Camping Adventures

Investing in our family, one weekend at a time…


An Island Good Night

2014-10-25 18.24.34As the sun sets on our 2014 camping season we are reminisce about the good times we have had and all the awesome places we have been. The 2645 miles traveled and 24 nights invested have made for some great memories.  We are really looking forward to the 2015 season and are already talking about our list and schedule.

Watching the sun set last night on Antelope Island reminded me of a vacation many years ago to Marco Island in Florida.  Every night, people would gather on the beach, sip a great drink and celebrate the day as the sun drop behind the horizon.  I think that this should also be a camping tradition.  As we explore, we get to see some of the most beautiful and amazing places in our country.  By celebrating each day we could all be reminded of just how lucky we are to live a life that allows us to see and enjoy these great sites.

Tops three campgrounds this season:


Birthday at Utah Lake State Park

This seems to be a good October place as the weather is not really cold at this elevation.  The campground is just ok but we have always enjoyed our stays here.  We were in Arches for my Birthday and wouldn’t you know it we are camping again for Ashley’s birthday (Dont tell her but I think I won with my birthday destination).

While at Utah Lake we meet Leigh and Brian, AKA Aluminarium.  Brian was nice enough to offer up some Benadryl to assist with a bee sting for one of the people we were with.  Earlier in the day I had noticed his flag and was trying to figure out what it was for.  So after the Benadryl situation was covered I ask and found out that they are starting an Campsite Review site called Campendium.


It is oddly coincidental as I was just struggling with where and how to review campsites.  After our Yellowstone loop in September, I wanted to tell others what we thought about the places we stayed.  I checked TripAdvisor and there were some listing for campgrounds but not many.  I added in a review and it just wasn’t right as they are very geared to hotels.  Campendium aims to fix that by providing a central place for details, reviews and pictures of campsites.  I am very excited about the site and have been digging through my archive adding pictures and reviews for the places we have been.


Gros Ventre Campground


Arriving in Gros Ventre on day 5 we got an immediate special treat.  Moose!  Of course, I don’t think its possible to stay in the campground and not see a moose.  But up until this point our wildlife viewing was lacking in the moose department.

We setup camp and headed off to Alpine to visit and have dinner with some family.  While at their house we spent some time geocaching in the area.  After dinner, we headed back to the campground.

After touring around the Jackson area on Saturday it was time to hit the road


As we were driving along Ashley said “The Canyon Inn” as we passed by this old place.  I immediately recognized it and flipped around so we could check it out and grab a picture.  The Canyon Inn, previously called the Canyon Club is where my mom grew up.  My grandparents owned the place and raised my mom and uncle there.  Back then it was a popular place for travelers to stop, get a drink and listen to some live music.


Canyon Campground – Yellowstone National Park


We are at the mid point of our week long adventure and have arrived in Yellowstone. We woke up the next morning and it had snowed overnight.


We had a great time exploring the park and one of the highlights was the Lamar Valley tour.  We loaded up on an old bus and the driver helped us spot various animals.  We were on our way back and it was getting dark and the driver started to slow down as there was a bison in the road.  As we got closer, the “bison” turned and the driver realized it was a bear.  As the bear started to make its way down the side of the bus the hump on its back made it clear that it was a grizzly.


Buffalo Campground

We made it out of the state!  This is not only the first stop on our week long adventure but the first time we have taken the trailer out of the state.  The drive was not bad at all and we all felt very comparable to going down to Arches.  The main difference is that here we are among the trees and that is just the type of camping that we like.  The Buffalo (not Buffalo Run) campground in Island Park is now easily one of our favorites.

I had a friend from work visit the area a few weeks earlier (before labor day) and he gave us a few suggestions on things to check out.  Unfortunately now being after the holiday some stuff was already closed.  One of the things Lily was looking forward to was catching minnows at Mack’s Inn.  While the store with the nets was closed, the minnows were still in the water.  We are looking forward to getting back in 2015.



Wasatch Mountain State Park

Back at Wasatch Mountain State park again this weekend.  We came up with some friends that recently got a trailer and they wanted to check the place out.  We stayed in a different spot of the loop from where we normally are and did not like it as much.

One of the things that we really like about Wasatch Mountain State Park is the close proximity to Midway and Heber.  When we stay here we frequently go into town and see whats going on.  On this trip we were fortunate enough to find a fundraiser at a Catholic church.  For just a couple of bucks, I got to have wet sponges thrown at my by my daughter…




ymcaPart of the fun of camping is trying out new locations and exploring the area.  The Soapstone campground in the Uintas has plenty to offer when it comes to exploring but we came across one thing that I was not expecting…  YMCA Camp Roger!

This place is special to me as I spent several summers here when I was younger.  I had thought about it over the years and never really knew where it was and sure enough, we ran right into it.  One of the leaders I had several times at the camp (Alf) oddly enough became my boss later in my life when I was working at the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake.

Another neat discovery is the “Fairy Forest” which was just up the street from Soapstone.  I wont say to much but if you are in the area you must look it up and stop by.


“Roughing it” at Smith and Morehouse


Who said camping has to be roughing it?  One of the many advantages of having a trailer is that you can bring a lot of the comforts of home with you on the road.

Joan requested that we add Smith and Morehouse to our list of campgrounds for 2014.  When she was little, she would come up here with her parents to camp and fish and has wanted to get back to the area for some time.  Now I am not sure, but from what I know about Pa, there probably wouldn’t have been any mani pedi action back then.


One Year Ago – Spruces


One year ago today, we started down a new path that has totally changed what we do as a family on any given weekend. We went from camping 1 time in 6 years to just having completed our 14th in the last year. We have traveled over 1700 miles with our trailer and visited places that we didn’t even knew existed.

When we were working through the process of purchasing our trailer, people kept talking about investing in life long memories and family. I didn’t realize just how true of a statement that was. We go out in nature, strip off all the daily stresses, remove a good portion of (not all) technology and spend time together as a family. One of our friends recently said “it’s like you guys are taking mini vacations all the time.” That is exactly the point. We are able to pack up and head out and be in some of the most amazing places within hours of our house.

Time camping isn’t spent, its invested…


Utah Lake State Park

UtahLake-June23rd time staying at Utah Lake State Park this weekend and we decided to bring Radar and Livy with us.  We have taken them on a few camping trips in the past and thought this might be a good spot due to the large grass park.  Unfortunately this will probably be the last time we take Radar.  The entire time he was shaking and trying to get in the car.  So much so that he slept in the car in his bed overnight.  We had a nice weekend and Livy seemed to do ok.  When we got home we discovered Raydar had a foxtail in his paw and we had to have it removed.  So yea…  nor more camping for Radar.