Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day 8-July 13th-The Delicate Arch Hike

Day 8 July 13th

Today we got up EARLY again in hopes to beat the crowd to The Arches.  We had heard there was very limited space for RV parking so it was important that we were up and at ‘em!  We were on the road by 6:00 am. Our plan was to stop by the ranger station and purchase an annual National Park Pass, enabling us to go into all of the Nat’l Parks without paying a fee each time and skipping the line at the entrances.  It turns out we got up before the rangers!  There was no one at the station and the park was wide open.  We didn’t have to pay any fees and there was absolutely NO ONE in the park!  We made it to the trail head we wanted (Wolf’s Ranch) and we had the whole place to ourselves!

Soon others joined us, including a Chinese tour bus.  The Chinese are a wonderful and happy people, but they have absolutely zippy respect for personal space!  At one point Maisie and I were caught up in a crowd of joyful tourists all speaking and laughing around us!  Maisie looks up at me and says, “What’s the deal with everybody speaking Spanish around here?”  I cracked up!

Quentin and Walker went WAY ahead of us on the trail and were having a great time scrambling up the rocks and cliffs, excited to find each cairn which marked the trail.  Todd eventually caught up with them and I stayed back taking it slow with Everett and Maisie.  Eventually, we all were at the top together and it was breathtaking!  The Delicate Arch is stunning!

We all took pics and enjoyed a snack at the top.  It was only around 9:00 am, but it was already getting HOT on those red rocks!  We headed back down.  The entire trip was about 3 miles, but the heat made it seem MUCH longer!   I was thankful that we had packed more than enough water for everyone and that we had decided to hike in the morning!
Gettin' after it early!

Sun coming up over the hoo-doos

Trail head of the Delicate Arch

Walker relaxing Flintstone Style

Maisie making a cairn to help those behind us.

Proud of her handiwork

Maisie and Ev taking a break on the relentlessly steep rock

The Dubs

NOT the arch

Maisie enjoying an apple trail side

The Q at the top

Q & W under The Delicate Arch

At the top!

Ev found this cool lizard

On the way down, stopping again at The Flintstone Chairs

Everett battling the trail down, though fighting an awful headache

Maise and Everett post Delicate Arch hike

For the last 5 days or so Everett has been suffering from really bad tension headaches.  Poor guy is worried and missing home and his pets and he doesn’t even realize it.  We are praying that he comes through it soon.   It struck again on the way down from the hike. 

We stopped by the Visitor’s Center on the way out of Arches National Park to try and pay our entry fee, they said we were all good, no need to pay if no one was there in the morning.  SCORE!  When Todd and I came back out we found out that the very same child as before had set off the gas leak alarm AGAIN due to Lysol. 

Since we completed The Arches hike so early, we decided to head over to Canyon Land National Park.  Our plan was to drive around the rim and get some good pics.  It was SOOO worth it!  CLNP is said to be the quietest place in America.  They are not kidding!  It is so silent…and so huge!  We all loved every second of this little detour.
Canyonlands National Park (that's a road WAY down there)

Green River Overlook

Me & Q

Walker & Quentin (the little ones were too tired to get out of The Land Shark)

Loretta The Land Shark in Canyonlands National Park

Walker's kinda scared of heights :-)

Todd, Walker & Quentin

After that we headed west toward Bryce Canyon.  The drive was supposed to be about 3.5 hours, but we had to go over….WAAAAAYYYY over the San Rafael Swells.…in an RV.   This is one desolate place!  I suppose if you find desert beautiful, you would like it.  This drive made me depressed and realize I need green, lots and lots of green.  The drive was slow going, but we did catch some glimpses of wild horses and a really cool thunder storm off in the distance. 

Everyone was exhausted from our long day of hiking and driving.  Everett was showing serious signs of wear and tear, plus his headache/eye ache was really giving him a fit. 

FINALLY we pulled into Bryce Canyon!  As we found our campground (Ruby’s Inn) we all cheered for joy!  Then I heard “MOM!  NOSEBLEED!!!”  Poor Everett had a real gusher!  Blood everywhere!  His timing is impeccable.  LOL!

We hit the bed that night and knew we had earned that night’s sleep!

Day 7 July 12th-Utah Bound

Day 7 July 12th

We were up around 6:30 am.  We had already packed the kids’ stuff so all we had to do was wake them, feed them and put them in The Land Shark.  We said our good byes and made our way west, toward Utah.

The drive was NOT a disappointment!   Most of the way we rode right along the Colorado River.  It is SOOO pretty!  The tunnels through the mountains were amazing!  Going over the Rockies was no small feat in Loretta The Land Shark!  There was definitely some white knuckled driving and some switching into lower gears so as not to let the brakes get hot!

Before we left VA I had told the kids that we would be in tight quarters and needed to be respectful of each other’s property and….senses.  I had shown the the can of Lysol I bought and said it was to be used for the good of all after each bathroom use.  Well, one of the children really took this to heart!  As we were coming through the Eisenhower Tunnel (Continental Divide) they came out of the bathroom and had sprayed so much Lysol that the RV’s internal gas leak alarm went off!  We had never heard it before.  It is a deafening beep!!  We didn’t even know where it was coming from!  Poor Todd was trying to navigate this REALLY hairy piece of driving as we are running like mad pushing every button and pulling every lever we could find!  Finally I found it (it’s down on the floor by the door, should you ever need this little piece of info!).

After a 4ish hour drive we arrived at our next destination, Moab Utah.  An old high school friend, Jeff Graves, had reached out to us via FB, during our drive.  He lives in Utah and frequents the Moab area.  He gave us GREAT info on hikes, places to eat and things to see!  We’ve learned having “local” info is so invaluable on these trips!
We hooked up at The Canyonlands RV Park which was in the heart of the little town of Moab.  Thanks to Jeff, we had a great meal at Moab Brewery!
Our camp for the night!

Walking to eat supper in Moab

Moab Brewery

Forced the kids to take a picture
 After supper we walked around the town and let the kids spend some of their hard earned money.  As we were walking we noticed a HUGE tour bus outside of one of the little hotels (there are no big ones in Moab!).  Turns out it was the 90’s country band Lone Star!  The lead singer was outside the bus manning a pretty big grill.  One of the band members was sitting on the curb and confirmed they were, indeed, Lone Star.  It was a weird situation being with my kids, so I didn’t go up and get a picture (already regretting it!).  Looking back, they probably would have appreciated it, because no one else seemed to recognize them :-D 
We settled into bed after walking through the town.  Everyone went right to slepp, except for me.  The wind was HOWLING and really shaking the RV all night. 
Tomorrow we hike to The Delicate Arch!