We used to throw up the tent in the living room of our house and let the kids play and/or sleep in it. They loved it. And then once we put the tent up in the backyard. But we learned the tent was too small for all of us and what once worked for Jeff and I had been outgrown, even by 2 added little people. Luckily, we were only steps away from the house and in the middle of the night, Jeff called it quits and went inside.
So when we started downsizing for the RV, we sold the tent, sleeping bags, huge overnight hiking packs and more.
Fast forward to our time in Utah and we had the urge to tent camp. Our neighbor had a tent she was generous to let us borrow. It could even fit our dog.
We drove all of Highway 12 leading from Bryce Canyon, ending near Capitol Reef National Park. We explored this lesser talked about National Park nestled amongst high red cliffs, meandering creek, orchards with fruit for the taking when in season and the occasional deer munching on the fallen fruit not caring about the people walking nearby. We loved this park and want to eventually go back and spend extensive time there. Perhaps a workamping gig? We were flabbergasted at the beauty and the lack of huge crowds.
It was scorching hot in the lower elevations but a welcomed reprieve up in the trees where we found a campsite, at 8600ft in elevation.
Dinner over campfire ensued, the wind kicked up which forced us to put out the fire and we retired to the tent. All. Night. Long the wind howled and screamed around us as we felt the false safety under our nylon canopy. The kids zonked out. But us two adults hardly slept. The wind hit us so hard that the tent, which was a cheap one, flattened against Jeff’s face on one side came across the kids (who were in the middle) and hit me. All night. I dozed off and when I felt a tap on my shoulder, asked Jeff what he wanted. He responded “that wasn’t me….that was the tent”.
The next morning the kids played, we laughed about the ridiculous night, packed up and went to the Wildcat Rest Area and enjoyed fresh coffee and biscuits made in the original fire burning oven in this old building. Original Ranger Station I think?
Before heading back home, we stopped on the Burr Trail. **if you EVER find yourself in this area, the Burr Trail is a MUST detour! It is a part of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, has slot canyons, epic drives, hikes and if you are tent camping or have a small driveable…there’s even a campground.
After this trip we knew that:
1. We wanted to go tent camping again (the kids enjoyed it so much)
2. We needed to get a decent quality tent ;P