The Needles Spring Break Thursday


Everyone slept and slept and slept. I eventually could not lay around any longer and sat up and got my laptop and started typing blog posts before the trip started running together. Pumpkin was the first one up and she came and snuggled in with me and I let her play ipad. Eventually Peanut got up and played with her until finally Bean woke up and then we all got going. We got dressed and packed up as quick as we can. We tossed some random lunch supplies in since the chicken was gone. I filled the crock pot with a pork butt, potatoes, onions and carrots, then we hit the road.

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We had a 90 minute drive to the Needles part of Canyonlands National park but the drive was worth doing just for the views. We saw some great, bluffs, mesas, arches, spires and more.


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One cool spot was newspaper rock.

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On the drive we worked on the Jr. Ranger badge booklets and both kids completed them. Pumpkin was not ready to be done so picked out some other pages to do.

On a page for older kids to draw things they saw on a hike she drew a unicorn, a machine that makes socks, Alli and other interesting things.  We got to the park and started at another visitor center. We used the bathroom filled up all our water containers and the kids got sworn in.


Heath and I picked out 4 hikes and it was a short drive to the first one. We had Pumpkin walk at the first hike and we got a pamphlet that told us what various plants were along the way. We learned how to spot these and what people used the plants for hundreds of years ago.

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The hike stopped at a spot where they stored grain long ago.

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I have/had a bit of a red neck from the sun so I borrowed Grant’s hat. No one told me I looked ridiculous. I thought I was pretty cool till I saw the pictures from this day.

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Once done we moved right on to the next hike. This one was a little longer and we put both girls in packs. This hike was off a dirt road and there were lots of rocks that looked like giant mushrooms. This hike went around some little cave/indentions in the rock were various people had lived in the past.

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We found a cowboy camp with a lot of old saddles and gear, plus an area where they fenced in livestock.

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We also found old hand prints and other drawings from people way older.


Then we got up on top of the rock with the help of a few ladders and hiked around looking at the views from this area.


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It was pretty cool and in no time we had the hike done and were back at the car. After sleeping in and then a long drive it was already 1:00 and we were ready for lunch. We drove down a really fun dirt road to Elephant Hill and found a picknick table.

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We didn’t find a big pot for cooking everyone so carefully used a small one. Heath and I had a broccoli cheese rice packet and we mixed in dehydrated black beans, tuna and bacon.

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The kids had mac and cheese cups. We all had apples, granola, pringles, peanut butter bars and Heath and I had a couple of good beers.


We were feeling great after lunch and ready for a 2.5 mile hike at slickrock foot. We thought Bean would sleep in the pack on this longer hike but she could not get comfortable and we were doing a lot of climbing up and down and over and it was pretty bumpy. Also we were up pretty high and the wind was strong.

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 IMG_9845 (2)We tried to power through and stopped briefly at the 4 major viewpoints along the trail and then decided to have 1 bigger break. We broke out the jerky and Gatorade before finishing off the trail.


We had 1 little hike left on the way out but it was already 4 in the afternoon and we were worn out and wanted to do some fun stuff in Moab. Peanut and I decided to jog/speed walk the hike while the girls rested in the van. It turned out to be a really flat, easy hike and pretty refreshing after the last one.

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We started in on the backside of the loop and found Heath and the girls walking toward us. They got motivated and came out to see.

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There was a great view of the needle formations the park was named for so Peanut and I jogged over to the van for the long range lens and then ran back.

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Bean was carrying a piece of the sweet dense bread I made for the trip and the ravens were really interested in her. The bread was really good so I understand.


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We kind of forgot about rushing and just poked around looking at the views and birds before heading back to the van.

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We drove back to Moab and Bean finally got her nap in. We drove right past the cabin and over to the brewery.


We split an order of chips and salsa (can’t order a drink without food in Utah) and Heath and I got good beers and the kids got gelatos.


Once the dessert was gone Bean got restless and I took her outside to wonder around. We ended up in a family dollar and found a few things we had to have. The fam joined us once the bill was paid and then we were ready for dinner. It was late again and getting dark so we headed inside. It’s amazing how fast it goes from sunny and comfortable to dark and freezing. The pork was super tender. Some of us made sandwiches and some just ate it with a fork.



After dessert and snacks all afternoon we were not as hungry and didn’t kill it all. We cleaned up and the kids did the dishes. Then Peanut and I went for showers while the girls got on pajamas and read books getting ready for bed.

When we got back we read 3 books on the ipad and send the kids to bed. Heath and I looked over pictures from the trip and tried to plan our next day. The wifi was stinking it up and the kids were not going to sleep so we turned off the laptop screen and read on our phones for a few minutes before falling asleep.

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