Weekend Get Away; Just Me, the Kids, and the San Rafael Swell.

JCMatthews

Tour Guide
I was sitting at my desk Friday afternoon in desperate need of a recharge. I called my wife and told her that I was going to the Swell by myself if I had too. By the time I reached home, all of the kids had heard the plan and were excited to go. My wife however had mixed feelings, and with my blessing stayed home. It took an hour or so to get us packed up, and as we left the driveway the sun was almost gone. The drive from our house to the Swinging Bridge campground (at the end of the Buck Horn Draw) is 45 miles, and takes about an hour.

We set up camp in the dark, and had a dinner of Mountain House and hot chocolate. We enjoyed the fire and then got into bed before it was too cold. We awoke to beautiful views and cold temps. However, with good gear and experienced kids, we all stayed warm. We had instant oatmeal (camping cereal) for breakfast, and then the kids took a few minutes to play on the swinging bridge, and climb the hills.
 

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JCMatthews

Tour Guide
Weekend Get Away; Just Me, the Kids, and the San Rafael Swell. (continued)

On my bucket list has always been Swasey's Leap. I decided that we would make that our destination. To get there we had to travel several miles to the south, and then head east out onto ************** Flat and then north to the Lower Black Box.

************** flat and the so named bench get there name from a herd of wild burros that live there. I have read that there are as many as 75 head in the herd. We were lucky enough to see one of them. the sighting was the highlight of the trip. The views out on the flat were amazing, and the weather just perfect.

At the gate / trail head to Swasey's Leap trail we had a quick lunch of peanut butter and jelly tortillas and powdered doughnut holes. We hit the trail about 12:30 PM, and I knew we'd have to keep a fast pace if we were to make it back before the temperatures started to drop, so I really kept the kids moving.

The legend that is associated with this spot is that Sid Swasey was bet 75 cows by his brother that he could not jump the 14 foot gap on the Lower Black Box. He did and won the cows. It later had a primitive bridge built over it so that sheep could cross. The bridge is gone and it is only a gap, but it was a good hike to break up the monotony of all the driving.
 

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JCMatthews

Tour Guide
Weekend Get Away; Just Me, the Kids, and the San Rafael Swell. (completed)

We were back in the Tundra and on the road by 3:15 PM which means these kids were really walking fast. The kids had tired feet and let them hang out the window for a little airing out. We did not let any grass grow under our tires getting back to the tarmac and as we left the Swell, we were treated with a beautiful sun set. All in all it was a great 24 hours, and the batteries recharged. The kiddos said they had a great time and are ready to go again.
 

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gloriavoxdei

Adventurer
Awesome post, I love seeing dad's who actually take them time to invest in their kids. I want to make a trip out there with my kids in the next few years.
 

mph

Expedition Leader
The shots with the kids' feet out the window is priceless...Thanks for sharing. Looks like you all had a blast!
 

Moody

Needs to get out more
I'm convinced the spur-of-the-moment-quick-overnighters are often the most rewarding...good work dad.
 

Dozilla

Observer
I love seeing pictures of kids with cameras out in nature!!! I didn't see any cell phones or video games either!!

Donny
 
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