Monday, November 9, 2015

Family Road Trip - 2015 (Part 4 - Zion National Park)

Day 5:October 19 

As sad as we were to leave Colorado Springs, we were even more sad to leave Ouray.
I mean, with a view like this, who would WANT to leave?

But new adventures were awaiting, so leave we did. 

We stopped at a Walmart in Montrose, CO, to see if they could fix our flat trailer tire. Fortunately, they could, so I took care of purchasing a few perishables while we waited. That stop took longer than we wanted, but it couldn't be avoided. I was successful in purchasing and hiding a birthday cake for Corban while we were there, so that was a triumph.

On our way out of town, through a light rain, we saw the most vibrant rainbow we had ever seen. 

Although Google maps had said we only had a 7 hour day of driving ahead of us, due to our last experience, we knew that would just not be the case. However, we didn't know that the speed limit on I-70 across the middle of Utah had a speed limit of 80 mph. Sheesh. Since we were still plugging away at about 60 mph, our travel estimate was even more inaccurate than the first day. 

At least the scenery was pretty awesome. 

That center section of Utah has pretty spectacular views - but it's also probably the most desolate place I've ever seen. We must have gone 250 miles without an exit with services. No civilization. Nothing. Thank God Grant had the foresight to bring a 5 gallon container of gasoline along (just in case - we had no idea about the stretch of nothing we would encounter) - we actually had to stop and use it or we would have run out of gas. 

Oh, it was at that stop that Annika (8) first vomited.

Poor kid ended up vomiting 5 times before we reached our campsite late that evening.

Was it a stomach bug, coming to haunt us on our cross-country trip to a wedding? 
Or just a bizarre case of car sickness (from the kid who's never been carsick)? 

Time would tell. 
Our nerves were a little worked up about it, as you can well imagine. 

Somewhere in the middle of nothingness, we got to witness our second double rainbow of the day - this one just as spectacular as the first. Made even better with the completely natural surroundings. 

And we got to see another lovely sunset - with hours to go to our campsite - AGAIN. Sigh.

Nothing like setting up camp in a pitch-black campground with crying kids in the car. AGAIN. 

Day 6: October 20

Happy Birthday, CORBAN!! 

Our boy turned 12 today. 

He's 5'6", wears men's size 10 shoes, and is growing into a young man faster than we can grasp. 
He loves skateboards, basketball, swimming, scooters, hiking, camping (real tent camping), Trail Life, nature, reading adventure books  (Ranger's Apprentice series is his favorite), archery, Clash of Clans, and competing with me on our Duolingo Spanish lessons. 

We gave him an autographed book series called The Knights of Arrethtrae that we purchased at a homeschool convention earlier this year - he finished all six books before we got home. 

He was super excited to receive some walkie-talkies for his birthday. They got a lot of use on this trip.

Side note: Annika was feeling great and eating normally all day - no sign of sickness. Hurrah! 

Our trailer/campsite - in the Watchman Campground. That's Watchman Rock in the background.
At $18 per night, it was by far the cheapest campground we visited. It had very nice bathrooms but no showers or water hook-ups. The sites were large and spaced well - and we were actually IN the national park, which was super cool.  

This set of rocks is called the Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Seen at the trail head of our first trail. Nice warning. 

Lovely tarantula I spotted on the side of the trail. I don't care if they're "not dangerous" - I'll keep my distance, thankyouverymuch. That's Grant's foot, by the way. 

Couple of cute fawns with a doe we spotted. 

Annika and Marissa

The kids loved playing by the river near our campsite. The river was really muddy due to flash floods a couple of days earlier. Glad we missed out on that!

Ellia and me

Another view of the Watchman Rock. Pretty impressive!

We enjoyed another one of the crock pot soups that night (chicken chili with fritos and cheese) and surprised Corban with his birthday cake and Tillamook huckleberry ice cream (oh man, is that stuff good!). This is the first store-bought birthday cake for any of my kids.  I was a little sad to not get to bake something, but I got over it. 

Corban declared it his best birthday ever. :) 

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