P.S.A. - Our kids are awesome little people, however it is likely that all three (Madeleine is too young yet) stink at knock knock jokes. If you are in a boring lectures, or other situation that seems too tedious for words, just add "Knock Knock", "Who is there", "Ms. Julie", "Ms. Julie who", "Ms. Julie why do I have to sit on a camper" follwed by racous laghter. Kristi and I really aren't that good at jokes either... which is why we don't tell them often. Hint hint kids when you read this in fifteen years. We love you, please stop telling jokes.
Ok, now that that is over here we are on the night of day seven. Contrary to conspiracy theorists we were not abducted and taken to Area 51, nor were we crushed by falling rock in Marble Canyon. Nope, we are safe and sound in Zion Canyon. That right IN A CANYON. Go figure that being in a canyon provides for so-so cell service while being on top of a canyon (Grand Canyon) gives us nothing. We even got to go through a mile and a half tunnel to get here that was punctuted by an "AGAIN" by Ms. Madeleine. She likes tunnels.
A lot has happened since we last spoke. We left Albuquerque for an uneventful ride to the Grand Canyon. We arrived and had quite the time geting the camper "level" I still am sure we didn't get it right but as far as married people go Kristi and I are killing the whole parking of and hooking up of the camper. Here is our site at Grand Canyon - 138 and we even got two citations for not removing our clothes line when we were away from the site.
When we arrived we set off and paid with birthright for ice and wood. It seems that even the areas surrounding our National Parks are not immune to supply and demand. Combined with the massive road system at the park it was like Disney World. All the comforts readily at hand, as long as you are willing to part with your cash. Once we did get the wood though, we cooked up our first meal over the grill, it turned out edible which was good.
On Monday morning we awoke, ate a pancake breakfast and headed out to the canyon. The kids did a wonderful job of hiking and we were able to hike 1.5 miles into the canyon to a rest stop to refill our water. We then hiked 1.5 miles out again for a total of 3 miles. That equates to 1,120 feet down followed by 11,200 feet up. I'm not sure how that math works but that isn't a typo :). Here are some pictures of our hike.
After our hike we went back to relax and ended up napping due to a rain storm that took most of the afternoon. After playing in town a bit we came back, had dinner, and went to bed.
Today (Tuesday) we woke early and packed up before the rain fell. It rained most of the 4-5 hours of our drive to Zion, some of it through curvy mountain roads and some so hard it felt like the van was floating on the water. All in all we really did have a "safe" drive through some of the most beautiful canyon country I've ever seen. We took 89a instead of plain old 89 (Saved 20 minutes) and though I'm questioning going back that route, it was well worth it.
Upon our arrival and setup at Zion we went to the store and Benny asked to take this picture.
Tomorrow we hope to hike thourgh some of the Zion Canyon trails. The weather looks good and I think the kids are looking forward to hiking in a river.
The first four days of the trip were taxing with our constant travel, setup, take down, travel plan. Our kids brought smiles to people on the trail yesterday and that pretty much made the drive worth it, as did seeing them simply hike in such a beautiful place. They've had their sibling issues and we are still working through those as parents too. All three kids have done some amazing things, coming up with the number game (Ben), fearlessly speaking Chinese to people in various locations (Kayleigh), and even though she cheated and really did age one year on the trip, Madeleine is rounding into quite the little (real) individual. It has been fun to spend time with them and watch them as they grow.
Hopefully I have more to share tomorrow. Until then enjoy waking up to this: