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By Chago
Family Trip – Summer 2010

This trip begins like many of our outings. There were long discussions, plan alterations and finally commitment. I will try to provide a broad but brief description and let the photos tell their story.

My wife, three boys and I departed for Happy Camp California on July 23, 2010: Our destination – The Klamath River. We spent three glorious days on the river challenging class I – III rapids. Although this was not a private trip, there was only one other couple who joined our party of five. As luck would have it, the gentleman was a retired forest ranger and a wealth of knowledge.

The Klamath River provided us with many vivid visual, olfactory and tactile memories. Every day presented many opportunities which included wildlife sightings, river play, side hikes, confidence building but above all, the family bond. Our days were never rushed and our two guides (OARS outfitters) were second to none. Although they catered to everyone in the group, special attention was placed on our boys (10, 6 and 4 year olds). As the end of our river trip arrived, the boys were already asking, “when can we do this again”?

The second part of our family trip took us directly from Happy Camp California to Sedona Arizona. Although our accommodations improved to the usual creature comforts, we did spend four days doing day hikes in the Coconino National Forest. This leg of the trip proved to be physically demanding but nothing less than spectacular. The outings included Cathedral Rock, Slide Rock Park, Devils Bridge, Oak Creek Canyon and Broken Arrow. It is safe to say that not one of us had trouble sleeping at night.

Our trip officially ended on July 31, 2010. During this expedition, I witnessed much beauty and many firsts. Sharing the experience with my family is more than I can ever verbally express. This journey is one that I truly treasure as a husband, father and friend.

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By Earl
Looks like a very fun and memorable trip with your family. Those boys will remember it for a lifetime. Thanks for posting and nice pictures.

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By Gutter Girl
Dang it man! You've done it again!

Last year it was about primitive camping at BBNP with your buds and what a great time you had - so my sister and I tried it out this year. We were at the 1st campsite on Paint Gap Rd. Sure got spoiled by the solitude when in camp. Going forward, only way to go!

So now you post up all these great pictures of the family trip - fantastic but it makes me think 'Hey , I want to do that!' Float trip looked like a blast. I'm guessing the 13.jpg was the Devils Bridge? That arch was awesome. Lots of great scenery. Glad y'all had such a great time! I see some research on Coconino NF in my future!

Thanks for sharing!

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By Bassbug
Great pics, looks like the family had a great time. If you dont mind me asking, why did you decide on Happy Camp, CA? How did you find out about this place? My wife and I in a couple years, when the kiddos get a little older want to take a pop up out West and these are the things I want to be doing.
By Chago
Thank you all for the nice comments.

GG– California and Arizona are sure worth the traveling distance. Yes, that is the famous Devil’s Bridge. It is a natural arch at about 60’ high. This is one of nature’s beauties which will not be around in a few hundred or thousand years. It has been crossed off my bucket list.

There is so much more to see and I know you will definitely enjoy such a trip. I did read your “sisters” outing and all I can say is, “Wow”! I am sorry about your brother but I am touched by the dedication.

Bassbug – We decided on the Happy Camp, CA for several reasons. I wanted our experience to include more than a river. This was a good opportunity for my boys to learn numerous items and grasp how grand nature can be. It allowed me to relax and see their confidence build as teaching/learning moments were delivered by others. This time of year increased our chances of seeing much wildlife. The highlights included bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey, deer and one black bear sighting.

Although there are many reputable outfitters, the OARS group offered focused family trips. Additionally, they were one of the only outfitters which allowed a four year old on such a voyage. My boys have camped plenty, but this was my wife’s first event. Let’s just say the gamble paid off.

I hope this helps – Thanks again.

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