So all is well and we have all recovered from our sunburns. Thankfully! We are all getting dark and looking more outdoorsie. (is that a word?) I am liking that!
So when we were leaving Salt Lake City we saw the coolest advertisement driving down the road. I mean literally it was driving down the road! check it out!
and this one!
It is a mobil room. I think it is very clever advertising. It is this really greatdecorated room that has glass walls so that you can see everything in it as you go ny it. I guess that they are opening an IKEA store there in Salt Lake so that was thier advertising for it. Cool beans in my book.
SO our first day of hiking in Bryce Canyon was very nice and it was very hot. This is some of the wildlife that we saw on the first hike that we did that morning. And we were even lucky and got to see it feeding!
Look closely. Do you see it? You may have to super size the photo to see it. There is a stink bug in that little guys mouth! I know not the kind of wild life you were expecting but the girls sure were excited to see that it had it's breakfast in his mouth for us to see.
This hike is actually just outside of the Park area but it was a good one that we enjoyed a lot because there is actually still running water there. And even tho it was only about 9:00 am or so it felt so good to play in the water and cool off.
after this hike we went into the park. The canyon is filled with these rock formations that they call Hoodoo. Keeley really got a kick out of that! There are lots of different ones in different places in the canyon that have names. They are all named after famouse people or animals. Because I guess they look like them. But let me tell you I never saw anything but a funny looking rocks.
Well ok so maybe I see some thing in the rock formations but I am not going to say what it was here!
so moving on...
Because we were going to be hiking down into the canyon we all had on our hiking boots. But I have to say I love Keeleys boots the best. And not just because I got them for a super great deal either. I mean just look how cute they are on her!
Here we are on the trail. The Hoodoos are much more impresive when you can get down to them and then look up. It is not easy to see us but we are there! It was very warm while we were hiking. I am not sure of the actual temp but we were very toasty! Here are the girls catching some shade and a bit of a breeze in one of the tunnels that you walk to onthe way down. Even in the heat and not enjoying it so much the girls still look so stinkin cute. Don't you think?
So the second day at Bryce we took a bus tour. It was a lot cooler that day and we did not think to take our coats with us in the morning when we left. But we had a good time anyway. And it was not all that cold. Mostly at the highest point on the canyon rim. This is a shot from that highest point.
It was a great view! Here is another of Kait and I at the top! The bus tour lasted about 3 hours and after that I am not really sure what did with the rest of the day. But the next day we left Bryce Canyon. We had heard that it was going to be a very very cold day and so when Al and I got up that morning it was cold. We decided to not eat breakfast but to pack up as fast as we could and head out to eat breakfast just outside of the park. So this is what we were greeted with!
Yep! That would be snow! And believe it or not Al was wearing shorts that morning! We were freezing!! By the time that we had finished with our breakfast it had stopped. I heard that the folling day they got more snow but thankfully we had already moved on.
Our next stop was Zion National Park.
So far I have to say that this has been my favorite park. I don't know what it is about that place but I had a hard time leaving there and was wishing that we could have more time there. It is just beautiful and amazing! I am sure that none of the photos that we took there will do it justice. But we still took lots! We drove in to the park from the East entrance and I know that that is the best drive ever. It is stunning! You start out at the top of the canyon and then you go all the way down to the bottom! There are these rock walls that just go up for what seems like forever and they are just beautiful. Like I said these really do not do it any justice. There is just too much to this place to get it in a photo. You all will just have to check it out for yourselve in person. It will be so worth the trip. I liked it so much I am trying to talk Al in to bringing me back for an aniversary celebration so that we can hike all the trails and enjoy it for all that it is once again!
we did a hike with the girls that is called the river walk. It is a 1 mile hike one way and it is at the back of the canyon at a place called The Tempel of Sinewava. It is a good hike for kids nice and easy. On the way the girls tried their hand at rock climbing.
Kaitlyn was the first one to get up. And as you can see she was very proud of herself.
But at the end of this hike is another hike called the narrows. It is what is called a slot Canyon. Where the walls of the canyon are very narrow and very tall. I love the photos that you see of all the great slot canyons that are around Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. So I really wanted to go up a bit and see what it was like. It was a nice warm day so we decided to take off our shoes and go for a bit of the hike up the river. Oh yeah did I forget to mention that you have to go in the river to do this great hike? Of corse there are places that will rent these water shoes so that you can hike properly inthe river but why do that on suce awarm day. And the girls really really wanted to play in the water anyways! So off we went! Now mind you it is a 16 mile hike to the end of the narrows and it requires an overnight stay. And a permit to stay overnight. We only were able to go maybe 1/2 mile or so before we decided to head back. But I so wanted to go farther. I guess that it only takes a couple of miles and it gets really narrow. I guess that Al and I will have to do that hike when we go back sometime. Cause just look at this!
Ofcorse after I took this photo Al had to continue to model for the camera. Here he is working it!
I also think that Zion is the best designed park. They have a shuttle bus system that you have to use. Because thye will not allow private cars past a certain place. But they doa great job with it. there are alot of busses so you never have to wait very long for one to come when you get off. They are always there with in a few minutes. The also planned the stops well. At each stop there are several hiks that start from there. There is also lots of hiks that you can do safely with kids. We were able to do all the hiks that we a little over a mile, one way, and under that they had! The girls are great hikers! I love that about them!
The girls have been doing the Jounior Ranger programs at all the prks that we have been to so far. They are getting a very big colection of patches! All of them have been this little booklet that they work on and then they may have to attend a ranger program to finish it out. And that is about it. There are questions they have to answer and little projects they do. Usualy very simple. So when we got to Zion we asked about the jounior ranger program and they said oh YOu drop your child off from 9am to 11:30 and they do activities with a Ranger. We were stunned. we were thinking man now this is good! They actually take your kids for 2 and 1/2 hours take them for a little hike do some art projects and then you come back and pick them up. They get the patch and you get free time!!! Al and I were very excited. Keeley was also excited. Kait was not so sure. Al and I decided that durring that time we would do a hike that the girls would not be able to do. We decided to tackel Angels Landing!
So the next morning we drop the girls off in the morning and head off to our adventure.
Let me tell you a little about this hike. It takes you from the bottom of the Canyon to the top of a peak that is 1488ft up. That is what you climb. It is 2 and 1/2 miles one way. There is a place called Refridgerator Canyon on the way up. Just after that is what is called the wiggles. It is 21 switchbacks up and scouts landing is at the top. Then there is a place where you have to go and there is a 3-4ft wide walking section and a 900ft drop on one side of that path and a 1200ft drop on the other! Yeah Baby!! They have put in a chain for you to use on that section but it is only on one side. and you have to yeild to the hikers coming down the path.
Unfortunatly we knew that we would not have enough time to make it all the way to the top. But we sure gave it all we had. By the time the bus got us to the starting point we did not have as much time as we would have liked. We went all out and went as fast as we could to see as much as possible. It was amazing! Just beautiful. You are going up and there is nothing between you and that drop. It starts up almost from the begining. This photo was taken at the begining of the refridgerator.
This is part of the trail that we came up.
Here is a view of the wiggles from the bottom of them.
And this is from about half way up. Not such a great photos because I was in a hurry. Al is down at the bottom. Can you spot him?
Basicly what happened is we kept checking the time and saying oh we can go a bit more and still get back to pick up the girls. Oh sure lets go just a bit farther. So even tho I so did not want to turn back here with a little more than a half mile to go to the top and the most exciting part of the hike. We had to go back and get the girls. But here is the kicker, We had to jog back down to get there in time. It was great! We made it down and onto the bus. The unfortunate thing is that we got on a bus that had a few old couples on it and no one els. So Al and I are in a hurry to get back to get the girls and the stinkin bus driver is slowing down at every flower and shrub telling the name and all about hte plant. The old people were eating it up and AL and I are like come on man drive the stinkin bus and get going!! It was really frusterating. We finally make it to our stop and jump out and start running up the way to get the girls. We make it there just in the nick of time. Not a minute to spare. Right at the exact time they tols us to be there. Out of breath and sweaty but we were there.
The really crazy thing about the day was when we heard from someone that there was a man that fell form that very hike we were on right after we came down. It was not even from the crazy spot either but from not far from where we were. Al and I were probably coming down the trail when that man was going up and we passed him. He fell after making it to the top. They closed the trail for about 4 hours so they could get the body and then reopened it. Here is a link to the story. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660228165,00.html
It was really trippy to hear that and think that we passed the man on our way down. I am thankfull that we were o.k. and that we had a good time on the hike.
It is now 1:30 in the morning and I had better be getting to bed. We are planning a day of hiking around Mesa Verde tomorrow. And we were planning on getting up early to do that so that it was not so hot.
I will have to write about the Grand Caynon tomorrow and then about where we currently are.