Photo Dump: Palo Duro Canyon

So, some dear friends of ours donated a camper to us a few months ago.  That's right...a camper. Of course, the kids have been begging to go ever since it first showed up in our driveway. The last weekend we relented and took them to Palo Duro Canyon since it is fairly close, but far enough away to be interesting. 

Well. It was interesting. 

All night Friday night we were slammed with wave on top of wave of a giant electrical storm. Literally, all night long. Considering the canyon is usually desert is was amazing to see it alive and green and so. very. wet.  Honestly, Russ and I had to admit that in between desperate prayers for our safety it was actually a pretty cool thing to experience. 

But then sleep.

A completely lack of sleep and five kids and a whole day of hiking in the mud doesn't seem like it should make for such a great camping trip. Which is why we were so shocked when the whole thing ended up being a blast. Seriously. So much fun!

I can't help it. I have to brag. These kids hiked a total of three miles without complaint. In fact, they loved it! So worth it.

Here we are breaking and entering. Good times on family vacay!

Okay, you know how on Lord of the Rings Legolas was always making weird faces in the background. Eli. Always look for Eli in every picture. It is sure to make your day

Weird head tilt. I don't know.

Friday night's weenie roast.

Babies first roasted marshmallows. Good times here people.

Morning cuddles after a night of NO SLEEP. Getting out of bed was hard.

Daddy leading his little hikers up the trail!

This cave was totally worth getting sloppy muddy on the steep climb. Bonus: Eli said his favorite part of the trip was getting muddy!

The face? The hands? I don't really know what kind of crazy was going on here!

This was my walking partner and our sole homebody. "When we are done essploring can we go home?"

I love these people!

Fine. I went all crazy mom on this part of the hike. Steep! It was so steep!

Jane was actually pretty determined to hike most of it herself. Amazingly, she covered about a third of it! (Thankfully for Russ's back because he carried her most of the time.)

We weren't really planning on big hiking so we didn't bring any accommodations for Jane. We just winged it.