Love fiercely and steadily, foster curiosity, value adventure, and above all, cultivate kindness.

The backcountry is a sacred classroom for our family--- it’s where we feel invigorated, at peace, challenged, and are able to grow and bond in a significant way. I believe in nurturing with nature.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls

This post is sponsored by Setton Farms. While I eat my fair share of pizza, Sour Patch Kids, bananas, and energy blocks while I travel on the trail or road, I ALWAYS have some pistachios with us. I feel better when I eat nutrient rich snacks. When my snacks are made of wholesome ingredients, I crave less sugar and empty calories. On our road trip to Calf Creek Falls, we snacked on Pistachio Chewy Bites, Chili-Lime flavored pistachios, Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios, and Pistachio Berry Blend snack mix. These products are available to purchase in Harmons or Kroger Markets.

Milo begs for the pistachios from my Pistachio Berry Blend snack mix 

Milo begs for the pistachios from my Pistachio Berry Blend snack mix 

I could hear my phone vibrating on the bathroom counter. Was it already 7AM? Damnit. The night before while we were up late painting and eating pizza, going to the desert sounded like a great idea. “Both of my boys are out of town!”, I said. “Let’s have a wild weekend exploring a new corner of Southern Utah!”, I declared. “I’m a free woman!”, I exclaimed.  Now, 7AM the following morning, I fantasize about using my freedom to lay in bed for a few hours, looking at kilim rugs on pinterest. Fortunately for me, Hannah is counting on me, so I kick my sorry arse out of bed. After a few phone calls nailing down the trails and travel routes we want to explore, I’m out digging for my sleeping pad in the garage, and loading the Yeti cooler with ingredients for breakfast burritos. As I take out the carseat, and load the console with road snack trips (Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios, Cheese Nips, and berry flavored Sour Patch Kids) all feelings of feet-draggery get swept away with the crumbs and unidentified objects under Huck’s car seat. The moment I slam the door of the loaded hatchback of my Impreza (does one night of camping really require this much gear?), my levels of giddiness start to rise. Calf Creek Falls, here we come!

“Are you sure we are supposed to turn here? It seems like a side street?” I ask Hannah, as she consults the map. In these small mining towns of Utah, all of the streets seem like side streets. “Yep”, she replies, “and the speed limit is 25 mph”. Driving to Boulder, UT is not like driving to Moab. The route goes directly through small town after small town. You know you are heading into a great adventure when you don’t have cell service, and when your internal compass isn’t exactly sure which way is west.

We pull into the seemingly deserted campground, surprisingly dead for a holiday weekend. After polishing off a jar of salsa and bag of tortilla chips, cooking a delicious dinner, and burning through the last of our firewood, we take out the camera and play with long exposure night shots. As we head into the tent, I wonder if three layers of down are enough, and start to feel grateful for a friend and pup to sleep against.

In the morning, we shake off the thick layer of frost from the tent, pack up camp, and walk to the trailhead. We actually brought a trail map to read more about the wildlife, terrain, and pictographs. The trail is mild and rolling, and we encounter four sets of hikers on the trail. I want to bring Huck back and encourage him to hike as much as he can-- Lower Calf Creek Falls is an easy trail, and is perfect for children.

Hannah and I high-five as we get to the falls, and both stand in awe for several moments. The sound of powerful water gushing over the 130’ cliff echoes along the tall desert canyon walls. This is the definition of desert oasis.

This past year I’ve learned the value of self care and self love. Instead of only chasing objectives, I’ve allowed myself to ENJOY adventures. I've learned to allow myself to enjoy eating well, stopping at local coffee shops, and occasionally letting myself explore trails that don’t push me to my physical limit. This mindset has opened a whole new world of adventure. How often do you plan an adventure that doesn't tick an objective off of your list of goals? 

Location: Boulder, UT or Escalante, UT

Distance/ Elevation: 5.7 miles; 882 feet

Additional Info: Dog friendly, water along trail, pockets of shade

Campsite Cooking with a Toddler

Campsite Cooking with a Toddler

Thule, The Catalyst for Family Adventure

Thule, The Catalyst for Family Adventure