17. Wyoming
Spring Break 2024: Dodging the Weather

Spring Break 2024: Dodging the Weather

With tools spread orderly about the driveway, work jeans covered in grime and various dirt renditions, Stéphane meticulously and determinedly brings the Gruffalo back to life. YES, the Gruffalo is ours again! As she begins the next chapter of her life with us, the Gruffalo was in need of some TLC: a leaky toilet, a second, random water leak, broken screen door handle and tired skylight all required attention; wiring work for the tongue jack and even a trip to the ranch down the road for an aluminum weld (Stéphane did himself! with the expert teaching of Nate and Joel) to fix the water heater. After many hours of troubleshooting, patching, gluing, fixing and polishing, the Gruffalo was road-trip worthy!

The Gruffalo on her long way home from Albuquerque to Lander (Stéphane went on an epic no-rest recovery mission in January).

Saturday morning Stéphane flies home from work, we pack up the camper, tuck Freja in the truck, and scoop Hugo up at friends’ house (he had his first sleepover the night before!). We are ready and excited for Spring Break and hoping to find some awesome trails, sun, and warmth down in Moab, Utah. After a strong push south, we enjoy pizzas and beers at Smoking River Brewing Company and afterwards tuck into a forest road somewhere north of Rifle, Colorado for the night.

The next morning we grab some breakfast in Rifle and make a pit stop in Grand Junction for items we can’t get in Lander, namely: soccer cleats! Hugo will be playing on his very first soccer team this spring!

And then the final push to Moab and hoping we can score a camp spot on the BLM land north of town (Klondike Bluffs). And do we (score a spot- two actually, as the Heerschap family is joining us.)

Klondike Bluffs camp with beautiful red rocks (Arches National Park) in the background.
Although the weather isn’t as warm and enjoyable as we thought it would be, we make the best of it!
Hugo and Hannah bundle up and log some dirt bike laps
Freja figuring out camp life. We had to pick up all of the random animal poop around camp so that she couldn’t eat it. Yuck!
Klondike Bluffs trails! We enjoyed some family rides and Stéphane and I got in a few date rides as well.
First ride of the season on our “skinny” tires.
Hugo did incredibly well on his mountain bike, maneuvering through some really technical stuff with ease!!
The Heerschap family (Lauren, Dave, and Hannah) joined us and it was a blast. We did a “town day” poking around Moab, an aborted attempt to Arches (the line to get in was ridiculous), and a few really fun evenings in their camper playing Bananagrams while the kiddos enjoyed a Disney flick. Yes, we normally do the campfire thing in the evenings, but the wind put a stop to that.
Hannah had a BIG day- her first trail ride, and she did great. It’s a huge step off the cliff to go from pedaling smooth, featureless sidewalks to swervy, rocky trails. Awesome job, Hannah!!
Hugo enjoying his special frozen yogurt treat after biking big effort miles on the trails. Well deserved!!
Surprise! We got a puppy! She is a yellow lab and her name is Freja (pronounced “Frey ya”). We got her a week prior to our Moab trip, so she’s had to learn life at home and on the road pretty quickly!
Who is that tiny figure at the top of that massive, steep hill? Oh, it’s Hugo. This photo was taken from camp while we were setting up a campfire- he just decided to run over and scramble on up it!
And of course, more bike pictures because that’s what we came to Moab for!
Lots of slick rock and very technical terrain here. Beautiful blue skies, alien rock features, and (sadly) lots of wind. I lived in my wind breaker.
Reds and greens and vast expanses. Love this terrain!
Enjoyed our date ride while Hugo hung at camp with the Heerschaps.
In preparation for an extremely windy day, we break camp and set up at new spot that has a little more wind protection. Here we are in the slick rock campground (an actual campground, but not horrible as far as campground go- just look at the view to the La Sal Mountains!!)
The Heerschaps scored two camp spots next to each other! Woot woot!
The Brunton-mobile (Heerschaps’ ride) looking lovely next to the La Sals.
Hugo and Hannah disappear for awhile while we are setting up camp and re-appear with some new artistic skin modifications. Thankfully they found the washable markers 🙂
Sunset at camp.
Camping is fun.
The wind in Moab the next day was just not enjoyable at all and made it really hard to be outside. So we said goodbye to the Heerschaps and decided to start heading home- excited to check out a small trail system by Price, Utah.
The Wood Hill trails were super fun! We rode a very mellow but fun route with Hugo- looking for the Tin Man! We didn’t find him, but we did find lots of tin cans.
A fun skill section for the boys.
Of course Hugo wanted to try it.
And after a few tries, he got it clean!
We got rained out before we could do another lap at the Wood Hill trials, so we hit the road towards home and in search of our final Spring Break dinner. We came upon The Hideout Steak House and it was INCREDIBLE!!!
You can choose to have your steak come on a superheated rock and cook it yourself at the table (or traditional, where they cook it in the kitchen). I chose traditional and Stéphane chose the rock. The meat on the rock was SO much more flavorful and succulent!
An “American Pour” (check out the wine glass).
We spent that night at McCoy Flats, just outside Vernal, and woke up to winter! I got in a run and then we spent the afternoon at the Vernal Recreation Center.
Hugo goes for the dive! The Vernal Rec Center is awesome – a rock climbing wall, gym, ping pong tables, and a super fun pool area. This was a great last spot to hit before heading home.

Although we didn’t get the warm weather we were hoping for, Spring Break 2024 was still a blast! We rode miles of trail, shared fun campfire evenings with friends, checked out new places to bike, and enjoyed much-needed family time.

Welcome to the family, Freja!

Welcome BACK to the family, Gruffalo 🙂

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