Our Fourth of July Family Reunion at Lake Powell

Since childhood, my extended family has had this crazy tradition of meeting in one of the hottest places on earth during the hottest time of the year.  (Yes, you may question our sanity!)  It's only natural since Southern Utah is a recreational playground and just happens to be a halfway meeting point for just about everyone.  I've learned to associate that gorgeous red rock with fun.  We've earned ourselves some pretty great adventure stories over the years--like hiking in the dark and flipping a jeep and trying to hike out in 105* weather.  (Welcome to the family, Bron!)

This year wasn't any different.  It followed the typical pattern of family insanity: little organization, low communication, tired children, grumpy adults, and trying to camp on one of the most popular weekends in triple digit heat.  BUT as usual, Grandma bought us all cool hotel rooms, things turned out much better than expected and the fun memories now reign supreme!

We spent all of the Fourth of July playing at Lake Powell (after Bron and my two uncles went on an early mountain bike ride, of course).   My aunt and uncle managed to set up camp with a little "beach front property" at Lone Rock.  There was food and shade and plenty of places to sit to catch up with everyone, but the nasty stickers made it impossible to step anywhere without shoes.  Ouch!  But it was really no matter since we had three jet skis rented to share.  We spent most of the day out on the green water of the lake!

It was soooo fun!  The little dare-devils, Jed and Levi, will both be talking about jet skis for weeks.  "Go faster!" they called into the wind and spray.  Oh, do I love those boys.  And then my cousins Rachel and Necia and I were able to sneak away with a jet ski and tube for a while.  It was like being fifteen again.  We spent a solid hour aggressively trying to shake each other off the tube with sharp turns, big bumps, and lots of speed.  We even flipped the jet ski upside-down!  Hahaha.  My elbows are both skinned and scabbing over now, but it was totally worth it!

 ^^My Aunt Becky wading into the lake at Lone Rock^^
 ^^Alana, the darling little fishy!^^
 ^^Grandma.  The woman who started it all!^^
 ^^My nephew Jax.  He is sooo stinkin' cute!  But he thinks I'm strange.  I just need to see him more often!^^
 ^^My cousin Rachel and Ruby testing out the tube^^
 ^^Going out for some water adventuring with my two boys!  This is like the fifth time they begged to go!  Of course I obliged.  :)^^

Saturday evening we grabbed some food and then sat in the stands to watch a professional touring band perform renditions from Mary Poppins.  They were really good!  Then we found a spot on the grass at the park to await the fireworks.  Yay for fireworks!

It was a big day for the kids.  Jed was so overtired he threw up!  He was asleep before his head even hit the pillow.  When all was calm, I snuck out to another hotel room down the hall for some late night cousin talking and games.  Good times.         

It was a short and sweet reunion for us four Nelsons.  We drove ten hours on Friday, spent Saturday playing, and drove home again Sunday.  Ugh!  But family is always worth every ounce of driving pain.  It was so fun to see Jed get so excited about seeing his cousins!  And I'm already missing my sister like crazy.  And Grandma; I love her.  I just wish we all didn't live so far apart!

Thanks for a memorable Fourth of July weekend!  I miss you all already.  Cheers til our next crazy-fun family reunion!

Seeing the iconic Horseshoe Bend was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  So, so cool.  It was just a short hot hike from the parking lot and the kids did good. However, the straight 1000 foot sheer cliff drop gave me some anxiety!  I couldn't watch all the tourists standing just inches from the edge taking selfies and posing for pictures.  Ahhh!  And both Bron and I kept very close to our boys.  Levi has no fear.  I had to instill a little fear by telling him that the edge meant death.  It was a little overboard for Jed because he suddenly became too scared to even look up for a family picture twenty feet from the cliff edge.  Ha!  Oh well.  We're all alive and don't ever have to go back.


  1. Fun! The memories (and beautiful photos) are all worth any amount of pain ;)

  2. So fun! I haven't ever been to Lake Powell, but I've heard it's a blast.

  3. It looks like so much fun! Lake Powell is by far my favorite place in the world :)

  4. Just catching up on all your latest adventures. You sure are giving those boys a summer to remember! I had to laugh at your extra bed post because we have a set of bunks plus a twin in the boys' room, then a queen in our gest room and it is seriously a surprise every morning to see who ended up where!


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