April and I did our birthday camping trip without our HB's this year--hers got sick and mine was coaching. So we took off with her two little boys and headed out to Echo park on the eastern side of Dinosaur National Monument. None of us had ever been there before and so I had no idea it would be so amazing. I love desert camping, the high red sandstone walls, the white slickrock to run up on, the narrow canyons, etc. This place had those features as well as lots of vibrantly green trees (think Capitol Reef) and just behind our campsite the Green and Yampa rivers meet and provide sandy beaches. Seeing it made me really wish the HB could come because he loves camping by water and it was over the top that there was actually a soft, sandy beach.
When we first walked over to "check out the water" we ended up staying long enough for Lanik to take off his clothes and play, dragging his Woody toy through the water and then face-first through the mud, burying him in sand, and then making a castle. The next morning we had high hopes of doing a lot of hiking, but were only able to pull off one complete hike. It was a 2 mile trail that overlooked the canyon we were camping in and the river gorges. It was a perfect hike because it started drizzling not long after we got on the trail, and though it made for foggy pictures, it added that sort of ethereal feeling that only comes when you're looking through fog into the most beautiful landscape you've ever seen.
It cleared up as we walked down and we went back to the river to play some more. Later on we explored some old ranch buildings in the area built back in the 1920's. We picked up some cool rocks for Caiden and then on Sunday stopped at the dinosaur museum in Vernal. We'll definitely go back again so we can do more of the trails and show our husbands what a great place it was!