So, a lot of "boring" scenery pictures ahead. This is your warning! :)
The week before Thanksgiving, I was scheduled for a continuing education class in Las Vegas. I didn't really want to go out there by myself, so Kevin and I decided to add on a few days to my trip, and we would have a mini-vacation. We flew out on Sunday and flew home on Saturday. It was by far, the longest we'd ever been away from the kids.
It took For-Ev-Er to get there and by the time we got our luggage and got the rental car, we were exhausted. We made a quick-stop for lunch/dinner at a West Coast staple...
And then drove to Utah where we checked into the hotel and crashed. My dad travels a lot with his job. Not sure how he does it!
On Day 1 we ate a great breakfast at a local restaurant (Meme's Cafe) and then went to Zion National Park. Our original plan was to drive THROUGH the park, and keep driving until we got to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. As we were talking to the ranger when we entered the park, we realized that wasn't going to be possible. The North Rim was apparently closed, which is crazy because we did lots of research prior to the trip and the National Park website says that the roads only close when there has been snow. It was like 80 degrees while we were there, and it had been for some time, so these roads weren't closed. Who knows.
This was the view right outside the restaurant where we ate breakfast.
We just changed up some plans, and decided to spend more time in Zion National Park on the first day than we planned. This turned out to be one of our favorite days of the trip.
Yep. Definitely NOT in SC anymore...
At the end of the drive, there was a place where we got out to hike. There is a trail that is one of the absolute most popular in the park and it is call the Narrows. You walk to the end of the trail, and then get out into the river and walk down the river through what is called a slot canyon. It sounds pretty cool, except for the walking in the 20 degree water part. So, we walked to the end of the trail and then turned around and came back.
So again, it was around 80 degrees in the daytime while we were there, so Kevin wore shorts and a t-shirt most of the time. We got out to start on my hike and it was a little cooler than he anticipated, because we were at the very top of the mountainy area. He reconsidered and put on a really thin long-sleeved shirt, but when we actually started walking, it was COLD. And I mean, I was even a little chilly and I had on a long sleeved shirt, boots, and a vest. Kevin had to do a little bit of running to warm up. I mean who goes to Utah in November and wears shorts and a t-shirt!?!
After the first hike, we drove back through the park to take in some of the scenery that we missed the first time.
This is an area of the park called the Court of the Patriarchs. The peaks here are called Abraham's Peak, Isaac's Peak and Jacob's Peak. And that whitish peak on the right is the top of Mount Moroni.
So then we attempted a more intense hike. I used that term very loosely because I am NOT a hiker, so in all actuality, our first "hike" would probably more accurately be described as a stroll. Trail maps called this next hike "moderate" and it's called the Canyon Overlook trail. I don't really have an great pictures from here to show how high up we really were, but trust me when I say that this fence was necessary.
We were getting pretty hungry about this time so we drove back into town and ate at Wildcat Willie's restaurant. True western sounding name, huh? You laugh, but it was really great! There was a souvenir type shop next door so we stopped in to find the girls some goodies. WE bought them some necklaces and some dinosaur eggs. And then I spotted these little gems...
Anybody remember these? I guess some things are easier to get away with in the west. I totally remember buying these as a kid. Probably should have bought a few packs to take with us when we went to Las Vegas a little later in the trip. Maybe we would have fit in a little more. Ha!
Day 1 was exhausting, but fun. The scenery is SO different from SC, but definitely beautiful in its own, unique way!