Arrived in Zion yesterday around dinner time. Luckily it was a short drive from Bryce. We were able to get in another hike on the Rim at Bryce and the kids were able to finish up their Junior Ranger Badges before we left.
Deb drove over to Zion but made me take the wheel as we neared the park as the roads were narrow with good drop offs and then, there is the Tunnel; $15 extra for RV's so they can clear the road and let you drive through in the middle for its 1.1 mile length. The tunnel was opened in the 1930's and is pretty impressive considering the technology they had at the time. Once in the park, the road has a ton of hairpin turns as you wind your way to the bottom of the canyon. I had a bit of fun trying to scare Deb as she looked out the window on her side to a 1000 ft drop!
Zion is awesome. Hard to explain. As with Bryce, pictures will not do it justice. Deb and I waited up for the full moon last night to come over the canyon wall- about 11ish- and it was so beautiful. You could see it coming for an hour or so before it crested as the other side of the canyon was basked in moonlight. I tried to lure the family out of bed and onto the trail early this am with breakfast at the Zion lodge. It worked great! Everyone scrambled out of bed and we were on the shuttle before 8 and the trail by 9ish!
It is hot here. The high was 101 and the low 7o. The first trail we hit had a decent amount of shade and also the trail passed under some waterfalls which gave us a nice misting. The boys and I continued to the pools above that fed the waterfalls and soaked our hats in them before heading down. The girls went to the barn and Anna got her first horse ride! This has been a dream for her for at least 2 years so needless to say, she was thrilled. She is NOT a hot weather girl. Getting her to hike in the heat has been daunting. In Bryce I had to carry her about half of the way. Today, we just kept her to one short hike and a few walks to the shuttle.
This afternoon, the older kids attended a ranger program and earned their Zion Junior Ranger badges. They now have them from 4 national parks and are excited to continue to earn them. Around 3:30, the boys and I headed out to hike the watchman trail. It is a 3 mile hike up the side of the canyon to a promontory about 1/3 the way up the canyon walls. It was very hot but we drank lots of water and the kids did great. The views were spectacular. On the way down, we stopped and swam in the Virgin river to cool off. The boys loved it.
While we were hiking, the girls headed to the museum to see the film on Zion. It was cool in the museum and Anna was a bit chilly:). After dinner, we shared Popsicles with the campers across the road. They had a few young kids that Anna had fun playing with.
Got the kids in bed early for once and Deb and I are out sitting in front of the fire. The boys wanted to do the most treacherous hike in the park- Angels Landing. It is a 5 mile hike with 1000 foot drops at some point and they do not recommend that children do it. We nixed that and plan to hike into the Narrows- a trail that winds through narrow canyons following the river in some points. You have to check with the rangers for flash flood warnings before you venture there. The girls may do a horse ride along the river. After that, it is off to the North rim of the grand canyon. No electric hook ups there so updates to the blog may be more difficult.
God is doing some great work and we thank all of you who are praying for us.
Pics: boys on promontory on Watchman trail; tired kids and dad after a full day of hiking; full moon cresting Zion; family on emerald pools trail; Mom and Dad found a daycare center for the kids while we went to the spa.