Thank goodness no one in our family is a die-hard shopper. It was unanimous that we head OUT of the city the day after Thanksgiving to enjoy spending time at Red Rock Canyon, a place we've been several times of late and will probably never get tired of. After a leisurely morning, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the park. Amazingly, it was actually crowded! The other times I've taken the kids were on school mornings/afternoons, and there were hardly any other people there at those times. But the Friday of a holiday weekend?! I guess we weren't the only ones trying to avoid the insane shopping rushes. Still, it was fun to get outside after being shut indoors by unexpected rain, and such a sunny day called for some exercise to work off all of Thursday's calories.
As expected, the kids had a blast climbing and exploring, and with 4 adults along this time, it was much easier to wrangle Kenna around. (She pretty much requires her very own bodyguard for these types of activities. "No fear" is more than just a slogan--it's her way of life!) We spent some time at the first stop on the 13-mile loop, then skipped the next two because of crowds. After a brief look off the high point, we made our way to the picnic area, which, surprisingly, was not as crowded as we had feared. Of course the kids were all starving, so food was devoured at an alarming rate, followed by more exploration.
Just as we were ready to pack up and head home for naptime, some rock climbers came along and began setting up their ropes and equipment for climbing. The kids were enthralled and wanted to wait to see a performance. By the time everything was set up, we figured we might as well wait and let the kids see some action. Boy, did they ever!! The two men who had initially climbed up high to throw down ropes, etc., came down right by where we were watching. The younger guy did a little upside-down showboat routine to many "ooohs" and "aaahs." I guess such an appreciative audience was welcome, because the leader of the group (who is obviously a dad and a Boy Scout leader) offered to let all our kids (or at least the 4 older ones) do a bit of "rappeling." This offer was met with cries of delight, and so Arden, Meghan, Charis, and finally Tobin were treated to a little lesson followed by a chance to "rappel" about 6 feet down. The kids all did so great! I'll have to upload some videos later, but you can see Arden bravely taking on the challenge of going first. As you can imagine, this was the highlight of their day!
We took LOTS of pictures of this excursion, and you can see 60 of them here. The first batch is from Clint and Ski's camera, followed by the ones we took--so they're a bit out of order and have some similar shots. But hey, it's pictures. :-)