Monday, June 15, 2009

Zion's: A Peak At Our Fab Weekend

Last Thursday, after months of planning, we headed south for some warm weather and hiking. It has been raining in our town for a few weeks now. Warmer weather was sounding wonderful. We were headed to Zion National Park-so exciting!!!
The drive was chilly and we drove through a few cloudbursts on the way. The kids handled the drive as to be expected, Chase screamed a lot and Bayli talked a lot. The naps in between were like a piece of heaven. The drive was so beautiful this year, all of the rain has made the desert so green.
It has been about 11 years since Jed and I have been to Zion's. So you can expect that things have changed a little, try a lot. It was like entering Disneyland. Once we started driving through the town of Springdale we thought, WHAT!!! It was like a mini resort town with shops and visitors everywhere.
We headed through the town and up to the canyon. We had planned to get here early, about noonish, to secure a campsite in the park. Apparently they have some sites for first come first serve. Well, with two now screaming kids, we were forced to turn around and pay the big bucks in Springdale because the RV lots were full. First part of our planning gone up in smoke.
So we turned back around and headed for the first RV park that we could find, Day's Inn it was.
After waiting in the truck with the screaming kids for what seemed a century, while Jed secured us a spot, I thought that I was going to lose it.
We found our site and began the fun of unpacking the trailer. Chase was content because our site was all gravel and sand-you can imagine what he looked like after only 5 minutes (a sweet little dirt devil). Bayli was confused why her bike, with training wheels, would not go on the gravel. "Mom, it is like an exercise bike!" And, since we have scared her to death about riding in the road, she was pretty timid when we told her to ride on the asphalt through the RV park.
We had planned to dry camp. Now that we were in a full hook-up RV park, we were a little over prepared, and two swimming suits short. I had only packed the kids suits, second part of the plan in smoke. Thank goodness we had taken my parents and Chalese on the trip with their trailer too. Chalese is always prepared when it comes to her wardrobe. She got the privilege of taking Bayli to the swim pool. I watched, but only for a few minutes, until a Bayli moment happened.

Hot dogs and smores over the fire-YUM!!!


We got up early the next day. After a delicious breakfast, created by Jed, we packed up the kids and were off to the shuttle. That is the best thing about "Disneyland" (a.k.a. Zion's) there were shuttles to take us all the way up the canyon.
Once to the canyon entrance, we were delightfully surprised. My dad is now a senior citizen, yeah he is old, and has this $10 card that he registered for. BEST $10 investment ever!!! He gets into the National Parks for free!!! Let me say that again FREE, F-R-E-E, FREE!!! And, his guests get in free as well. So we did not have to pay to get in. It was only $25, but FREE is wonderful.
We hopped onto another shuttle and up the canyon we went. We decided to do the hike up to Angel's Landing for our first hike. This is a 5 mile round-trip hike. With an elevation change of almost 1500 feet. Bayli hiked all by herself-such proud parents. It was a beautiful hike, minus all of the other tourists.
Bayli was hilarious! She will say and do just about anything. On the way up, we passed this couple coming down. Well Bayli, being her nutty self, stops the lady and says in her sweetest voice "Do you like the flowers on my shirt?" The lady was pleasantly surprised, and in her non-American accent replied that she had been waiting for someone to ask her that all day. Bayli glowed with delight. I am sure that they thought she was handicapped or something.

When we got to Scout lookout, we were mauled by chipmunks. Those creatures are literally fearless. Chase kept cooing at them and saying "key" (kitty). I was just worried that my babies were going to get bit.

We left the kids at Scout lookout with their grandparents. Jed, Chalese, and myself continued the hike up to Angel's Landing. It was miserable (not the hike, we loved it) all of the people. We got stuck behind this group of "older" people. Let me tell you, they were SLOWWW. Nothing is worse than climbing up the face of a mountain and having to slow down your adrenaline. Most groups will let you by, but not this one. There is no place to climb to pass up anyone either, so we had to bear through it.
The view was amazing though! We only stayed for a couple of minutes. We wanted to get ahead of the slowies for the downhill climb. Climbing down is more technical, but we did it so much faster than the uphill-it was wonderful to be able to keep up with the adrenaline.

On the way down to the trail head, we saw two owls right off the trail-beautiful!

We headed back down the canyon to have lunch and give Chase his afternoon nap back at the trailer.
After resting up, we headed back up the canyon to take the shuttle tour to the top and to hike up to Weeping Rock. We went up with a bigger group this time. The group included our family, my parents, Chalese, and our friends Robert and Stacie and their 4 kids. We decided to take the Bob stroller up instead of the baby backpack. More cumbersome, but a nice change for Chase and baby Chloe. The trail up to Weeping Rock is very easy. It is all paved and is only 0.5 miles round trip. It was a great second hike for kids.
It is such a beautiful hanging garden. We were amazed at how old the water was after it had come from the top of the mountain and ended here.
On the way down to the trail head, we found this funny bird, who like the other animals in the park was much too friendly.
We also let the kids go down to the stream to find tadpoles and water skeeters. They didn't find any adult toads though-bummer. Jed found a creepy one-eyed squirrel that looked like it had rabies or something and needed to be put out of its misery.
Bayli has been trying to become a better creek jumper and decided to test out her skills, with Jed's encouragement. This was the result:

Chase climbed around the rocks at the trail head. He is determined to be the littlest hiker ever.

After the kids got their fun factor in, we headed back down for a little R&R. Most of our shuttle trips sucked, Chase hated being contained and wanted OUT! So we didn't get to enjoy the funny drivers comments all the way down the canyon. What we did hear was hilarious-we love you Jim L.!!!
Chase had chowed down on snacks all the way back to the trailer, so we doped him up with benadryl and tylenol, bathed him, and sent him to bed! We were too tired to deal with him waking up, he had woken twice the night before. Don't point fingers, I know that all of you have done that at least once!
We ate delicious mushroom guac burgers for dinner-yummy!
Bayli slept over at Grandma and Grandpa's trailer-it was a peaceful night. Until, Bayli came and woke us up at about 6:00 am because she needed a toy.


The morning begins.
Chase is now awake-thank-you Bay!
We make another yummy breakfast and load up the kids for a day up in Kolob Canyon.
We drove about 20 miles to the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center. It was pouring rain about 10 miles out of Zion Canyon. We were worried that our day would be rained out. At the visitor center, we found that the storm should be letting up soon. We all piled into grandpas truck for a FREE day in Kolob Canyon. The Canyon was beautiful! We drove to the top. It was so cold, it was still raining. We then drove back down to the Taylor Creek trail head. The rain was only drizzling now and we could see blue sky in the distance. So we geared up for the trail.
This was by far our favorite trail. There were almost no tourists up Kolob Canyon. And the rain had made this trail perfect. The trail meanders back and forth following the creek. What is normally a sandy hike was perfectly packed down from the rain. It was wonderful! The air was so fresh and everything was so green and lovely. Our bodies were sore from hiking Angel's the day before, but this hike rejuvenated us. We were loving it. Bayli was full of so much energy. She was running up and down the trail. We would see her dart from here to there looking at plants and bugs. It was like a piece of heaven. You cross the creek numerous times. Bayli loved working her jumping skills even more.
But, as all good things must come to an end, ours did. We weren't chased out by a storm, but by an injured little four year old.
On one of the creek crossings, Jed was helping Bayli. He jumped, and she didn't. He was pulling all of her weight with one arm. And POP! Followed by SCREAMS of pain. Bayli was hurt. Through her tears we found that her left elbow was hurting. We checked her arm but could find no indication of a break and I was able to bend it. But, she was in pain! She wouldn't bend it or let anyone touch it after we had checked it. Bayli is normally a very tough kid who will shake things off after a little while. No shaking occurred, the tears came in buckets and the cries like lightening. It was time to head back from our little piece of heaven.
I packed Bayli out, supporting her arm. Then Jed and I traded off and I packed Chase and he took Bayli up the steps to the trail head. We hadn't even gone a mile into the hike yet-we were all very disappointed.
When we got back to the truck, we decided that we better take her to get her armed looked at. We handed off Chase to Grandma so they could take him back to the trailer for lunch and a nap. We carefully packed Bayli into her seat and headed up to Cedar City and the nearest Instacare. What a long drive. We were full of disappointment and worry. Thankfully Bayli fell asleep on the drive, waking only once when we hit a bump that jostled her arm-poor thing.
In Cedar, we got directions from a Police Officer to the Instacare (googling was a nightmare and we kept getting put on hold when we would connect with the Instacare).
We woke Bay and through her tears she told the receptionist that her arm hurt. We explained the circumstances and checked in. The doctor immediately thought that it was dislocated and felt the joint and it was. We prepped for the re-location, poor Bayli. The doctor quickly popped it back in. I thought that Bay was going to pass out-she looked like a ghost. Then she turned bright red and started screaming. After about 10 minutes, Bay did not seem to feel any better. So we opted to get X-rays. Bayli said, "they are going to make my elbow exercise and it won't be broken anymore." It was torture having to hold down her arm for the pics. I was getting teary knowing that my baby was in so much pain. She looked at her pics and kept asking the tech, "Is my elbow still broken?"
We waited for the results and were pleased to find that there was no obvious break. But, Bayli was still in so much pain. They decided to give her motrin and wrap and sling her arm. Or as Bayli would call the sling, "my arm purse." The doctor would have the radiologist double check the x-rays. We gave them our contact info. after getting a few care instructions. Then, we packed up Bay and headed back to camp. Another long drive. Bayli seemed to be feeling better after about 20 minutes into the drive. But we still couldn't get her to move her arm, and we weren't allowed to touch it. She napped again. She talked a lot. Finally, we were back to camp.
We made lunch and got Bay a capri sun. Suddenly, without thinking, she bent both of her arms to pick up the drink. When she realized what she had done, she quickly put her arms back down and proceeded to eat with her one 'good' arm. No screams of terror occurred. After a few minutes Jed convinced her that her arm was okay and that she had used it. With much delay, she decided to try it out. She started to bend it and bend it and rotate it. With pink cheeks and a smile as wide as the nile she said, "my elbow isn't broken anymore." We were all so extatic. Until Bayli decided that it was a super fun game to play doctor. We each got our turn being her patient.

Now that Bayli was no longer injured, we decided to get in one last hike so that our day wouldn't be completely ruined.

We decided to hike up to the Emarald Pools (although we all were very tempted to go and finish the perfect hike that we didn't get to complete earlier-but it was getting late). After prepping our dutch oven dinner, we were off to the shuttle. Another long ride with Chase (he has eaten more snacks on this trip than he has in his life-eating is the only way to semi calm him down).
The pools were gorgeous. Bayli did amazing. Although she kept forgetting that she wasn't supposed to hang or pull with the bum arm. We hiked to all three of the pools (about 3 miles round trip) and Chase had a blast when we finally freed him from the pack. He giggled and crawled and toddled back and forth in the wet sand.

You can imagine how upset he was when we decided it was time to go. Jed kept a pretty fast pace to keep Chase entertained. The girls all hung back with Bayli and her slow but steady leading abilities. "I'm the leader of my girls," she would proclaim. She was getting pretty pooped, not to mention she needed to poop, but was too nervous to go in the bushes. So she hopped on my back for about the last mile or so of the hike. What a trooper our little hiker is. She did make sure that she got to walk herself across the bridge at the trail head. Then off to the restrooms in a flash-poor thing, we've all been there.

When we got back to camp, we devoured the most delicious dutch oven dinner ever.


This was our last day. We got up fairly early and had some yummy breakfast and packed up the trailer for a quick getaway.
We decided to take a drive through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel and check out the museum. The tunnel was amazing, until we had to wait for a motor home to be escorted through-blah blah blah.
Bayli had a blast shouting "echo" through the tunnel.
Chase clung to mom, unsure of the darkness and loud noises.

The museum was...small. I don't know about anyone else, but I was a little disappointed. They make a whole shuttle stop for that?

We headed back to get the trailer and headed for home. And it was a long, long, long drive.


  1. FUN!
    You did so good documenting your vacation!! You're good and took lots of pics. We didn't. I'm a bad picture taker. It seems like too much work for me!

  2. So I really enjoyed all the videos. I liked the ones of Bayli falling into the river and the shot of her butt and the swimming pool one. I also loved your tongue on the video! It looks really fun. I am glad that everyone survived.

  3. I love angels landing. Its a bummer that is was too crowded. That always ruins a trail for me. I may never go back so my memories stay pure. LOL!

    Owl birds: Great Horned Owl

    Weird birds: Black headed Grossbeaks
    (You know I can not help myself. The move has stunted my spring birding. )

    Question: Did Jed smile during the trip? He is so serious in the pictures. Reminds me of someone else on vacation.......Hmmmm Who could that be?

    Sounds like a great trip! I love the pictures and story. Glad tinner Bayli is OK.


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