Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation 09 - Days 10 &11

Day 10: National Park #5 - Bryce Canyon

Our drive on Day 10 took us up further into the mountains which meant cooler weather and a change in scenery. It took us from desert looking surroundings to more evergreens.

Bryce Canyon National Park...

As we arrived in the park we went to the Visitor's center to get our bearings. We also found out we could enter Kane into their Jr. Park Ranger's program. So we signed him up!

From there we headed all the way up the mountain to have a picnic and to the overlook named Rainbow Point.

After lunch we headed back down and stopped at a few more overlooks...


On our way up the mountain we had noticed that there was smoke rising up through the trees. We assumed that they were burning part of the forest to prepare it for new growth (a controlled fire). However on our way down the mountain we were stopped by a Park Ranger at a road block telling us to pull into a parking lot. He said that the fire was getting ready to cross the road and we would have to wait a little while before going down. What?!!!

We ended up waiting in that parking lot for about 5 hours! Nolan wanted to head back up the mountain and go on a hike! I wanted to stay put because they kept sending park rangers to talk with us (and the 50 other cars there with us) about what was going on and their plans to get us down off the mountain (the road down was the only good, paved road for public use off the mountain.). Apparently the fire had been started by lightening a few weeks earlier and had been working it's way that direction for a while.

The Park Ranger in charge kept calling all of the drivers up so that he could inform them on the latest news and the latest on how they were going to be getting us off the mountain. At one point they told us they were going to lead us down through the fire. It was on both sides of the road with flames about 10 ft. high. on both sides and it was like this for about 2 miles of the road. We had to wait for the Ranger in charge to get the go ahead from a plane flying up above that could see the fire. We were in our car (me crying) waiting for the Ranger to give us the signal when he called all the drivers back up again.

Apparently the pilot had called and said the wind was too strong and it was blowing flames back and forth across the road and it was too dangerous for us to go down just then. He also said it was headed our way! So now there was a choice to make:

Go down a really dangerous road that was used only for rangers (dirt road, curvy, lots of ruts, straight down hill, etc.)

or

Go up even higher on the mountain (where they were making the motorcycles and RVs go because the dirt road was to bad for them) and hope they would get it under control enough for us to drive down.

The group listening to the Park Ranger...

We decided to follow the Ranger on the bad road that would take us 20 miles down and around the mountain but to safety which was what was important!
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All the cars trying to escape the fire through the pasture they were leading us through.

We could see part of the fire from down below on the 20 mile road they were leading us out on (it took us 2 hours to drive this 20 mile road out)...

Once we were safe we headed back into the park to one of the overlooks on the bottom side of the mountain. This is what Bryce canyon looks like. Isn't it amazing?!

I have to be honest and tell you that by the end of day 10 I felt emotionally and physically drained! I was cranky and just wanted to go home in all honesty! My attitude was not he best and I needed to have it checked I have to say! But we went back to our campsite (yes in the park where the big fire was blazing!) made some supper and headed to bed in our 2 person tent!


Day 11: Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park - and a better attitude!

We woke up early day 11 at Bryce Canyon N.P.. We had to pack up camp and eat some breakfast before heading out. Nolan made us some yummy eggs and oatmeal. Here's our humble little campsite.

The water spout was right by our site so we were able to get drinks and wash dishes pretty easily. Ruthie was a big help while washing dishes. (she was so dirty while camping! She had dirt from one end to the other!) It was pretty cold while camping up in the mountains.

I woke up this day with a better attitude and feeling of being refreshed (an answered prayer)! So instead of heading straight out of the park we went and did one of the hikes that we were supposed to have done the day before.

The start of our 3 mile Sunrise hike at Bryce Canyon N.P. before we headed out to Zion. The beginning was way down hill and then the end was way up hill and super hard!

On our way down into the canyon. And yes those are people way down at the bottom, and yes that is where we were headed! I did pretty well I have to say. It just zig-zagged all the way to the bottom.

This is looking up from the bottom. All the way at the top of the picture is close to where we started the hike. Can you say Scary!

Finally we made it down into the canyon and of course the boys had to climb the very first big rock they came across! Silly boys!

Me and the Kane-man down in the canyon (at this point of the hike we still had about 2.5 miles left)...

Right in the middle of this canyon were these 2 random trees...

Did I mention they were huge trees!

Kane had to take a rest from walking. We had to take a few rests along the way actually.

Along the hike we came up to a Y in the road. One way was our way which was 1.5 miles left or you could go the other way and go another 5 miles. Kane wanted to go the 5! Crazy guy- he doesn't even know what miles mean! But he kept saying "I can do it!" and then he plopped down on the ground and had a whine session about not getting to go 5 more miles!

The last 3/4 mile was straight up hill! It was so hard!!! and I had to carry Ruthie on my back for a lot of it so that Nolan could carry Kane. I thought I might fall out right on the side of the mountain! But I made it and I have to say it was the best and prettiest hike we went on the whole time!

After the hike we had a quick picnic and then headed out for National Park #6 - Zion National Park.

Zion is apparently known for its river that rolls down through its canyons. It was really pretty and had some really great rock formations.

It also had a 1 mile tunnel through the mountains, and yes both boys tried to hold their breath through it. They both failed to do it the whole way in case you were wondering.

Kane became a Junior Ranger at Zion (as well as Bryce Canyon). Here he is with a Ranger excepting his badge. He was so proud! (The Junior Ranger program is this really neat program that each National Park has where they give you a book with tasks to do and worksheets to complete and you have to pick up some trash and you are awarded with a badge to let everyone know you are a Jr. Ranger!)

His badges...

We ended the day eating some Mexican food out and then swimming and heading to bed at the hotel! It was another great day!

(and yes I know I have a lot of run-on sentences in this post- thank you!)


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37 comments:

Ali said...

Oh wow. I would've freaked out with that fire you guys had to deal with. So sorry! But the rest of the time looks like it made up for that little bump in the road. :)

J.J. said...

love Bryce and Zion! Great trip! Cute campsite too....looks like fun :)

♥Amber Filkins♥ said...

I love reading all of your posts! I still have the last one open in a tab. I have to finish reading it. Love living vicariously through you guys!

And you all are super inspiring with your healthy eating and super active lifestyle.

Rhonda said...

Wow 5 hours waiting on a fire...with 2 kiddos! No wonder you were cranky!

Man I wonder how much weight I could lose hiking as much as you all have! Inspiring!

Glad the next day was better for you! How is Kane's eye??

Hope you enjoy the rest of your time! I wish I could have loaned you our 8 person tent to take! A lot more room. Just let me know next time!

Emily said...

totally awesome! That tunnels looks intense but not as intense at the fire! So glad y'all made it out safely, but I'm sure it was a harrowing experience. You looked pretty relaxed standing next to the canyon though...I guess you're starting to get used to that now! ;)

Becca @ The Texas Darlings said...

Oh my goodness! What a scary time ya'll had there!! It will be an adventure you will never forget though!!

Your pictures are beautiful!! Thank you so much for taking us along on your vacation!!

~Becca

kimert said...

WOW! Fires scare me! My kids would have driven me nuts in the wait to get out of there. Looks like a fun couple of days anyway!!! :)

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

First of all, you are standing very close to the edge in one of those pictures and NOT looking nervous -- good for you! Seriously -- 5 hours to get off a mountain?! That would make anyone a little cranky and homesick! I think the canyons and rock formations in this post are my fave so far. So glad you're safe and having fun!

jenjen said...

Hi Kasey -
Wow - how scary! I am so glad you guys are okay! Smart idea to go down the mountain. Those pictures are amazing!

XXOO
Jen

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Oh my goodness, what an adventure! This is a trip you'll never forget, I'm sure!

Julie said...

wow! what an amazing trip to be able to take!! i think i would have been cranky right along side of you on day 10 but whta a blessing to wake up refreshed and renewed by day 11!!
thanks for sharing - i love the pics I can only imagine what it looks like in real life - truly amazing!

Trudy said...

That is scary...I'm glad you all made it down the mountain ok! I've been to the Grand Canyon but definitely want to do Bryce Canyon sometime! Beautiful pictures!

Peterson Family said...

Wow. What an amazing trip! I will be checking back to catch up on everything! What an adventure!!!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

just found your blog. love it. 3 comments: 1) your vacation looks like a blast! 2) how is the running thing going? I jogged/walked my first 5k in June. My goal is to run a whole one next spring. . . 3) do you still do the friend making mondays and can anyone join? Thanks!

Chrissy said...

Hi, Kasey! I couldn't possibly compile a list of lovely blogs without featuring your beautiful blog. In celebration of all things lovely, would you consider stopping by sometime to accept an award from me? I usually follow you from my other blog!! I love FMM!!!

Kristen Marie said...

kudos to you for making it through that day alive with kids!! i would be freakin! you have amazing pictures. i must buy your camera!

Bitter Sweet Moments said...

Love all the pictures!! Stop by my blog I have some awards for you!!

Shawn said...

You are having such an adventure! I'm glad you're ok!

When you get back come on over, I've given you an award.

Vivienne said...

Holy Cats! I would have been freaked out, cranky and interested in it all at once. Mostly a little wiggy though. It sounds like you are being a total trooper. (You need a bigger tent though!) :)

Ginette said...

What an adventure! Amazing pics too!

Rhonda said...

HEy Kasey...thinking about you all! ;o)

Becca @ The Texas Darlings said...

Hey Kasey- we are missing you!!

~Becca

Chic Mama said...

Can't wait for you to get back and start up your meme again!

Faith- Inspired Designs by Faith said...

I found your blog and just had to follow! Love Love! I am interested in what is friend making monday all about?!

Hannah Grace said...

wow it looks like you guys had an exciting trip!! I loved the pictures...! God bless :)

Ave said...

I have something for you in my blog ;)

jenjen said...

Kasey --
How are you? I hope things are okay and that you are having a wonderful trip.

Miss you!

XOOX
Jen

Jennifer said...

I've been wondering how you all are doing. You haven't posted in almost a month.

Hope everyone is ok.

♥Amber Filkins♥ said...

Hey Kasey, how are you? Just wanted to check in and see that you are okay. You still on vacation? I know it was a long trip. Hope you had a blast!

Hopefully hear from you soon. You are missed!

Amber

Rhonda said...

Hey Kasey,

We miss you around here! Is your trip over? I'm sure you have more adventures to share! ;O)

Cassie said...

Wow, that place looks awesome!

You have an award waiting on my blog :)

newlyweds said...

Wow your pictures are amazing, and how scary was that fire?!

Pam said...

Hi Kasey! Still on vacation? Missing you
Pam

Amy said...

Just checking in I have not seen you in awhile...

Renee said...

Wow !!!what a exciting trip...What an adventure! Amazing pics...really fantastic thanks for sharing..
--
Reenee
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Monica said...

Where did you go? I enjoyed reading your blog so much!!

Emmy said...

Holy cow that would be so scary!! Glad you are okay. Great pictures.