Our First Family Camping Trip

We just got back from our very first family camping trip that didn’t end early or under duress. I somehow convinced my hubby to pack 2 toddlers, everything and literally – a kitchen sink to travel to Pagosa Springs for several days.

Jeff isn’t a big fan of long drives, so we have found the best way to pass the time by listening to podcasts. We both like a little mystery and have loved the Serial series and S-Town. It keeps us guessing the whole trip and and we stay engaged the entire time. We would definitely recommend!

We arrived at Bruce Spruce Ranch before the July 4th holiday with a short stop in Santa Fe because well…Trader Joes! (Come to Amarillo already!)


When we arrived, the boys were well ready to run free and run free they did. We liked to have never got Sugarbean to stay at our campsite. I’m pretty sure he would have conquered the forest alone had we let him.
We froze our bottoms the first night but quickly got a successful game plan for the sequential nights. I was really nervous about how well the baby would sleep but he did so good! He woke up one time the entire trip and it was because he was cold. Once I remedied the problem, he was good as gold.


The first day we started with an early morning hike to Treasure Falls near Wolf Creek Pass. It was a quarter of a mile hike that took my breath. Thank goodness for good friends who let us borrow their toddler Tula carrier, because I don’t think our little cautious 3 year old would have made it up the mountain.


One of the highlights of the trip was taking Gabriel fishing for the very first time. Our first try came up empty and he was sure to let everyone know. “We didn’t catch no fishies. My daddy no catch any.”  We couldn’t let him continue telling that story so Gabriel and I dug up some earthworms as bait for round two. Y’all should hear him say “eeerff warms.” It’s adorable.


Round two was almost a bust. We had decided to let Gabriel have one cast before we called it quits. Of course, he got the only bite of the day! I helped him reel in the small trout and he wouldn’t go anywhere near it!  While we were hiking back to our car, Gabriel was yelling to the other fishermen, “My daddy caught all the fish!”   —- Mission Accomplished


The last day (July 4th) we were talking about going to town for the parade and fireworks but opted to stay at the campsite all day instead. We were the only ones left at camp after all the tent campers headed home that morning.  It was wonderful to hang out with no agenda. The baby took a mid-morning nap and we played with Gabriel and chatted for the longest time. We took a scenic drive that afternoon and ended with a fire to top off the day. It was a perfect way to end it.


This vacation was a bit of a stretch for us and a little out of our element but it was so worth it. We were able to unplug and appreciate God’s beauty while working through challenges of living outside. The weather was amazing and such a departure from the dry heat of the Panhandle. We will definitely be visiting Pagosa Springs again but we will stay in a cabin to help ease up on the packing side. We love the accommodations at Bruce Spruce Ranch and would absolutely recommend them to anyone!


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