Our trip to Cochiti lake

We had looked over our calendar and decided if we did not have a family camp out on July 6th and 7th it would not happen this summer. When we passed Cochiti lake on our trip to Bandelier we saw that the east side of the lake has trees by the water so we decided that would be where we would go.

We left home around 5:00 pm and drove up to Cochiti lake. We arrived at 7:00. First we went down to the lake and walked along the shore for a bit. Next we went up to the campground. The campground is up the hill from the lake. We Set up camp and had hot dogs for dinner.

The next morning we took down our tents and went down to the lake. There is a spot that has an island about 200 yards from the shore. We set up our shade tent and watched the kids play in the lake it was a fun day.


We had another adventure!

For the last few weeks I have wanted to go do something new. See the mountains, go to a lake, camp or something like that. Yesterday we woke up and Lynn said we should go to the mountains or a lake. I was excited and said let’s go! So we packed up the blue van and headed for town.


I have wanted to see Bandelier for a long time. So I looked up directions on Google Maps and off we went. I was excited that the route took us right past Cochiti Lake. We have wanted to go see that lake, to know if it would be a good place to go play.


So we stopped at Cochiti Lake and looked at the campground and swim areas. We can’t wait to go camping there now.


After we looked over the campground and got excited planning our trip to Cochiti Lake we got back on the road.

A side note about Google maps: it gives you the shortest route to where you want to go even if that takes you around the back of a mountain to the back “entrance” of a national monument.

As we headed down the road we pass this rough dirt road, and my phone said do a U-turn. With some trepidation I turned back and got on the dirt road.


The road was not so bad, but there were some steep cliffs and we were driving through some of the worst burned areas from last year’s fire. After about an hour on the dirt road the map brought us to a dead end road that is the back entrance to Bandelier. It was a burned out mountain in the middle of nowhere. There is a sign that says Bandelier National Monument and that was it. Lynn laughed at my trust in a gadget. In fact she was almost rolling in the dirt laughing at me going on about how Bandelier is supposed to be this beautiful canyon and here we are on top of a mountain that has been ravaged by fire. Luckily I had looked at the website for Bandelier and it said that the shuttle buses were running from White Rock. So I figured I would have my phone get us to White Rock and we would find Bandelier from there.

Lynn says: The road was not that bad? You had to stop to get over some of those rocks and ruts! If we were not in the big van we would have high centered many times!

The road we turned on took us right past Bandelier, the part we wanted to see. So we pulled into the campground to recover from our mountain drive and then have a snack.




Then we took the shuttle down into the canyon.




The canyon was really neat we had lots of fun seeing the abandoned indian homes. The people that had lived there made caves in the volcanic tuff. They have some ladders that the kids can climb into the caves and they really enjoyed getting to see the park.










There are some really neat ruins of a couple of housing complexes. The long house:



And Tyuonyi:




We did not have much time to get up to Alcove House so we are looking forward to going again.

We then took the bus back up to the campground for dinner.







We had a lot of fun and are looking forward to another adventure.

Camping Trip

May 14th and 15th was the Father and Sons campout. For the first time in years I felt well enough to go. James and Daniel were so excited, it was all they could talk about for weeks. James even bought some camping gear for his birthday. On the 14th the boys were up early ready to go. However everyone was gone to Farmington to Wildly Natural. So I had to stay and watch the phone and the office. That only lasted until lunch. I was pretty excited to go also, so we ate lunch and then got into the car. We drove into town and had to run some errands. We stopped at Wal-Mart and bought dinner to make on the campfire, pop biscuits, hot dogs and bacon. Then we were off to the Sandias. In Albuquerque the sun was shining and it was beautiful, around the mountain it was cloudy and cold quite a shock when we got out of the car. The Stake had use of a scout ranch just north of Cedar Crest. When we arrived there were a few fathers with their sons there we looked over the camp and set up next to a spot that had had a campfire before.

There was a tent next to us and it was Brother Martinez. I did not know that it was him until he returned from a walk with Nathaniel and Abe Park. Later that evening most everyone from our ward that came ended up there next to us. I was surprised at the campsite I had some signal, I could not call out but I could send texts. So Lynn and I were texting back and forth all afternoon. Brother Tigret said that if your cell phone works you are not really camping.

By about 4:00 we began discussing our camp fire when we learned that the owners of the campground did not want any fires. Luckily Lynn suggested bringing a small grill to cook on. So we made our dinner on the grill. Which worked out well. By 7:00 James began to complain about the cold but he wanted to hold out for the fireside (charcol-side). It so happened that it began to drizzle, which made it colder. At 8:00 we went over for the charcolside. Brother Tigret talked about our relationships with our fathers. He used several examples from the scriptures. Then brother Clark spoke about father and sons cam-pouts and how they increased his relationship with his father. By this time the rain was a heavy mist and it was quite cold. After the fireside we went back to our tent and James began crying he wanted to go home. Turns out that he did not have socks on and his crocks had holes in them, his feet were freezing. We laid down in the tent, I was quite warm and Daniel did not want to leave. However James just kept crying that his toes were cold. I asked Daniel if he minded if we went home and we was asleep. So we threw everything into the car wet and all and drove home. I don’t even think Daniel even work up. We got home about 10:00 PM.

The next morning I was laying in my bed trying to decide how to dry everything out and I thought it would be easiest to just pull the gear out and set it all up. Then Lynn came in and asked if we could go camping, win-win, dry everything out and get to go camping with the family. So we loaded up the family and went camping in the Zuni Mountains.