This post was co-written by suzi and Clayton

The kids had Spring Break this past week, and we had made plans weeks ago to go camping in Southern Utah. Well, that plan went out the window when we found out that the area was closed to all tourist activity due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so we improvised. We decided to drive around Southern Colorado instead.

Day 1

Stone D. Fox was already tired when we hit the road.

We learned about a fun van camping set up called Escape Campervans. The vehicle comes equipped with seats that fold into a queen size mattress, a pump sink and a camper stove – everything we needed to socially distance ourselves while having fun. Hat tip to Brett for the idea)

Our first night’s destination was the Zapata Falls Campground. As we drove up the rocky hill we were nervous the site would be full. We had heard rumor that camping and visits to state and national parks was busier than usual since it was one of the few things left for people to do.

Luckily, when we arrived around 6pm there were several spots to choose from. We set up spot at a place with a nice view and quick access to the bathrooms.

After setting up our tent and eating hot dogs and broccoli salad, we built a fire and made “S’moreos” – a spin off of s’mores where you use Oreos instead of graham crackers (because you can’t have too much sugary nonsense when you’re camping).

We (Clayton and suzi) slept in the tent the first night, while the kids slept in the van. We froze our BUTTS off. Holy crap it was cold. Below freezing, for sure.

Day 2

One the second day, we hiked up to the falls, which were frozen.

A nice man even lent Clayton his ice shoe cleat-things so he could walk on the ice to get a closer look.

It was a beautiful day with gorgeous views of the Great Sand Dunes and San Luis Valley.

It started to get super windy and cold, so we hid out in the van for the afternoon and played Skip-Bo and listened to the audiobook of Dear Evan Hansen. Then we fired up another campfire and spent this one singing our favorite old tunes. Here’s the playlist:

We decided to all cram in the van since the tent was too cold for any reasonable human to sleep in. And we fit! It’s probably the last time the 4 of us will be able to fit in a van together, lol. Those kids are growing so fast!

Day 3

We got up, packed up the van, and headed to the Great Sand Dunes. There were a bunch of people there (with the same idea of getting out of town for ultimate social isolation, no doubt). We spent some time climbing around and sliding down the Dunes.

Fam at the Dunes

After a picnic lunch we hit the road back home. We had other places we wanted to explore, but it was just too windy and cold for it to be enjoyable anymore. It was nice to be out in nature and get some distance from all of the internet panic of COVID-19. Feeling grateful for the opportunity to get away for a few days.

BONUS! We stopped by a UFO watchtower on our way home! It was closed :( but I got a pic with this cute lil fella!

PS Our timing was perfect because right when we came back, Colorado issued its official “stay at home” order. Whew!

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