been there either!  There were so many people there.  It was like a highway…. I truly do not like big crowds, but we saw some amazing sites.  Our little ones made the hikes without much difficulty.  I thought about how we missed out on a lot of things while they were babies by not going very many places hardly ever.  I have often wondered if it was the best way to go or not; however, when I saw how many people were carrying little babies and they were crying and hot and tired, and I watched all seven of mind make the hikes on their own, I had no regrets.

We left Arches around 4 p.m. and then took off to go see Dead Horse Point, State Park.  Again, another park I had never seen.  In preparation for this, we had to watch Against a Crooked Sky the Monday before we left!  There were not too many people there….PERFECT!  However, it was cold and started to rain on us a bit; but the view was absolutely breathtaking!

We left that area around 5 p.m. and after a stop for dinner in Price, Utah, we made it home at about 11:30 p.m.  The only thing better than sleeping in your own bed, is having your own bathroom!  The entire trip was long and hard.  We felt like sardines.  We had to unbury people EVERY SINGLE TIME the door was opened.  We had little ones who could not wait very long for bathroom breaks, but it was wonderful!  If this is what a vacation does for people, then we are going to make a resolution to try to do something more frequently.  Up until now, all vacation was always spent with Ed going to some type of Scout Camp or Trek.  Our family needed this.  I needed this.  This is our last Summer with our son, Dalton, as he turns 18 next February and we will be starting his mission paper work in one year’s time.  The Lord was with us this entire trip.  We were amazingly enough able to stay awake the majority of driving time.  Only one close call, but at least I was awake enough to wake up Ed!  Otherwise, we would have been spread out all over a SLC freeway!  The only scary moment was when we stopped off in Shiprock, NM.  We stopped for gas and had a drunk man knocking on the window and beg for money.  Yes, we had TOURIST written all over our car with an extended carrier and a trunk clear full of stuff!  I warned the kids that this could happen and it really did!  Needless to say, we did not stay long in Shiprock!

Ramah has not changed much!  It was so fun trying to remember what it was like when I was young and spent so much time down there.  I will always be grateful that I got to take my family down there to see it this one time!