Quick Swell trip 3/18-3/21

Shuksan

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Quick little trip report.

3/18 - Left Denver heading West at around 10:30 am. With kids requiring stops for playgrounds etc we found camp about dusk. Got tents and trailer set up, baby to bed, had a couple beers around the propane fire and called it a night.

3/19 - Woke up to a beautiful camp site. Lazy morning at camp before heading out to explore.
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Headed West and South along Wild horse road. Kids were napping for the first part of this so we didn't stop to take pictures much, but this trail was mind blowing! Not far from here is some sort of Mars cosplay research station and it isn't surprising to see why. Not a technical trail, but if you are in the area don't miss this one. We stopped for lunch at an abandoned homestead along the muddy. Got a poser photo of the 100 with the new bumper.
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Shuksan

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Continued south. Was a little nervous about doing the creek crossing solo as we hadn't seen anyone out on the trail. We were about to head back, but found a rocky and shallow section to drive across with ease. Continued amongst amazing scenery south past Factory butte, which is also amazing. Rolled through Hanksville and some playground time for the kiddos before rolling back to camp. Kids playing in the dirt is always a fun time. Just gotta watch the little one or he'll eat rocks.
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Later that night friends from Denver and Salt Lake found their way to our camp. We stayed up late with a real fire drinking some cold ones.
 

Shuksan

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3/20 - Saturday we drove the short distance over to Goblin Valley. Very cool. At first our son was upset we were going to a "park" without a play toy. He ended up having way more fun with all the small trails and caves. Great little state park there.
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It was pretty winding and dusty while we were at the park, so we headed back to camp hoping for some shelter...
 

Shuksan

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Well the wind just kept getting stronger and stronger. Wind, especially dusty wind, is probably the worst weather for camping. To get some relief we headed off for a little trail adventure around temple mountain. Pretty cool trail with some nice views and some decently technical terrain. We didn't take the exact path here:

we ended up going around the north side of the mountain. Saw the petroglyphs and headed back to camp. Lots of wind so again no pictures.

While hanging out in the tent the wind kept picking up. It ended up tearing some tie downs on our tent annex and even blew our friends' ground tent full of gear and clothes and bedding ~75 feet! With no end in sight we made the decision to pack up and drive part way home... Left camp around 8 pm with plans to grab a hotel in GJ. Well every room from GJ to Vail was booked. Despite the snow and it being middle of the night, both me and my wife were feeling awake, so we kept driving slow and steady. Pulled into the driveway about 5 am and climbed into bed.

Had to unpack the next day and found some cool snow features on the trailer:
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Overall great trip, but got cut a little short. Wind sucks.
 

Johnny Utah

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Thanks for sharing. I love the Swell. I've definitely experienced wind and blowing dust while camping many times and it is not fun. Glad you got out and back safe.
 

MATPHAT

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Would love to pick your brain on wheeling with toddlers. My boy is turning 4 this summer and it's time to get him on the trail. How do you manage whiplash in the really rough stuff?
 

Shuksan

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Would love to pick your brain on wheeling with toddlers. My boy is turning 4 this summer and it's time to get him on the trail. How do you manage whiplash in the really rough stuff?
I generally don't do any really rough stuff with the kids. However, they do fall asleep and stay asleep amazingly due to the bumps of the trail. If it is a bit bumpier we just put a blanket or pillow against their head to keep it in place. Both of my kids have been on moderate trails (Clohesy lake, Devil's Canyon, Black Bear, Imogene, Engineer, etc.) at pretty young ages (at or around 1 YO). Actually whiplash isn't an issue with the smaller kids cause they are laying flatter. I have seen kids asleep with a belt holding their heads in place. We haven't done that, but my wife didn't think it was a bad idea.

Hopefully this doesn't make me seem like a terrible parent taking my kids out doing this. Our older son (almost 4) loves this stuff. Me and him will do solo day trips up to Argentine etc and give my wife some alone time. Me and him are also able to go do boys camping trips now too. Both of us love it and I look forward to taking both of them out on boys trips (and I am sure my wife does too).
 

bassguyry

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Would love to pick your brain on wheeling with toddlers. My boy is turning 4 this summer and it's time to get him on the trail. How do you manage whiplash in the really rough stuff?
I started taking my son wheeling when he was just two years old, and my daughter was five. For me, the key was having a really good car seat with solid head/neck support, but most importantly, I took obstacles really slow, so I wasn't jarring/knocking them around too much. Granted, I don't do a ton of rock crawling (because I wheel a 100...lol), but they've been on some pretty sketchy trails with me, and they really love it. My son actually slept through most of the obstacles on MSV and Coney Flats when we ran it with some RS folks last summer.

Like @Shuksan, wheeling with both of my kids has been a great way to give my wife a break, and just getting them in the mountains and on some dirt is always a good thing, IMO. They both love camping and wheeling, and I'm glad I started them as early as I did.
 
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MATPHAT

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Boulder, CO
Hopefully this doesn't make me seem like a terrible parent taking my kids out doing this.
I don't think so. I did a trip up to Loch Lomond with my 1yr old and we didn't make it but half way up before he got really upset by all the whipping around in the chunky sections. We ended up walking the rest. It put me off doing anything else like that till he was bigger. Now he's bigger and I'd like to try again.
 
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