Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zion - Day 3 & 4

Zion National Park on our last two days was just as divine. Don't be fooled. Traveling with two kids had more than one meltdown (it was a daily thing actually) and quite a few moments of Juliet being a big pill. But really, traveling with family is amazing.

Saturday morning was our coldest in the park. We traveled up out of Zion Canyon to our family's secret "wedding hike" and the sun was just breaking over the cliffs.
The beautiful untouched wash was in the shade, and it was coooold!
We were and always are the only hikers in this special spot where my aunt and uncle got married twenty plus years ago.
Even with the promise of treats, James was not feeling it. I couldn't blame him really, when he finally cried that his hands were too cold to keep hiking, I took them in mine and he was right, they were freezing!
Finally, ever so slowly the sun crept higher into the sky and we turned back around hoping to find a sliver of sun.
And back near the beginning of the hike we found it. Beautiful glorious sunshine.
So instead of hiking we found a large puddle and some huge rocks and threw them off the ledge. James was in heaven. And the sun warmed us all right up.
Mdo_wt on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Juliet spent the entire time crawling in the warm sand. (Notice she is in her winter coat!)
Later in the day after nap time we went back into the park with James's completed Jr. Ranger booklet. James had to talk to a ranger in the visitor's center, show what he completed in his booklet, and swear in as a Junior Ranger. It was the cutest moment of my life. He was so shy and so proud. When they said "you are now a junior ranger" he said "no, I'm James."
But they gave him a badge and he was so thrilled.
Checking out this prize. I love this picture because you can see his secret freckles.
Since it was still quite chilly we decided to head to the sunny river again instead of go on the hike we were planning (which was in the shade). Juliet was thrilled with our choice.
How could she be sad when there's sand, rocks, and leaves to try to eat at lightning speed?
E and I took turning watching the baby and playing with James. We also relaxed and enjoyed the view. What's not to love? Unreal.
There were lots of rocks to be had, which meant lots of splashing.
No rock is too big for him. 
Since the previous night we'd spent some more money and dined at Zion Lodge for dinner, on our last night we decided to go back to the pizza joint and get some more wood fired goodness.

We arrived back at our hotel exhausted and happy, and peeked out onto our back patio to see this beautiful sunset.

On our last day we woke up teasing that we shouldn't leave. What would they do if we just stayed another night, and another?

After regretfully packing up our room and eating another delicious breakfast we drove through the Zion tunnel once more and stopped at the Canyon Overlook hike. This hike is awesome if you are not afraid of heights. It weaves back along the canyon to the most amazing overlook in Zion (okay, maybe second to Angel's Landing).
E and I were worried about James near the edge and prepped him over and over on the way in that there is danger, and to stick close to us and hold our hand if we ask. Luckily he did a great job obeying (not a three year old's strong suit).
Air was once again warmer and views were out of this world.
This photo might be one of my favorites from the trip. Not because of the smiles or lack there of, but because it looks just like photos of my childhood with my siblings in Utah's National Parks. Jackets layered over sweatshirts, hand-me-downs and crooked hats. Children exploring together, not looking up to see the lens. Perfection.
This is what I get when I say "look at me!" over and over.
Seriously, AMAZING.
At the overlook James was awesome. This looks like he's right on the edge, but I assure you, he is not.
Our first trip with two children was a raging success. Even the drive home was amazingly easy. Until next time Zion, we are pooped.

1 comment:

  1. Aww! So much fun! Maybe someday, we can meet you all down south for a planned trip. :) Kyle and I were talking about how we really won't be spending much time river rafting, in the near future. Maybe this could be a substitute. ;)


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