We arrived in Montrose, CO a few days early for the Fulltime Family rally. We were greeted upon arrival by the Travaglino family and quickly introduced to a few other FTF families. One of the families, the Seeley, lived in this area before they began full timing in an RV. They knew all the back road trails and fun places to go and offered to lead a group on a 4X4 adventure.

We drove through Montrose and just north of a little city called Delta was a small sign for Escalante Canyon Trails. If we hadn't been following the Seeleys, we would have just driven right on by without giving it another thought. We are very thankful that Todd and Renee shared this little hidden place with us.

There were 3 families on this adventure today. We were following and had we not witnessed the other vehicles go through some of the rough trails we might have turned around. There were some very intimidating spots that didn't look like they were accessible by vehicle, even a 4WD vehicle. But, because we saw the Seeleys and the Travaglinos make it through in their 4X4 trucks we decided we could make it in our Jeep. The pictures look nothing like the experience! It really wasn't a nice little dirt road as it appears in the picture.

This was our first real off road 4X4 adventure and we were so glad we came once we started seeing the spectacular scenery.

We were also thankful we had someone leading us!

Our first stop was by a rocky cliff.
The kids all had a blast climbing up the steep, rocky sides.
It was quite a climb to get to the top but it was so worth it.
There were ancient Indian Petroglyphs on the rocks and mountain sides.

At the very top there was an old mining road.

The kids all had a great time climbing and exploring.

They found all kinds of “treasures”, old bobbed wire, even the skeleton from a large animal.

They had so much fun it was really hard to tear them away to head out on the next adventure. We continued along the trails, if you could call it that, to see some old abandoned mines. We saw lots of rusty old machinery pieces from mines that were used in the late 1800's and early 1900's along with some dilapidated homes that had been demolished by time and some that were still standing.

We bounced along some more past little irrigation ditches used to water crops in this area. Past some beautiful river banks and small waterfalls to a little turnout area. Again, something we would have driven right by without thinking twice. Thankfully the Seeleys knew right where to go and knew the hidden gem of an area down below. We hiked down the side of the cliff, carrying coolers, lunches and towels to find the most breathtaking picnic spot I've ever seen.

We had an awesome picnic lunch by the river on the surrounding rocks in a little canyon area. there were tall rocky walls on either side with a river running through the middle.
After the picnic the swimming began.
The kids all found rocks that they used as slides or diving platforms.

They found swimming holes that were natural jacuzzis and all kinds of places to swim, climb and play on.

Although the water was cold, the sun was very hot so the river was so refreshing. The boys even used mud to draw their own petroglyphs on the rocks.

 

I'm sure this will be an experience they will never forget! It goes down in our book of “best days ever”!

Now we have to drag the kids and all the extra “stuff” back up the hill and begin the long bumpy drive back down the trail home!

– Posted by Bunny using BlogPress from my iPad

 

 

 

 

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