Months before our family's December hike to Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon we didn't expect road closures and blizzard like conditions on the trail, but plans and eventualities don't always coincide. Over years of camping on the South Rim during Memorial Day Weekends with young children the Grand Canyon became a special place for our family.

Since neither I nor any member of my family was capable of riding the 100 miles of the White Rim Trail on his or her bike in a single day we decided to spread the fun over four days of riding.  To make things even better our adventuring neighbors agreed to come along for the fun. I had been to Canyonlands National Park before and was impressed by Mesa Arch, but I hadn’t yet learned the charms of Canyonlands National Park.

Decades ago, in my youth, I read an article which intrigued me about the waterfalls in the southwest corner of Yellowstone.  So when I found myself in eastern Idaho late one summer I decided to drive to the Bechler Meadows Ranger Station in Yellowstone to see what the region had to offer.  After visiting with rangers I asked if the campsite at Dunanda Falls had any openings over the next couple of months.  

Throughout my life I have returned to Teton National Park to enjoy the wildlife, spectacular scenery and time with family and friends.  When my children were small a favorite outing was to ride the boat across Jenny Lake and then hike past the waterfalls up into Cascade Canyon where we would usually see Moose.  For our return trip in the summer of 2015 our primary objective was higher, the summit of the Middle Teton.

Our family adventures are often long in the planning and our trip to the Anasazi ruins of Grand Gulch in Southern Utah was no exception.  I had wanted to visit Grand Gulch since reading accounts of recent day explorers who had found artifacts and adventure in the narrow desert canyons.  Long before the trip we bought new backpacks for our boys and new sleeping pads for Lucy and me.  

Ever since I ran the Green River from south of Green River to Potato Bottom outside Moab with some friends and my young children I was looking for another river adventure that I could do with family and friends that would be a bigger challenge with bigger rewards.