Monday, April 4, 2016

The Epic Maiden Voyage

We took our first big "camping" trip for spring break last week in our motor home.  We hit three national parks in 9 days.  The motor home provided an awesome way to travel.  We weren't even an hour into the trip when I saw the kids all happily coloring together and I decided that having a table and a bathroom are the only way to do a road trip! 

Our first stop was in Cedar City to visit our dear friends.  We spent two nights at their house and had some awesome Easter celebrations including a huge Easter Egg Hunt. 

Our first real night of adventure was at Bryce Canyon National Park.  It was beautiful.  The weather was cool and windy, but we still loved seeing the scenic beauty. 

We had two campfires on the trip.  The kids LOVED having a fire. 

The kids got a little carried away with the pine needles, and . . . 

Johnny's hair got singed.  Shoot. Major parent fail! The crazy thing is that we were both out there.  The problem was that while I was taking the picture above their showing off resulted in a huge flame. 

Traveling in a camper brought family togetherness to a whole new level!  I loved watching the kids play.  There was constant excitement! I felt like the laughing was non-stop.  Of course, that is what we wanted, but I'll admit a little peace and quiet would have been nice too!

On the way out (or into) Bryce Canyon we passed through a Utah State Park, Red Canyon.  It was another beautiful place for walking around.  It looked just like Radiator Springs is portrayed at Disneyland.  

It was always nice to walk in one direction and have Josh pick us up at the other end! 

Glen Canyon, just outside of Paige Arizona, made a great pit stop.  It was a little too cold to go for a swim in Lake Powell, but the suspended bridge and damn were both amazing!

Another awesome pit stop was a walk out the "horse shoe bend."  Having not seen the grand canyon yet, we were totally impressed with the horse shoe bend. 

The Grand Canyon blew my mind!!  I was expecting one very deep crevice with the river running through.  I had no idea that there were crevice's in every direction.  From most look-out points we couldn't even see the river because it was so far below.  It was two vertical miles down to the river and about 24 miles from rim to rim.  Now that is a GRAND CANYON! 

The weather started to warm when we hit Zion.  Driving through the dessert wasn't too bad with movies to watch in the RV.  Unfortunately it was windy so it was white knuckle driving for the driver.

The TOP scenic highlight of the trip, for the kids, was the 1 mile tunnel through one of the mountains in Zion.  It really was INCREDIBLE! 

Here we are in front of the mountain we drove through. 

The thing we loved about Zion is the easy hiking trails that everyone in the family could do and enjoy.  My kids aren't hikers so going for a "walk" is all we could convince them to do, but there were some amazing walks!

The first "walk" we went on was to the Emerald Pools.  We recommend getting off at stop 6, the one to Angels landing, and going to stop 5 via the Emerald Pools rather than doing a loop at stop 5.  

At the pools we walked behind the water falls.  I'm guess this was more spectacular because there had been rain and snow earlier in the week. 

Our camp site was right on the river and had beautiful, fine sand.  The kids loved it!  Sand isn't my thing but I tried to be a good sport. 

A very short hike we wen't on was to the weeping rock.  We enjoyed the Emerald Pools more, but this one was so short, although steep, we couldn't pass it up. I could imagine that the view would have been even more spectacular had all of the leaves been on the trees. 

The final walk we went on was called the Riverside Walk.  It was a little longer, but flat. The kids counted over 50 squirrels on the walk.  They kept themselves easily entertained counting the squirrels, but the scenery was breath taking. 

Because of the cool weather at the higher altitudes we decided to end the trip with a couple of nights in St. George.  The kids couldn't get enough of the pool, and I loved the sun! Andy played shuffle board, miniature golf, and ping-pong almost around the clock.  Luckily Caleb found some friends from home to keep him occupied.  

Another great spring break in the record books!!

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