Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hike II

I told you we've been putting our National Parks Pass to good use. On another trip to Redrock, we decided to try another hike: Calico Tanks. A few weeks before, on one of our drives through Redrock, we'd stopped at the trailhead and climbed on the rocks for about 20 minutes before it got too dark to do anything else. But other than that, I didn't know much about the trail.

The trail alternated between sandy, loose gravelly dry riverbeds and sandstone to "scramble" up. The boys loved all the climbing involved. And, I must say, the climbing certainly made the hike more interesting than the usual winding paths we've hiked on. The boys were amazing hikers. Once again I heard zero complaining. We did have to take a few quick stops after trips/scrapes and one terrifying second where Asher slipped and did basically a front flip onto a rock, but other than that the boys were fantastic. As we were nearing the end of the trail, we passed another hiker who told us to make sure we kept going past the tanks, because the views were ridiculous. Duly noted, other hiker.

Side bar: every time we hike, without fail, people compliment our boys on how great they are doing (and us for taking all three kids on a hike!). They always seem surprised and impressed that the boys do such a good job on hikes and that we are willing to take three little kids out on a hike. It's kind of hilarious how many times we get stopped. Once, in Zion (when we only had two kids) and older couple took a picture of us on their camera to show to their kids to prove that you can take children hiking.

Back to the hike at hand. We got to the tanks, which were pretty cool. They're natural "water tanks" that have formed in the sandstone. When we were there, there was probably a couple of feet of water at the mid-point, but during the wetter seasons I think they're much higher. We met another set of hikers who told us getting past the tanks was a little tricky, but SO worth it. So we did it. And, I must say, it was kind of a LOT tricky, especially with the boys.

But was it worth it? A thousand times yes. Because suddenly we could see the entire Las Vegas Valley. You can't really see it well in the picture--but trust me, in real life, it was ridiculous.


Some kind souls at the top moved for us so we could get a better view, pointed out a mouse hiding in the rocks to the boys, and offered to take a picture of our family. Sometimes, I love people.


We hung out a little while, then decided to head back. We were kind of losing daylight and definitely didn't want to be hiking back in the dark. Ryan carried Asher for a few tricky parts on the way back just to speed us up (we were really losing daylight by then), but Asher walked the entire way to the top and about 3/4 of the way back. Reed hiked the entire thing--2.5 miles and about 3.5 hours!

The view on the way back was worth looking at, too:



We made it back to the car just as dusk was settling in. It was bedtime and we were starving, so we stopped at our favorite out-to-eat with kids place: Sweet Tomatoes (Yum). Poor Ashie was so tired he fell asleep in the car on the fifteen-minute drive from the hike to the restaurant! He perked up for food, though. When we got home, all three kids crashed hard--we actually had to wake the boys up at 8 the next morning to get ready for 8:30 church!

And a final closing side note: on our most recent trip to Redrock (no pictures, sorry), Asher told me, "I'm a hiker and a half Mommy! Because I can do like cool tricks! And you like can't!"

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