Sunday, May 1, 2011

Zion and Vegas

The first day of our Spring Break was definitely a test for all.  Everything went great, our van ran fine, the traffic was good, the driver was awake, etc.   We survived, but it was a little rough toward the end. Yes, we have a DVD player for the van, and yes, we stocked up with yummy treats for the kids, but with 4 of them they of course argue about which DVD to watch, who is using the pink crayon, who is playing which toy, and on and on it goes.

We left at 3:30 am and arrived in Riverton 14 hours later, in the middle of Wela's BBQ.  It was such a nice greeting, and it was still light out and fairly warm.  It was so nice to see so much family all there.
Toward the end of our trip, we began to dread the thought of another long long drive.  So, we decided to break up our return trip into 2 days, the 1st drive would be about 6 hours to Las Vegas, and then we'd stay the night with friends, and only have a 6 or 7 hour drive the last day.

We left around 9 am from Riverton and planned to stop in Zion National Park because it's not too far off of I-15 and it happened to be Free National Park Week.  Our detour probably took almost 4 hours, and our time spent in Zion was not that long, but still, it was worth it to all.  Even to Alani who said it was boring when we arrived.  After a nice half-mile or so hike up an archaeology trail, the kids were really rejeuvinated and definitely connected with nature in a way that we hadn't in quite a while.  It is definitely a special place and one that I hope we return to some time.  Looking down at the campground from above, while hiking, made me really crave to camp there sometime.  The feeling was similar to that in Yosemite Valley, that of just pure excitement and peace all at the same time. The breathtaking views of the red rock remind both Robb and me of our time living in Price, when he worked for the BLM and traveled to the red rock desert every day, and for me who got to spend time on the Manti range, with the Forest Service.

Happy to climb the walls at the visitor center after being in the van 5 hours

The monster crew ready to explore Zion - or a tiny bit of it at least

Posing in front of the Virgin River  - we wouldn't let Anu even poke it with a stick, it was flowing pretty fast

The boys as we begin the Archaeology Loop trail

Alani was bored until she was designated as the leader - see that smile?
C'mon guys, follow me! Yes I'm wearing Ariel pajamas and pink cowboy boots!

Wow, now that's the red rock we love

The blue/greens of the sagebrush and desert plants are my favorite

We made it to the top of the loop and now we all want Mana's walking stick

So Mana found a cairn to meditate by and gave up her stick

The little boy suddently looks bigger standing there with a stick like he's about to take off on an adventure

And Kawai almost looks like an Indian from this canyon, at home in the desert environment

At last we made it to Vegas!  The Iokias insisted we stay with them and Robb' cousin Leinani was able to stop by and talk story until midnight. We had such a great time with their company and hospitality - we were indeed spoiled.

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