Friday, June 10, 2011

Crystal Hot Springs Camping Trip & Campfire Cinnamon Biscuits

I've had a couple dozen people ask me where we went camping... We went to the Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, UT.  We were looking for a vacation spot that was close and cheap and it was both!  It was about an hour and a half drive from Utah County and driving there and back, including a side trip to Logan one day only used half a tank of gas ($25).  They had a 10% off camping coupon on their website, so a camping spot for three days came to $40.  Even with the swimming which was $12/family on Monday night and $6/adults, $4.50/kids for a day pass regular price it was a very inexpensive vacation. 

I thought I'd share a few camping pics, a review of the hot springs and a yummy campfire recipe with you!  Why not?  Sounds like a plan :)

Nina takes as many pics as I do!  Here we are leaving the gas station! LOL

These monkeys were SOOO excited to go on vacation!   The drive was uneventful.   I'm so glad my kiddos are older now.  Car rides aren't a big deal anymore.

Once you get off the freeway there are plenty of signs to direct you to the hot springs.

When we arrived at the Crystal Hot Springs, the staff ignored us for a bit as they carried on a conversation about an upcoming event they had going on.  Then they asked my opinion, and I of course had one.  I had already read about the event on facebook and had thought about attending it, but it seems they didn't have enough interest to carry it out the way they had wanted.  (I think it could have been advertised better.)  I was half-tempted to offer to host the thing for them to get them a turn-out (just because I wanted Nina to join in LOL), but I held my tongue.  We all know how much I LOVE hosting and promoting events, but an hour and a half away is a bit far for me to volunteer.  Maybe I should have offered my facebook services for a free night of camping? haha

The staff was super friendly and laid back and our spot was reserved just as we had planned.  I was a little disappointed that we were out on the edge of the campground and not on the pretty, grassy side by the restrooms.  I'm not quite sure why the RV people need huge grassy areas and bathrooms with showers when the tent folks have dirt and port-a-potties.  You'd think it would be the other way around.  The weather was a bit blah our first day, but after eating a picnic lunch, we set up camp.  We had an early dinner of chicken salad sandwiches and then took advantage of the $12 per family Monday night swimming.  The warm pool looked a little scary, but it felt super good!  The minerals are crazy strong though so be prepared to drink LOTS of water and lotion A LOT afterward.  They suck the moisture right out of you.

We thought it was so cool to have geese in our camp spot...  Ummm yeah... turns out they were evil!  The first night we were there they got into EVERYTHING that wasn't in a hard plastic container... they spread stuff all over and made a huge mess!

Look at these hot dog buns!  They pecked each one!!!  They didn't even eat them... just pecked them!  How many of you can say you had your buns pecked by a goose while camping? *grin*

Our second day camping we drove the 30 minutes to Logan.  We were hoping to hit our favorite discount store, but alas... it had closed down *pout*.  We still went to the Pepperidge Farm factory and bought fishy crackers in bulk for cheap (we won't discuss how a can of Coke spilled into a 3lb bag and I had to throw them away).  We also went to the Gossner Dairy and bought flavored milks.  If you've ever lived in Logan, Utah you're most likely familiar with these milks... they're shelf stable 8oz boxes of milk in flavors like root beer, cookies & cream, mango (my fave), orange cream and more.  They come in 2% and fat free.  We used to go up to Logan once a summer and buy enough to last the year.  Logan is the first place I lived when I moved away from home, so we've been enjoying Gossner's for a long time :)

That night we had hobo dinners! MMmmm!

my sister and me

Wednesday we bought all day swim passes and spent most of the day in and next to the pool.  Check out my crazy farmer's tan!  I got big time burned Saturday at our yard sale and got heat exhaustion in the process... it was not a good thing!  I was hoping to even out my tan while swimming, but I sunblocked so dang much I didn't get much darker on the white areas.  I'm a big fan of sunblock and pale skin... I hate how dark I'm getting this summer!  I also hate farmer's tans while wearing a swimsuit! LOL

There are three pools at the Crystal Hot Springs, and some hot tubs as well.  The hot tubs were WAY too hot for me, even when it was cold out.  They were uncomfortable hot.  The soaking pool was pretty warm itself.  I was ok in it in the evening, but during the sunshiny day it was a bit too warm, even in the shade.  There are two cooler pools though, including an Olympic size pool.  Whenever I'd start to feel overheated (remember I was still getting over heat exhaustion) I'd dip in the cooler pool.

My sister are I are people watchers and although the crowds were small (hooray!) we still had plenty of people to watch and make up stories for.  You can't people watch without giving people nicknames and back stories :)

The water was so relaxing, my nephew fell asleep right in the pool!

Ignore my legs, but look at that sucker!  They sell them in the office for .50.  They're pina colada flavored and quite delicious!  The oval shape is perfect to suck on too!  We tried other flavors as well, but this was the winner!

Wednesday evening the winds kicked up like you wouldn't believe!  The tents were collapsing and our stuff was blowing everywhere!  It was insane!  We were tempted to go home, but I went and talked to the guys in the office.  You can see behind this tree where my adorable son is posing that the tent spots were right by a giant empty field.  The wind was flying through the field and blowing us away!  I went in and asked if we could be moved to the pretty grassy RV side where the wind wasn't so bad.  The first guy I talked to said no and I was debating on getting ornery or just packing up and heading home a night early, but then one of the other guys who we had talked to several times stepped in and put us right in the spot we wanted.  He gave great customer service!  We had to haul all of our stuff (including two tents full of bedding) across the campground, but we set up in a nice grassy area.

This has absolutely nothing to do with my story at this point, but I felt we needed a food break.  How yummy do these smores look???  Giant marshmallows and peanut butter cups!  Yes, we know how to eat when we camp!  Anyways, back to the story.

I was so proud of our little tent for how well it withstood the insane winds!

The RV spots are SOOO much better than the camp spots.  Ask for them when you go!  They are $10 more and are for "RVs only", but pout and beg so you can stay on the night pretty, non-windy grass next to the good bathrooms.  We got POURED on with rain on the last night, but at least the wind was gone!  We cooked polish dogs and beans on the camp stove since everything was too wet for a fire and we ate in the tent.

no makeup and very wet :)

We had to clean up camp in between crazy hail, rain and bits of sunshine, but we did it!  It was such a fun week!  The weather was horrible, but I'd totally camp there again sometime!  Everyone was friendly and it's a great location.  We had such an awesome family bonding time.  I love my kiddos so much!  Now we're trying to wash tons and tons of wet blankets (we don't own sleeping bags), clean our house since all our gear just got dropped on the floor, dry out our tent and recover from the trip.  ZZzzzz  Hooray for camping!

I'd feel very guilty if I didn't post a recipe after abandoning my blog for so long (isn't it funny how two weeks is so long?), so here it is!

Campfire Cinnamon Biscuits

Place butter, cinnamon and sugar into a metal pie plate.  I saved my pie tin from the last time I had a frozen pie.  I don't measure ingredients while camping... I'd say it was about 2-3 TBSP of butter though.

Cover with tin foil and melt butter over hot coals. (I am not a fan of these built in grates over the fire pits.... it was very hard to cook.)

Once the butter is melted, add a can of refrigerated biscuits over the butter.  Spray your tinfoil with cooking spray and recover the pan.  Cook over hot coals for around 15 minutes turning over half-way through.  If you tinfoil is on the pan nice and tight, you won't have a problem flipping the pan over.

Here is what they look like when they're done!  We made these two different nights and they were gone in two minutes!  Next time I will bring two pie plates so I can make double batches!

Invert onto a plate and wa-la!  You're done! MMmmmm

Here was our camping menu:

lunch- packed a picnic
dinner- chicken salad (prepared at home) or tuna sandwiches, chips & salsa, pickles, crackers, etc
dessert- cinnamon biscuits, smores, hot cocoa
late night snack after swimming: shrimp & cocktail sauce, chips & salsa

breakfast- eggs, hashbrowns, peppers, cheese and salsa in tortillas, hot cocoa
lunch- ate in town
dinner- hobo dinners, cinnamon biscuits
dessert- smores, hot cocoa

breakfast- cereal, yogurt, poptarts, leftover eggs/hashbrown mix, hot cocoa
lunch- ham & cheese sandwiches, crackers & dip, leftover shrimp, chips, etc.
dinner- polish dogs, baked beans, chips
dessert- cookies

breakfast- ham & cheese quesadillas, cinnamon toast, hot cocoa


Bridget said...

What a fun trip and fun Momma you are! Those s'mores look to die for. Must. Try. Them!
Glad that guy was nice and let you move. :)

Jana said...

I love Crystal Hot Springs! And Gossner's. And the Pepperidge Farm store. You know about the Lazy Ones pajama outlet, the Creamie factory, and the Fat Boys factory too, right?

The American Homemaker said...

I knew about the Creamies and Fat Boys but not the pajama place! I must get more info for next time! lol

Arya said...

Looks like you guys had tons of fun! & I totally agree with you about having the camp sites in the nicer areas and having the RV's in the less appealing place since they already have potties in their nice RV's...

Geese are nice to see and enjoy but they are stinkers for sure, we have a raised a few and they will get into anything and everything they can get their beaks on.

Caren with a "C" said...

I"ll have to show those cinnamon buns to my son so his scout trip can do it on the next campout! Yum!