The trip to end all trips

That’s what Allan kept saying about our little adventure this weekend and not in a good way. We went up to the rim and it was interesting to say the least.
Our kids were overtired. Our kids were hungry. We left the food on the counter at home. It was hot. It was crowded. It was probably not the best idea to go out, but such is life.

I’m going to talk about where we went and it rarely means anything to me when other bloggers do since I have no idea what lakes or roads or cities are where.
SO- I put together some maps for you.
We live in Arizona in this general region:

Here the area we live in is circled (Phoenix area) along with where we go (Payson area- Payson’s a city in a mountain range we call “the rim”).

It is a 2-3 hour drive from where we live to the rim, depending on traffic and where exactly on the rim we go.

And here are the four places we stopped yesterday. Yes, four. It was a little crazy.

We spent 2 hours preparing for the trip.
Almost every trip we forget something vital. Last trip (to the Pinal Mountains) we forgot Payson’s bottle and formula!!
This trip we forgot our bag of sandwiches and our hot dog buns! We had to stop in Payson to get a lunch of Taco Bell.

The Taco Bell was so crowded there were literally no tables left inside. Luckily there were tables outside that we sat at. It was insanely windy and our napkins and wrappers were blowing all over the place. Not to mention Payson hates having wind in his face when he’s eating so while drinking his bottle he kept flailing his arms and legs around, knocking things off the table. Not so fun.


It was hot in Payson (97 degrees!) so when Payson’s cheeks started getting pink during lunch I poured some water on his head to cool him off.

He was pretty puzzled about why he was suddenly dripping wet. It did cool him off, though 🙂

The purpose of this trip was to go hiking. Allan wanted to try out this trail that follows the Tonto Creek. We got there and walked for maybe ten minutes and it was pretty clear that this was just not going to work.
Both girls were stumbling all over the place. The creek was dried up. It was hot. We had crappy shoes. The sling I was wearing Payson in was killing my back (I need a wrap!).
So we decided to salvage the trip by heading to a lake.

Black Canyon Lake is one neither of us have ever visited. Allan says there was a fire there a few years ago. A lot of the surrounding trees were dead and the place was a bit too muddy for the kids. We decided to walk around the lake a bit before we left.

It was a pretty lake. I bet it was stunning before the fire hit it.

The highlight of visiting this lake was finding this log. Kinda sad when a log is the highlight.


All three kids were moody the entire day. I don’t know if it was the long drive, the limited food choices or the heat, but they were whining, crying, complaining or just plain moody the entire time.

Allan and I kept looking at each other like, “what the heck have we gotten ourselves into? And what’s wrong with our children?”
We tried to make the most out of things. We goofed around with the kids and managed to snap them out of their pissiness most of the time.


Payson was really excited to finally be out of his stroller and the sling. We really can’t let him wander, though, because all he does is eat crap the entire time. Seriously he does nothing else but stick whatever junk he finds on the ground in his mouth. I can’t wait for this phase to end.


Sierra was complaining nonstop at this point.

We left Black Canyon Lake and headed to our favorite rim lake, Willow Springs. The kids’ moods notibly improved when we got out the food. All we had was a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter which Allan bought in Payson.
He spread the peanut butter on the bread with a stick of beef jerky.

Brooklyn and Sierra played hide and seek in the trees.

And Payson, once again, was beyond thrilled to be free of the carseat/stroller/sling.



And even whiny butt Sierra cheered up!

Before heading home I took a few pictures of the lake.



We got home after 9pm (might’ve been 10) and the kids went straight to sleep. Allan and I ate a cereal dinner before heading to bed.

4 thoughts on “The trip to end all trips

  • I feel your pain. We went camping last weekend and noticed that our little one who has always loved doing hikes started in with being whiney… not good! I have a feeling it is going to be a long summer as we don't plan to give up hiking any time soon 🙂 I am hoping it was also an off day.

    Good luck to future day trips! 🙂

    PS – as usual, amazing photos and cute kiddos!

  • That has happened to us before. My last trip to California in April was horrible. My youngest had JUST turned a year old and she hated the whole trip. The 8 hours getting there. Usually takes us 4 1/2 but we had to stop several times for her. It was HORRIBLE… and that's an understatement. She hated being away from home. She hated the playpen she slept in. And for the whole 3 days we were gone she cried NON-STOP. So I feel ya!

    But look at the pretty pictures you got! AND you made some memories in the process. 😉

  • That sounds like the kind of adventure we always have! It starts out with the best of plans, but somehow someone (usually me) always forgets something important and fouls up the whole thing. *sigh* It sure does look like a nice place to go from your photos though! And you'll always have the story on the blog to look back and laugh at… someday… haha. 😉

  • Wow, that is quite a trip. I hate it when I forget essentials. It's usually always something that I just tole myself not to forget too. Those are beautiful pictures of the lakes. I love the close up of the feet on the log the best. Very creative.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.