Monday, July 13, 2009

Vacation '09 - Days 7, 8, & 9

Day 7: National Park #2

I woke up about 5:45 day 7 and went for a run in Grand Junction, CO. It was hard! The air is so thin and dry in the desert! I feel like I can't get enough water and all of our lips are so chapped!

We got around and ate a really good complimentary breakfast at our hotel before hitting the road. This is what most of our drive looked like...

We got to Moab, Utah about 10:30 a.m. and headed straight to Arches National park.

We've decided the next time we cruise America we're going to do it in style! We've seen about 50 of these Cruise America RVs.

Outside the Visitors Center they had these fun guys that the kiddos had a hoot climbing on (his eye is still bothering him in the sun so he is having to wear sunglasses a lot)...

Some of the crazy stuff we're seeing here in Utah...

We hung out at Balancing Rock...

Went on a short little hike to hang out under the shade of one of the arches. Look how tiny they look. It was super HUGE!

They climbed up some of the rocks under the arch...

I just love how blue the sky is here and how it looks up against all of the rock and mountains...

The north and south Windows. We have heard some different stories about how these crazy arches were formed. We heard erosion from water and we also heard from wind. I'm going with both (how's that for riding the fence? HA!). We went up and stood under the one on the left...

One of the many arches in Arches National Park. We climbed up into this one too.

Showing me his booboo from sliding down the rocks on his hinie...

After this little hike we had a picnic lunch in the car. It was too hot to eat outside and we couldn't find any picnic tables in the shade.

All of these National parks have wonderful driving tours that you can follow that take you all over the parks and have hikes or overlooks you can stop at. We try to do at least 1 or 2 hikes (usually no more than 2 miles, but usually just around 1 or 1/2 mile).

I wasn't around when this took place. I guess they had to sneak off! (really I think I was in the car with Ruthie. She was snoozing.)

At one point Ruthie was asleep and Kane didn't want to get out so Nolan went on what he thought was a 100 yd hike to see Delicate Arch. He decided to run since it was supposed to be short. He ended up sprinting about a mile thinking it was just around the next bend. He came back soaken wet and without ever seeing it- he finally gave up!

After we saw all there was to see for a family with 2 little ones we headed to our campsite. Nolan says I'm an outdoor diva because I want to do things outside and I'll camp, but I refuse to camp with no showers and electricity. So that means we have to pay a little more for camping than what they offer in the National parks (national park $8 - our campsite $22). I'm sorry! I have to shower and see my hand in front of my face at night! But really it worked out better because our campsite had a pool and it would be miserable without that! (and did I mention it had WiFi too! Rock on!)

Our campsite also had these little tent things set up to put your tents under. It gave shade and made it a little cooler. Isn't our tent sad! It's a 2 person tent. Now tell me I'm not a trooper!

Taking cover while it rained 1 of the 10 days a year it does this here! But it did help cool things down a little.

Right next to us camping we met a couple of families with little boys around Kane's age. One family was from Texas and the other was from Norway. The little boy from Norway didn't speak any English and it was so amazing to watch him and Kane play together even though they couldn't understand one another. His parents and grandparents spoke english so they would translate for us and him. We taught him how to play baseball and American football.

Kane is getting better and better at swimming. By the end of the summer he will have grown fins I think!

We swam until dark and then went and showered and hit the sack! We were pooped!!!

Day 8: National Park #3

We woke up early and got around and headed over to the huge chess set that our campsite has. Little Man had been asking to play his daddy. He dominated his dad!

We ate the best breakfast yet at a fun restaurant in Moab, Utah called EclectiCafe. We had their twist on Wavos Rancheros, which is an egg dish, it was slightly spicy, and so good (lots of chiles, and we LOVE chiles!)!

We then headed out about 30 minutes to...

Gorgeous views of the canyons (notice the death grip on the little man. I practically had a breakdown to the hubs about letting go of his hand the day before and now he is all over it!, and I feel much better. Still nervous, but better!)

A view of one of the many canyons. Doesn't it look like a 3 fingered hand?

Look at me right up against the railing! I'm getting a little better. The hubby says the best way to over come fears is to face them head on! I'm trying (you can't see it but I have a hand full of Kane's shirt here)!

This is one of the arches, the Mesa Arch. I love this picture!

It is so hot here! I bet we have gone through about 100 of these...

We went on a 1 mile hike, in the heat of the day, to the top of Whale Rock and I had to carry the baby so hubs could carry little man some. We had to rest about half way up! I was so tired! I have a new respect for my husband for how much he has lugged that sweet baby around on his back!

Headed up Whale Rock. Look how far behind I was. Isn't that sad?! I think I can, I think I can...

I made it and hubs relieved me of stink bug, YES!!!

After the Whale Rock hike we had a picnic and then headed back to the campsite to swim. We could only swim for so long and since it is so hot we couldn't just hang around so we showered and headed out for some Mexican food and a movie (Ice Age 3). When the movie let out is was getting darker and the weather was cooling down so back to the site we went and headed to bed!

Day 9
: National Park #4

We woke up really early at the camp site this morning ate some breakfast and headed out. It took us about 3 hours to get to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. It's still hot!

As we drove into the park we found these way cool holes in the side of the mountain. Kane thought it was way cool. Right in front of these was an old cabin about the size of my bedroom. It said on the little sign outside the cabin that a family of 10 lived in it at one time. It said that the parents and 2 youngest slept in the cabin, the girls slept in a wagon out front, and the boys slept in these holes...comfy huh?!

We did a 2 mile hike today. It was uphill a lot of the way and since I was pooped and my man's a stud! he carried both of our children for a while! He's the man!

This is what part of our hike looked like. We are right in the desert, and did I mention how hot it is here!

This is the arch that we stood under today at the end of our hike. Isn't it so cool! It was so much cooler in the shade of this arch! It is so amazing some of the things we've seen! God has done some amazing things!

My crew resting at the destination of the hike before we headed back to the car...

Right in the middle of the park was this little town called Fruita that had all these amazing fruit orchards that you could pick fruit for free as long as you ate it in the park. The peaches weren't quite ready yet, but they were okay. But we also found these mule deer goin' to town on these apples. After our picnic lunch we walked over to them and they let us get about 10 ft from them. It was so crazy!

After lunch we did a driving tour and part of the drive took us on some back roading. It was so fun driving through the canyons.

The kids and I fell asleep on our way out of the park and so when we got to the hotel Nolan rolled down all the windows, parked in the shade and let us all sleep for about an hour. We have been so busy that by the end of the day we are all exhausted!

Once we woke up we went swimming for a while. Kane met another little boy that does not speak english. He and his family are from Germany. I visited with his mother for a little while and they were super nice.

We then went to dinner. It was so yummy! We had a 10 veggie salad, mushroom lasagna, and bosenberry pie ala mode. We ended the night with a little workout with weights and then we found a dirt road to run on. On the run we could see the sun setting behind the mountains and it was just perfect!

It's been another great few days!



Emily said...

I just love hearing about your trip! You guys are really having some once in a lifetimes adventures! That chess game looks reminds me of Wizard Chess!

Stacey said...

Those are beautiful parks, and that is some kind of campground!

kimert said...

Those pictures are amazing! I'm amazed by what God has created for us to enjoy. I'm so glad you and your family are able to take that trip! Thank you for sharing it with all of us, too!!! :)

Rhonda said...

I love hearing about your adventures! Beautiful pictures of God's creation! I sounds like you all are taking it in!

The cabin with a family of 10 wow! Some of them sleep in those holes!! That was interesting!

Glad Kane's eye is doing better. Hope you continue to have a wonderful time! What great summer memories!

Alli said...

Wow, those national parks are amazing! You all are definitely getting in your share of exercise. and you are building a lifetime of great memories and pictures for an amazing vacation!

Mom Parnell said...

Sure am glad you posted this. Told your mom I was beginning to worry that you were lost! :) :)
Thanks for sharing! Love and PRAYERS.

Frugal Fine Living said...

How fun! Your pictures are great. I feel like I'm there. I bet your kids are having a ball!


Ali said...

Okay, you've officially inspired me to take a trip like this with my future family. I HAVE to!

Girl With The Golden Touch said...

Amazing pictures :)

Becca @ The Texas Darlings said...

Kasey- I really, really love reading your posts about your trip- thanks so much for taking us along with you on your trip!!

Where are we headed to next?


Amy Wallace said...

Great pictures of some amazing places.

Aeryn said...

I am continuously amazed about how great every single day of your trip is! That campsite was amazing. What's it called?
Keep having wonderful, fun and wonder-filled days so you can share more pics and stories with us! Have a safe journey onward.

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

Wow, the rock formations are amazing! I love that there were fruit orchards in your park -- how neat.

What a great trip! I can't believe how much hiking you all are doing, especially carrying the kids! Impressive!


Shawn said...

I love this adventure and I have to say I'm a bit envious!

I do have to say that you are a freaking superstar! I would NEVER sleep in that 2 person tent with 3 other living, breathing people. My dog yes, my husband and children NOT A CHANCE!

And as if the hiking in 100 degree weather isn't enough of a workout your lifting weights and running too! I'm not so sure this friendship can continue!

Seriously, you really do define superstar. No make that ~ FREAKING SUPERSTAR!

Be safe!

heidi said...

You are in my homeland! I grew up in the Wyoming/Utah/Colorado areas. Tell me you're planning to hit Zion National Park? It's my favorite park, thus far. LOVE it. Looks like you guys are havin a BLAST!

♥Amber Filkins♥ said...

Okay, seriously.

First of all, beautiful, beautiful, seriously beautiful.

Second of all, while I don't love that you had a bad attitude, I love that you shared about it. It helps me to know that I'm not the only one. lol

Third, after all that hiking, walking, etc, you guys STILL did weights AND ran?? You guys are seriously awesome.

{Katie Lane} said...

This post is awesome. Makes me miss home... Hope you are still having fun.

You are featured on Traveling the Blogosphere today!!

Vivienne said...

These photos are amazing. I've never been to Zion, but want to go. I have to say that I think my favorite pix is your son, right behind his daddy on the hike, wearing a We Love Coach Helder shirt. Priceless.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

{ L } said...

Hi there! I just found your blog and I'm having fun. :) Your vacation looks SO FUN!! Zion has always been one of my TOP favorite National Parks. We actually live in that little town you wrote about, Fruita. :D I have a question for you though...we go to Moab often but I would LOVE to know where that chess game is?!! My boys would have such a great time with that! Where is it? In Moab? Thanks so much and you have a beautiful blog.

Renee said...

Wow, those national parks are amazing!!!!What a wonderful are amazing...thanks for sharing such a wonderful post..
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