Warning: Lots and lots of pictures in this post
For Girls camp we usually go as a stake to Camp Mia Shalom in the mountains above Fairfield and west of Scofield lake; but because Mia Shalom is in high demand, and every 10 years or so we do girls camp on our own as wards. This was one of those years and our ward decided to go to Moab.
The timing turned out to be a blessing as Mia Shalom still had 12 feet of snow in June and many stakes had their girls camp canceled and were left scrambling to find something to do.
I will begin by saying that while Moab is a great place
Moab in July is just HOT!
But since July was the only time we could make it work
we just made it work!
|Some of the leaders: Becky, Karen and Karen|
|Some of the girls: Jen, Kris, Michelle and Hannah|
We camped at Big Bend campground on the Colorado River in hopes that being close to water would help everyone stay cooler and be more comfortable. Our particular camp site was across the road from the river in our own little canyon.
|To our campsite - river at our back|
|Looking towards the road and beyond that is the river.|
We never actually swam in the river here because we found out that just the day before, a 21 year old woman was swimming at the beach at the campground without a life jacket and had drowned. They had not yet found her body. We did not bring life jackets and would not be swimming there. We did not share this information with the girls... we just kept busy and didn't go down there.
On our first evening we planned to hike to Delicate Arch. I was kind of hoping for a moonlight hike after it cooled off a bit, but our YW president felt like we should go sooner so we left right after dinner. During dinner the wind began to whip up and a few clouds moved in blocking the sun. It cooled things down a bit. The drive into Arches was scenic and the air conditioning in the car was wonderful. The girls were in good spirits as we began to hike and the wind and clouds provided a little break from the heat.
We made it to Delicate Arch with no problems and all the girls seemed to be having fun.
As we hiked back down we enjoyed watching the sun as it set; filling the sky with beautiful colors and silhouettes from the surrounding rocks and vegetation.
Driving out of Arches it became dark quickly and began to rain. We could see lots of lightning in the distance and hear the thunder. The timing of our hike was perfect. We found out later that the storm that passed through, not only broke one of our tents but also set records for rainfall in one area of Moab and caused flash flooding in Arches near Delicate Arch stranding 73 people for more than 8 hours.
Upon discovering that our largest tent was broken (and as it was sprinkling rain off and on) those of us that were supposed to sleep in the tent opted to sleep in the large empty trailer instead. Which worked out fine once the wind settled down.
The next day we went river rafting!The river was relatively calm though fast moving with a few "rapids". We had water wars to stay cool and entertained. It was a fun day. Jennifer started out in the boat with me (the fun - let's soak em good boat) until she jumped in the river after a bucket that went astray and was picked up by the other boat (the I don't really want to get wet but would be happy to just float down the river boat, (Ok just the back half of the boat felt that way)). Later she was able to rejoin our boat - and everyone got wet.
|That's not my best side on the far left and Jenn is on the far right.|
We came home tired, a little sunburned despite our multiple reapplications of sunscreen, and as soon as we dried off we were hot. We made ice cream (thanks to the men who kept us supplied with plenty of ice), hunted for lizards, had devotionals, dinner, did skits, sang in the canyon and saw lots of falling stars. Some of the girls even had a campfire and roasted starbursts and made s'mores. It was another windy night, actually windier than the night before which made the large "drop down" door of the trailer blow open and then slam closed all through the night. We had the side door open but didn't know what else to do because of the heat. The wind finally died down about 3:30 am and I was able to go to sleep.
Then last day we had breakfast and broke camp. By 9:30 we were all packed up and headed for our last adventure, a hike to Morning Glory Bridge in Negro Bill Canyon just down the road and river from were we were camping. As we passed a campsite right before Negro Bill Canyon one of the girls noticed an ambulance parked there. I found out later that earlier that morning they found the body of the woman who drowned.
Negro Bill Canyon is a narrow canyon with a stream flowing through the middle year round (Named after one of the original settlers of Moab). It was nice to have some shade and ten stream crossings made it a fun hike too.