Spring Break

Ben’s friend, Ranger J, invited us to stay in his ranger housing in Arches National Park. I had conference papers to finish and Ben had just returned from another long trip, but how often do you get this chance? So we went. We managed to fit all three of our bikes into my little prius:
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Then we drove through the night to Moab. The twelve-hour drive took sixteen hours, because the snow was so thick that when we decided to pull over and stop, we couldn’t even see where the exit was. Ben took a video of that drive. We had forgotten that the weather forecast of “50s in the day, 30s at night, and good chance of rain” actually would translate into snow. San Diego weather has spoiled us. We had also forgotten that we’re not eighteen any more, so driving all night is pretty exhausting — but it is a fine way to get a two-year-old to travel 772 miles.

We were all pretty tired on the first hike:
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But we quickly adjusted:
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We did a lot of tag-team parenting. Ben biked in the morning on world-famous mountain bike trails, while Sophie and I stayed closer to Ranger J’s house, building princess castles in the sand.
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Ben also passed a lot of jeeps celebrating jeepers creepers week in Moab.

One morning I tried to take Sophie biking, too, but she mostly wanted to look for places to stop to eat the fruit-leather and power-bar “candy” that we had packed. She did bike 3/4 of a mile on a dirt road, until her hands got cold and she started falling over, and needed me to carry her and her bike and my bike all together back to the car. After that, we mostly spent our mornings building princess castles.

Then, in the afternoon, I got to go biking — or we went on family outings. Here are Ben and Sophie, on the classic Slickrock Mountain-Bike trail, not mountain-biking:

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I’m not sure how to plan a vacation where the whole family plays all together all the time — or whether we even want to. It was a pretty wonderful trip as it was. I don’t have any photos of my long mountain-bike rides to see dinosaur footprints or to discover the thrill of biking slickrock. I kept wishing that Ben was there to celebrate with me as I giggled my way over small rock-ledges, around dips, across gorgeous views. But I enjoyed the solitude, and I enjoyed the family time that we did get.

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Here is Sophie, entertaining herself with dehydrated strawberries on the drive home:
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