Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Great Southwest Adventure: Day 3

Here we go, day 3! March 18, 2014. Our route: St. George, UT - Page, AZ. A shorter drive with more exciting things between the 2 points. After allowing ourselves to adjust to the time change by sleeping in, we began our trip East - regretfully choosing to not get boxes in St. George. (again, another place we must revisit!)

Our first destination: Zion National Park. We did allow ourselves to get a couple boxes on the way.

Mourning the loss of Curtis' tub's lid… his backpack made a fine lid though. Good thing it's so heavy :)

Stopped near Virgin, UT to find 2 boxes. We were confused by the description "look near the pancake rock" but were glad to find the box, and an excellent carve!

On the road again. Zion, here we come!

By the way, it was COLD! in the 40's and windy - we (Curtis and I, the weak ones) were not ready for this!!

I may be sitting in the backseat but that won't stop me from taking pictures of cool rocks...

Nearing Zion!

Made it to Zion…got lost in the parking lot. 

Not really - Curtis had been here before, but visiting in the winter is a different experience than the summer - instead of taking a tram, you're allowed to drive the whole way through. We were hesitant and for a crazy moment considered just hiking the whole thing, but thankfully decided to drive all the way through and were thankful that we did. It wasn't as busy as we expected, we found parking okay, and were able to see a large portion of the park!

I was camera happy all the way through. I don't care what those boys say to tease me, I get so overwhelmed by the beauty and want to remember it any way possible! With a vacation that went as quickly as this one, I'm so thankful I did take thousands of pictures of pretty rocks. :)

Finally reached the end, and decided to go hiking here. It was more crowded than we would've liked, but still beautiful, and we know what we'll do next time we visit! (Because yes, there needs to be a next time!)

The people who own this colorful van must have gotten ideas from Curtis' itinerary, because we saw them 3 days in a row!

Oh, children at national parks… This kid (in the orange jacket) scaled this flat rock face without his parents noticing. We couldn't help but watch to see how he made it down. I couldn't help but think about what we'll do with our kids when we're parents, and how many hikes we'll drag them on, and how they'll rebel against our crazy enthusiasm over having adventures. :)

Oh hey Grant, want to smile for the camera? …No, why would you. Haha…proof he was there!

Hey look, there's that kid again… this is right after he was torturing a squirrel by stepping on its tail. Much to our disappointment, the squirrel didn't react the way we thought it would. ;)

Water dripping down the rock face.

We finished our hike and started heading East toward Kanab/Page, while still driving through more of Zion.

driving through a tunnel through the mountain!

After making it through some construction, we made it to Kanab where we stopped at the ranger's station and asked for tips on where to visit the next day. Thankfully, there are some great hikes out there that don't require fees or permits!

Grand Staircase Escalante National Park - just driving through today!

Overlooking Page - almost there!

We still had some sunlight after checking in to the hotel, so we decided to do a quick visit to Horseshoe Bend, South of Page. We thought the sun setting behind it would make it look cooler!

Natural rock "steps" on the half mile walk to the bend.

They were making fun of 1. how slow I walk and 2. How many times I have to stop to take pictures. I fully acknowledge that both are true. 

Lots of pictures of Horseshoe Bend because, well, it deserves it! :)

It was a great quick trip, 1 mile hike round trip, cool view, free! This is on Navajo territory, and we found that the places we visited on their land were either very cool and a great experience, or completely frustrating and expensive. More on that later!

Page's own "P Rock" :p

Got a letterbox here, with a cool view of Glen Canyon Dam, but my camera was dead by then. (Maybe a blessing in disguise?) But no worries, we returned the next day! :)

Oh, Google was kind enough to put together some panoramas for me:

Cool, right?

And that was day 3: drove 160 miles, hiked 5 miles, found 3 boxes, visited 1 national park and 2 scenic view areas (at which we spent significant amounts of time!)

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