Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Day 17: A Hail Storm We Might Never Forget

We opted NOT to sleep in the covered wagon last night at the Zion Ponderosa Resort.  As much fun as it would have been, I was really thankful for my own bathroom and electricity in our cowboy suite! Besides, we needed to be rested for all the fun activities we did that morning!

Zion Ponderosa Resort is right outside Zion National Park.  It is a huge resort with everything from campsites to RV hookups to cabins to vacation homes.  The also have a ton of fun actitives you can choose from.  If we had more time, we would have opted for the jeep tours & canyoneering of Zion, but we still had fun with the following:
 Mini ATV tours
 Meeting the gentle horses of the ranch
 And even had a horseback ride - this little guy's first!

After a fun morning, we needed to hit the road for a quick drive up to Bryce Canyon National Park.  This was one place I was really looking forward to visiting.  In preparing for our trip, I was amazed by all the incredible pictures I had seen online.  And as we approached the park, we drove through Red Canyon - just a sneak peek of what was in store for us!
 As luck would have it, the storm clouds moved in just as we drove in - Again, monsoon season??? Not going to stop me from seeing those hoodoos!!
 And y'all, the pictures do this view absolutely NO JUSTICE.  I was amazed by the gorgeous Bryce Canyon amphitheater.  There are several points to drive to (or take a bus) to see from different perspectives.  I honestly could stare at it all day.
 As we headed to Sunset Point to see Thor's Hammer, a rainstorm blew in.  As we had been doing at the other parks, we tried our best to ignore it and keep going.  But then it started to hail!  Little man wanted nothing to do with ice pellets falling from the sky, so we ran to the van.
 We had a good laugh at how wet we were as we waited the storm out.  There was no way we were going to leave - I wanted to see Thor's Hammer!
 I'm so glad we waited. The storms blew out and we took a 1.7 mile hike down into the canyon, past Thor's Hammer.  It was a stunning hike down with a few switchbacks that were really fun.  On the hike back up, we went through Wall Street - a narrow culvert that wore us out.  I was really glad we took the time to hike it.  The views were stunning.
 Alas, we had to head to our next stop - Lake Powell, AZ.  It was a long drive south, crossing over another state line, this one with a pretty puny sign:

On a personal note, I think the trip is finally starting to wear on us a bit.  We are all a bit snappy around the edges.  My youngest is whiny - but can you blame him? He'e only 4 and we have drug him all over the Southwest! And my pre-teen is acting pretty, well, teenager-ish.  She was mad that I "made her hike all the way down into that canyon" today.  I remember being just like her on several trips with my parents - I just hope that one day she realizes what a cool experience this has been.

We are really, really sick of eating fast food, eating burgers, eating sandwiches, eating donuts - I just want some greens and a home cooked meal.  As the trip comes to a close, I am not as disciplined as I could be with choosing healthier options.  It has become easier to pull through some fast food and get to where we are going than to stop and enjoy a good meal.

There, whining over - we have seen so many incredible places - have so many awesome memories - I just wanted y'all to see real life on the trip as well.  Good night form Arizona.  We have just a few more days left and they are going to be AWESOME!

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