The reason we decided to leave in the fall was so that our children could see the changing leaves. Where we live, it doesn’t get cold enough for a big color change; the leaves usually turn brown and fall in December. A drive into the mountains would show them the beautiful mountains and the changing leaves.

It was raining when we started our drive. I noted that the children weren’t used to seeing rain while in the car; the lack of visibility on the freeway was something new to them.

Just a little way up Provo Canyon is Bridal Veil Falls. We showed the children their first waterfall.

We drove up and looked at a pretty park at the Vivian Park exit, but it was still raining, so we turned around and head back up the canyon, driving all the way to Heber.
The rain quit falling, and we turned around and drove south again, returning to the beautiful park that we had seen again.
It was a great decision.

We brought out the popcorn that we had popped before our drive, and enjoyed popcorn while enjoying the incredible view.

The children were able to explore a stream for the first time.

I know for most of you, a stream is not unusual, but living in the Mojave desert (a much drier desert than the desert of Northern Utah), my children have never seen a stream.

This felt like the ideal child’s play.


We stayed at the park for several hours, and then went back to my niece and nephew’s house for dinner and games.

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  1. The scenery and family pictures are beautiful. Like Mari, I’m struggling to comprehend children who have never seen streams, changing leaves, or driving in the rain.Did they wonder a lot about them before the trip? I didn’t see an ocean until I was fourteen and struggled to imagine it before then.

  2. I have shown them pictures before, but it’s just so hard for them to imagine. The ocean was like that, too. We wanted them to see these things.The trees are another issue as well. I’ll be talking about those in an upcoming post. Our desert here does not have any trees at all. My children think tall trees are palm trees (those are all brought in from other places to put in shopping centers here). The children were having so much fun being in that tree in the picture above.I grew up not seeing leaves change colors (I lived in Southern California). My parents moved there from Missouri when I was small. They bought a new house and had a choice of trees to put in the front yard from the builder. They chose a maple. When I was older, I found out that in other places, maples have beautiful colors in the fall. Where I lived, the leaves just turned brown and fell. I used to wonder about changing colors a lot as a child.We had looked at pictures of tall trees online before, but they were incomprehensible to them, even with pictures.The desert there is so different from here. My husband and I were commenting on it the whole way up as we watched the desert change. One thing that we had forgotten was the clouds! We could see clouds quite often on the Wasatch Mountains while we were university students. We don’t see many clouds where we live, and those we do are rarely cumulus clouds. The children get excited when they see those near us, and they are usually just passing us when we do see them. We had forgotten about the clouds. The children noticed them in the car on the drive up and the shadows they cast, but they didn’t know they were seeing shadows from the clouds; they just noticed it was darker in some places and asked about it.Here, the weather is usually sunny, sometimes windy, usually hot, and usually clear and dry (less than 10% humidity).

  3. I’m enjoying these family vacation posts a lot, the photos are breathtaking and your kids are so happy in them. I especially love the photo with the children in the tree and the one of you and your husband. It’s great that the kids are getting to see the seasons change and enjoying nature. If they really love big and enjoy big trees maybe a trip to the redwoods in Northern California would be something for a future vacation.

  4. Your pictures brought back fond memories of the family vacation we took to Whiteface mountain/lake placid in New York state the summer I turned 13 years old. In fact I celebrated my birthday going up the ski lift on Whiteface mountain…I was terrified of the height! I remember we walked through this lush green, tree filled gorge with beautiful little waterfalls like the one in your picture. It was so breathtaking! Thank you for sharing your photos.I’ve really enjoyed your posts about your vacation. You mentioned another museum in your first post that you would be talking about in a future posts. Does this there be more about your vacation? If so, I’m looking forward to reading them.

  5. Yes, there is more! I have enough photos to do two more posts! I love that you remember that trip. That is what I remember the most from my childhood–the trips we took. I think my children will remember this trip fondly.

  6. What beautiful pictures! How smart of you to plan a vacation with something for everyone in the family–and a chance for new experiences. Never thought of not seeing a stream living in the desert–snow I would have thought of, but wouldn’t have thought of a stream! I’m sure they loved it!

  7. These types of memories are so strong. In my growing up years, there was only one trip that involved driving several states away and multiple nights in motels. All the others were day trips to attractions just a few hours away or with one night away, yet they were packed with fun.

  8. How delightful! The photos are gorgeous. I am SO glad you took your children to see life outside the deset. We just got back from a short trip to Colorado, and it was wonderful. Still waiting for the colors to peak here in St. Louis. Thanks for making me smile.

  9. Beautiful photos! The photo of you and your husband is quite nice — did one of your children take it or did you use a timer? I too live in a climate where autumn leaf changing is not as inspirational as it is in other areas of the country. You caught the mountains at a perfect time!

  10. I love to see how happy your family looks. I have very fond memories of simple family road trips. Resources were limited, and we’d tent camp (with gear borrowed from the local boy scouts). We spent time in the northern woods of the midwest. Mom planned meals down to snacks and we hauled them with us. We fished, hiked, and just marveled in the sheer wonder of God’s creation. These are the things that cement memories for children. Pure magic!

  11. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. I feel like I’ve taken for granted that I live in Northern Utah. You’ve opened up my eyes to some new things to explore in our area. I found your post on BYU very interesting, I’m there twice a month and I’ve never stopped to enjoy what the campus has to offer. We are planning a drive this week up one of the canyons to enjoy the trees, thanks for reminding me just how beautiful Utah is.

  12. Wow. What a neat trip and what an incredible experience for your children exploring a stream. I can’t imagine how fun that must have been to watch your children play in a stream for the first time! We live by a creek and I enjoy watching my children delight in it every single time.

  13. how amazing to introduce your children to rain during a car trip and a stream to play in! I take these things for granted. My children still adore playing in streams and ponds wherever they find them.

  14. I know exactly where you were:)Our family lived in Provo for 12 years and we spent a lot of time at that park. I have pictures I took of my kids there one fall when I was homeschooling them. Love them! Glad your family got to enjoy fall in Utah!

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