Sunday, August 30, 2015

Willis Creek and Grosvenor Arch

 That morning (Wednesday July 29th) we got ready as quickly as we could and ate breakfast at this restaurant that came free with the hotel stay. Everyone got super full of good food and then we went out on our walk through Willis Creek. There were about 5 narrows, and we only got through 4 I think before turning around to head back. We knew our kids wouldn't last if we pushed them more, and this was only the first activity of a very long day! It turned out to be such a fun hike though! The water kept the kids cool enough as they just walked/splashed in it whenever they got too hot. There were lots of shaded areas too that were nice. It was so incredible to see all the narrows though, and think about how they were formed like that. I thought the textures and patterns on the rock were just so beautiful. What an incredible world we live in! One thing I didn't get a picture of is Tyler and Brynlee trying to catch lizards. They loved finding them and trying to catch them. Those things are so fast so they never did, but it was funny to watch.

 Any Louis L'Amour fans out there? This pile of rocks we saw right at the start of the hike reminded me of in the book Lonesome Gods. He mentions that several times. Some sort of old Indian thing.

 Do you see Kenny? He sort of camouflages up there on the right.

They dug under there and got the clay to make hand prints or write their names on the rocks.

Good thing we had turned back when we did. This one started unraveling very quickly. She insisted on being carried back the last little bit after falling a couple times.
 We got back in the car and drove out, but made one more stop at Grosvenor Arch before exiting the park. The kids had all pretty much lost their excitement about it as they were worn out and wanted to rest in the car. But they were good troopers and walked up to it for a few pictures.

Can I just say that Briggs is like the best baby in the world? He is such a good traveler and just goes everywhere and does whatever we drag him along to with the sweetest smile on his face. As long as he's fed, he's happy. And oh do I love him all the more for it!!

                                                    And then we finally let them SLEEP.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: Devil's Garden

We left Mtn. Green as early as we could and drove down to Mapleton to stop at the Tobler's house (my uncle Gregg and aunt Sharon) so I could see my cousin McCaye and her cute kids who were visiting Utah also at that time. I haven't seen her in...3 yrs?? I don't even know how many years but way too long! It was so fun to catch up a little and get to know her cuties a little better too. Kenny ran to the grocery store while we were there so we could have some snacks and water in the car, and make sandwiches a couple days for lunch. Eating out was already getting old and we'd only just begun! Ack. After visiting with her for an hour we took off again and headed for southern Utah. We wanted to hike around and see a lot of the unique landscape down there. We drove through Dixie National Forest and got to Grand Staircase-Escalante! We stopped at a couple lookout points before getting to our designated "hiking" spot. I'm sorting through hundreds of pictures so forgive me if many of them look the same and it all starts to get boring after the first 3. It was a fun trip for us and the desert is so very different from where we live that it was fun to experience and explore there for a while.

Of course the girls immediately set to picking desert wildflowers. 

Our first real stop here was to go hike around Devil's Garden. We read online this was a good one for families and it certainly was! Everyone had such a great time climbing around to their heart's content, mostly Kenny. :) I felt like everyone was relatively safe almost the whole time.
But boy, it was H-O-T!!!

Brynlee was like a little monkey scaling those rocks so quickly!

After we finished there it was well past dinner time and we had all worked up quite a good appetite. We found a cute little burger joint and ate before heading to our hotel with a gorgeous sunset.


On Tuesday, July 28th, we left Pocatello as early as we could and drove down to Farmington, Utah. We stopped at Jeni's and dropped off Briggs with her. She was SO kind to offer to watch him so we could have a really fun day at Lagoon with our other kids who could actually enjoy it. Then we went over to Lagoon! Before we left Alaska I had told the kids we were planning on going to Lagoon. I tried to explain what an amusement park was, and what a roller coaster was. They had no idea what any of it was haha. I looked up their website to show them pictures of some of the rides. But it was definitely a whole new super fun experience for them. Some of the time we stayed all together, and for other things we split up. Kenny took the older two on some bigger rides that they were tall enough for, while I took Madi and Kels on some little kid rides. Everyone had such a fun time and they still talk about that. Madison still says that was her favorite part of our trip. On the very last ride, Kenny wanted to end it with a bang and made us all go on the Rattlesnake Rapids. We all got wet, but Kelsey probably got it the worst of all and she was tired from the whole day and not in a good mood to get wet. She just started bawling haha. It was sad and funny all at once. I think she was mad at me because I was sitting by her but realized I was going to get soaked last second and jumped up to switch seats, which you're definitely NOT supposed to do. But I did it and she got mad. Kenny laughed at the fact that I didn't take her with me and only worried about myself. I assure you if it had been a dangerous situation where she was actually getting harmed, I would have for sure moved her first. But it was just water and I chose to be selfish. So there you have it.

Bryn was the most scared of the ferris wheel! The slowest moving ride in the park. Go figure!

We went and picked up Briggs and said hi to Jeni (and Eric who had just gotten back from a business trip)! We then all went over to Chris and Stacie's house to stay the night. Tyler was so excited to have a little more time with Traegan. We once again stayed up way too late talking with them that night and had a lovely time. Stacie was so kind to let me do laundry too while we were there. We desperately needed to.