Cooper Discoverer--Daddy/Daughter Trip, San Rafael Swell


Expedition Leader

"So you're scared?", I asked my good friend Dave.
"Yep!" Dave was being a honest father. He had never taken his daughter, Maddie, out for a Daddy, Daughter Trip before. I had invited Dave down to the Swell last weekend for a little exploring. He had been there before but not solo, without Maddie's mom. It was time to take the plunge:) Time spent alone with your child is priceless!

We stared off at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry outside of Price, Utah. Just a small, off the beaten path quarry that is pretty unique. The largest concentration of dinosaur bones out of the Jurassic Period in the US. It's a great stop for kids.

Dave's truck didn't seem to have any problems with the roads. Dave has a 2012 Tiger RV mounted on a Dodge 3500. Well, the thing can move...


Our travels took us to some unique places along the Reef. The San Rafael Reef juts up into the sky in the central part of Utah. The Reef runs approximately 60 miles north-south. It's a land full of canyons, rock art, historic ranches, and just cool stuff:)

This Ranch, I have visited before but we were lucky enough to meet the owners this time. He informed us that they try keep up the ranch house as best as they can. However, they can't leave too much stuff there because it disappears. Sad...In the ranch, there are some pictures and history of the place. So neat.



The "horses" in the stable.


We continued travel along the Reef. Dave's truck seemed to be doing quite well. Amazing that what his Tiger RV could do.


Our travels took us to a few big cottonwood trees...A good place to call it a night.


The following day, we took a beautiful hike up a canyon with water. So unusual for the desert. Dave and Maddie setting a blistering pace:)


Sand, check...Water, check...What else could a child ask for?


Maddie throwing a stick...Lilly doing some morning Yoga stretches. Their energy was contagious on this stellar day.


More to come...
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Expedition Leader
We all were on the lookout for rockart while hiking up the canyon. The canyon began to show large desert-varnish walls. There had to be some there...Lilly and Maddie found the goods.


It was just a fun day in the Swell. We continued to look for works of art.



It's great to spend time with Lilly without Mommy:) Yes, Mommy is wonderful but the conversations are different...The days are different.
We were just having fun!


Dave's rig is powerful. The wind was blowing which created a sand-swirl around his camper. However, it was fun to see what the vehicle could/can do! He drove all the tracks that my cruiser did without too much trouble!


My land cruiser felt at home in the Swell.


Our vehicles took us south along the Reef. We were sneaking in and out of canyons. Rock art? Ruins? Old mining relics? Our eyes were on the lookout.


Lilly heading back for after another jaunt. The cottonwoods were leafing...Spring in the desert is so nice.


The flowers too...The flowers are usually out for a month or so before they burn off. For now, it's just enjoyable!


Our track led us further into the Swell. The magic hours was upon us. On our evening walk, we discovered chert piles everywhere. Chert was used by the Native Americans to make arrowheads. We just wandered and wondered...Lilly in the moment.


More to come...
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Expedition Leader
Our final day was upon us. The Reef was lit up as we enjoyed breakfast. There is something about a quiet, cool desert morning that just feels right. We sipped coffee and packed up. We had some exploring to do:)


Dave's setup is big and powerful but it handled all the obstacles for the most part.


The Anasazi and Fremont Indians roamed this land for hundreds of years. All that remains are their rock etchings and paintings and some of their dwellings. We were on the look out...


Lilly showcasing "the goods" of canyon country.



Lilly asked, "why were they here?" I replied, "the same reason you're enjoying throwing rocks--water" We thought of the indians who pecked pictures in the rock as they maybe watched their kids run around this slickrock playground. The La Sals are on the horizon in the second picture. Today, it would take you 60 minutes to get over there--Moab area. I wonder how long it took the Anasazi and/or Fremont?



There are many places that you can walk through the reef. Some narrow, some's just crazy to see it up close. Lilly enjoying the "red" of redrock country.


It was time to motor...Time to enjoy seeing some Trash or Treasure in the desert...More to come...

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Expedition Leader
Before heading home, we had to find some Trash, I mean Treasure, in the desert. The miners of Uranium made crude roads all over the San Rafael back in the 50s. But, oil? It was quite the surprise to see this derrick stuck. Oil is my assumption...But, maybe they were drilling for water for the miners? Regardless, it's stuck here for good. The girls definitely thought it was treasure!

Lilly using her metal detector to find...metal of course. She was successful...


Man, this vehicle has a story to tell:) I wish I knew it...


The girls posing behind the wheel...Dave and I both thought it would have been a pretty rough ride...



All for now, make a daddy, daughter trip happen in your future. It will be a blast! Until next time...
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Fantastic mph!

I got here from a link on EU.

I envy your little girl being little. Mine is 16 1/2 going on 21. Those times are truly wonderful, thank you for sharing.