14. Land of Enchantment
Thanksgiving in Escalante

Thanksgiving in Escalante

It’s been an annual tradition going on twenty years now. Some folks, like Tom, are solid fixtures – showing up to the campsite (and in most cases claiming it) like clockwork every year. Others make more spotty appearances, their attendance affected by the demands of their lives: children, careers, relationships, health, finances, travel.


Since we started joining in the annual Thanksgiving celebration, St├ęphane and I missed a few consecutive years due to our sailing adventure and our Maine misadventure. So this year we were determined to go – no matter that we had just bought a house two days before or the seven-hour drive – these things are small potatoes and well worth the effort to overcome in exchange for a few days of camaraderie, climbing, and cavorting in the desert.

Hanging out in camp surrounded by the beautiful red walls of Escalante Canyon. Some folks hang with the kiddos, while the rest head out to climb up at the crags.


Hugo and daddy at camp.


The Logans come in with slick camper AND potato gun.


Starting the campfire early – well before sunset – to generate coals upon which to cook food and to keep the general population warm and toasty.
Kim splits some wood for the fire.



Hugo layers up with puffy, hat, and mittens.


I noticed a new green tab in Tom’s binder of campfire songs: “Songs for Kids” (Uncle Tom rocks).


Hugo has his own little camp chair, compliments of John Bass & Tom (thanks, guys!) and is absolutely entranced by the other little people at camp.
Pre-Thanksgiving prep: practicing our pallet dance moves before the big night. (Ray, Matt, Andy, me, Charlie, and Sage).



Bath time in the Escape Pod. Hugo fits in the little sink just perfectly (for now).


Thanksgiving morning! Let’s make some coals, prep the protein, and go earn our turkey dinner!


Me on Honey Badger at Green Machine wall. Climbing is not as easy as it used to be, pre-Hugo. St├ęphane and I split our time between the wall and hanging with “Huges” at camp. Today we brought him up to Green Machine and he hung in his pack ‘n’ play with one of us while the other climbed. It worked well until nap time.


Hanging with Hugo at the crag. Looking forward to when he’s a little older and can clamber around safely outside the confines of the pack n play.

My turn to climb again. Working my way up Stick Up.
Camp yoga.


Camp kids playing with Hugo in the Escape Pod.


The climbers make their way back to camp late afternoon and the prep for Thanksgiving dinner begins. Lots of side dishes in tin foil cooking away on the giant pile of coals.


Ray brought is smoker and his skills! Delicious, juicy turkey, Ray!!


It’s wine time!


Dish up!


Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family around the campfire.


Patrick and Matt bask in the golden glow.


Doug and Heather show up and we are treated to some folksy, bluesy, harmonies.


Check out that bass.


A little more wine, please!


Rocking out to Tom’s newest addition to the campfire songs – Top Rope Hero.


Happy Thanksgiving!



Time to hit the road and head south for our new home in Los Alamos. Hugo munches on tomatoes.


Another wonderful Thanksgiving is in the books: perfect weather, a wonderful assembly of friends and family, good food, drink, and music. We turn our heads south and head to our new home (we bought a house, people!!!) and prep for the next adventure!

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in Escalante

    • Author gravatar

      Sure does look like a fun way to spend thanksgiving! Love and miss you three?

    • Author gravatar

      Looks like a great time! No childhood is complete without a sink bath photo ? beautiful red rock walls.

    • Author gravatar

      Hey there! Awesome post, I’ve been climbing in escalante for quite some time now and have tried to find the green machine wall a few times with no avail. Would there be any chance you could throw me some beta as to where the wall actually is? I too have been raising my children there, and I cant wait until I get the honor of sharing a rope with them. Regardless, great write up and cheers!

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