Well we made it, our last day of camping before the hotel and wedding. I'm honestly quite excited to be able to a. shower for free and b. shower with no shoes on.
Parents of young children with netflix subscriptions may have had the opportunity to watch a Curious George episode where George and Yellow Hat (my abbreviation) take the subway to the Zoo to see something cool. Only instead of getting to the zoo George and Yellow Hat get seperated on the train system constantly waving as the other travels by on a different train. Well today that was us. Almost. We were getting off a crowded bus in Zion after a morning of hiking and poor Benny was the first (and only) member of the party to get off the bus. There he was in tears on the other side of a shut door while ther est of us pounded and screamed for the driver to stop. Thankfully he did stop. but poor Benny was traumatized to the point that he wouldn't get on the bus to get back to our van. Nothing quite as awful as seeing your kid on the other side of the class crying his eyes off because he thinks his family is abandoning him. Suffice it to say he'll be afraid of park busses, but he was soon back to his rambunctious self.
Hmmm... as I write this it seems as though my connection is slow so I might be short on pictures. I'll have to make up for it with my witty and detailed writing. I'll try to add more tomorrow.
Today started early and slowly. We got up, ate our cereal and made our way (after reading the map for instructions) to the bus stop to take the bus to Zion lodge to start our hike. We did the Emerald Pool trails and covered 2.6 miles with our little hikers today. They even did a route marked "Not for Children". It honestly really wasn't for children but Kristi and I don't really do well with limitations like that. If a sign said cliff and we could see a clear cliff we'd stay away. Anything that can be construed as a non-child threatening limitation is usually met with a "oh yeah, watch me". I think our kids have picked up on it too. They did a great job climbing rocks and logs up and down a trial to see three sets of pools. We have a couple of great pictures to share in the next few days.
Speaking of climing... we took a van ride up to Kolob Resevoir. If anyone gives you the opportunity to take a helictoptor up there please do so. The views of the mountains are great and the land is definitely not a popular tourist attraction. However if you have a simple car or van please stay down. We basically drove an hour up to see an oversized pond. We started to drive around the pond at which time I joked to Kristi "Hey I bet we get 7/8 around and have to turn back". Clearly a joke based on the long journey up, and sadly a joke similar to "Hey, Watch this!" We made it around the lake, dodigng mud, horses and rocks before we came to a section that was impassable to the family mini-van. I think the highlight of the drive, and maybe the day, was listening and watching as Madeleine screamed her lungs out when she saw a cow. We even rolled down a window and let her say hi.
After our drive in to nowhere we stopped to buy a five minute shower. Boys on the left, girls on the right. The showers were basically broom closets with a shower stall attached to it. Benny and I were fine, the ladies may have had to deal with some unsavory things left by other people. It was memorable, but not the kind of memory you want to have. Not to mention it was a dollar a minute.
When the trauma of the shower was over we returned for pizza pies and anything else we could jam into our faces so we didn't have to pack it in the cooler for the drive home. 9-10 hours from now I hope we are safely strapped to our seats with camper in tow on our way to Gold Canyon Resort and Golf course. For now though, our three kids are sharing stories with each other in the camper when they are supposed to be asleep. Those are tired buggers but they just won't shut their eyes. They've covered school, stories about dragons, and even a funeral. It simply drives home the point that I'm the fifth smartest person in the family.
Well that is it for camping. When I married Kristi she wasn't much of a "camper" and since we wed I'm not sure we've done more than 2-3 nights of camping, usually with friends and never with three kids. (Ok I'm remembering a week of camping at Hoffmaster, but that was just where we slept while spending days at Maranatha.) So at the risk of being mushy on the Internets I do have to tip my hat to my wonderful wife for putting up with this trip and the wonderful job she did in helping to make everything go smoothly. Each day we had lunches to eat and string cheese to snack on while we traveled. She also helped with tear down and hooking up the camper to the van with very few, if any, angry husband moments. Without her work it would be Happy Meals, candy, and bruised bumpers. Thanks, Kristi. I can't wait until next time :)
I hope to update tomorrow about our trip to Gold CAanyon (Chik-Fil-A stop planned in Flagstaff) and also to update some photos. Until then, stay classy planet earth.