We figured we should squeeze in a spring time camp trip in Southern Utah before the weather got too hot down there.
Our son Jeff booked camp sites for us in Snow Canyon for a four day camp trip that would overlap with a conference/golf tournament that he was scheduled for minutes away from the camp ground in St. George.
Bernie, Rachel, Luke and I drove down and caught up with Jeff on Thursday night.
The five hour drive was a breeze.
You can see our two tents blending in on your right in the middle of the edge.
As we pulled into the camp ground I was already ohhing and ahhing as soon as we began to drive into the State Park.
White mountains, red mountains...
Flowering yucca were blooming in our campsite!
Our youngest camper began to explore immediately.
We set up our tents on soft red sand.
For Luke, as far as he was concerned, the entire campground was one big sandbox!
Luke is still light enough to ride on Papa's back in a back pack.
Mom Rachel is packing our other grandson in an internal front pack.
(And doesn't she deserve an award for being eight months pregnant and still going camping over Mother's Day weekend??)
A short walk around the camp ground told us Jeff had picked a winner of a place to camp.
Everywhere we looked there was rugged beauty.
Ancient black lava flows crept down the red and white sandstone hillsides.
I wanted to know more about the geology and history of the area.
How was it possible that so many mountain colors could all be nestled in one place?
Small arches were spied here and there.
Late spring wildflowers bloomed still.
Cactus flowers are always eye popping bright.
"Ah-loh" (as Luke says it) flowers bobbed in the slight breezes.
At the ranger station there was a wonderful photo display outside next to some rocking chairs where one could sit in the shade and compare the view straight ahead with the labeled photos of the same scene.
So that is what caused the cross hatching on the red sand stone surfaces.
The black lava flowed 1.1 million years ago, and is the second oldest lava flow in the park?
So the red and white sandstone are identical in composition except for iron oxide that is found in the white?
We would later hike on the petrified Navajo sandstone.
We would also walk on sand dunes that are still fluid.
The basalt lava flow crept along in different directions.
I could imagine the once burning magna scorching the land.
What a crazy time that must have been.
Of course as gorgeous as all the scenery was, I had a hard time keeping my eyes and camera from just focusing on Luke.
A small play park had been created in the center of the campground.
The rangers had used smoothly sanded log pieces to construct a giant lizard that was just perfect for practicing balancing.
Rocks were there that were just the right size for toddler climbing...
(and climbing the red rock cliffs surrounding us was strictly forbidden!)
Oops...down goes Percy the train.
Dropping Percy off the rock was lots of fun.
The rangers had also created a spider web for climbing.
Papa got caught in the spider's web!
Everyone was soon doing the spider thing.
(And wouldn't it be fun to build a web like this in any garden for climbing and lounging purposes?)
Then back to balance stepping...
Percy got loaded up for a rock haul mid lizard spine walk.
Our tent...notice the black lava pile at the base of the red cliffs that had fallen down from the very top of the red sand stone cliffs.
We wondered what it must sound like when a chunk of lava breaks loose.
We practiced saying colors...the purple flowers were pretty against the sage green bushes.
Walking the lizard some more.
I tell you, if we had a lot more property I think we would want to build a lizard balance course like this one.
Jeff came and joined us later on, bringing us Mexican food for dinner from St. George.
Not having to have anyone cook the first night was really nice!
The next day was rather warm so a run to town for more ice and yogurt was also quite a nice option.
Nothing like camping in such an amazing spot and yet be only ten minutes from a major town!
To be continued...