Saturday, May 14, 2016

Road Trip #7 - Bryce Canyon and Arches

People have told us that Utah was easily their favourite state to visit and after travelling through southern Utah we whole heartily agree. Beauty after beauty surrounds the landscape. After hiking through Zion National Park we spent the next day hiking through Bryce Canyon. These two national parks are about four hours apart but the temperature difference is huge. Bryce Canyon takes you hiking down into the canyon and you walk through trails surrounded by crimson coloured hoodoos.

Hiking with cousins makes it so much more fun!
And...we really appreciated the extra shoulders and hands when our little boys got tired.

Hiking along the Queen Victoria Trail. Everyone said this was easily the most beautiful national park. If we had to decide between taking the family to the Grand Canyon or Bryce, we would pick Bryce.

On the way out of Bryce we hiked a little ways to see ice formations in an open cave.

Andrew examining with his flash light.

After spending a day in Bryce we headed to the Arches. Along the way had the most beautiful drive. Ever. It was along Hwy. 12, called the All-American Drive. We had read about this in our trip research but there was no way you can describe the beauty. Around every corner there was a stunning display of nature, a feast for the eyes.

The Arches contain the world's largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. There you can see massive balanced rocks and the pinnacles and spires soar into the sky.

Going for a jumping picture under a gigantic arch.

We learned quickly that these two groups of kids loved to climb. They had a blast playing games and talking in the RVs but climbing rocks is what they liked and did the best. Hiking and exploring was the perfect way for our two families to hang out. 

~Adam and Eve heading toward the garden of Eden!~

This brings us to the end of the trip. People continue to ask how Andrew is doing after his accident. Here you can see him skipping along a huge rock as happy as can be. Action is what he likes best so this has been somewhat of a difficult time for him. To give you an idea; we brought three pairs of glasses along on the trip for him and he was on his last pair when we returned home. He needs to stay safe and keep two feet on the ground but this is a real challenge for him. (I don't get it!) I could write some stories about these past few isn't only challenging for him but for me too, not knowing what he should or shouldn't do.  Behaviourally he does have his moments as a result of the concussion usually occurring when he cannot express himself. This makes us feel very bad for him and we have to struggle with our own impatience with not knowing how to solve what he cannot express. Andrew also tires easily but has a hard time falling asleep at night making another challenge because he needs to rest to continue healing. His healing has taken longer than what we initially thought but we are slowly getting there. The doctor told us last week that all of his bones in his ear are now healed and for that we are thankful.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Road trip #6 Zion National Park and a joyful reunion with family

Hiking through Zion National Park on a warm, gorgeous day made the park seem even more glorious. High, steep, red earthen cliffs wind their way around streams and rivers. The park itself is well run with shuttles taking hikers and tourists to different stops. This allows you to view the wondrous beauty before you even begin to hike. Each hike is rated for difficulty allowing families to choose which trail is best suited for them.

Leaving Zion in a RV takes a little more planning. We wanted to head North but the only way out was through a long, narrow tunnel that can accommodate an RV going one way. After paying a small fee they shut down the tunnel on either side and we were the only vehicle to sail through it. We felt quite important!

On the way to the next camping spot we took notice of buffalo roaming the fields. The boys jumped out of the RV eager to see one close up. After our trip I heard Tyler,(5), tell someone that he was smarter than the other boys because he took off his red sweater when he saw the buffalo. Tyler got mixed up between buffalo and bulls. I looked at the pictures again and sure enough the red sweater was laying on the ground. Tyler thought he'll let his brothers get charged but not him! 

Outside of Zion we headed to an RV park and there we met up with our brother and sister-in-law and their five children. With their family living more than 30 hours from us, we hardly get to see them so this was a joyful reunion for all of us. Our kids took to their cousins right away even though it had been a long time since we've seen them. We looked forward to the next few days of camping and hiking with them.

Here we found a free camp site with gorgeous scenery all around us. You can see our two RVs in the middle of the picture, side by side.

The group (minus myself and Caleb) started climbing the nearby mountain. We were already 7,000 feet and they climbed another 1,000 feet.

Way down there you can see the two RVs again. That was one exhilarating hike!