This is a long post because it was a long, fun-filled day with our family. This is a record of our 2nd day in Zion's National Park.
We drove from our condo in St. George and took off to see the other side of Zion - the side that takes us through the mile-long tunnel. This was my first time going through here and I thought it was pretty amazing!
I wanted to hike through some slot canyons, so we went and found this one and ended up walking through the canyon for a while. We had to keep going to see what was around the next bend.
Around one of the bends was this really cool rock formation. It was right at the bend in the river. The kids call these "barbie steps".
The barbie steps make a pretty nice background for pictures! Here is Athena.
Jeremy and I. Athena was more than thrilled to be our photographer.
After the photo ops, we turned another bend and found this tree that needed holding up. It was kind of hard to hold it up because it was so big. We kept it up long enough for the little kids to walk under.
Can you guess what she is doing? This is her heaven! Alexandra spent most of her time on our hikes filling her pockets with rocks. She collected so many rocks that she couldn't fit even one more in her pocket! I'm surprised that her shorts didn't fall off from the weight. As you can see, there are LOTS of rocks for her to choose from.
This canyon is really pretty. I was trying to imagine how it is when water is rushing through. Thank goodness we didn't have the adventure of water rushing at us. I love how water is able to carve out the rocks so beautifully.
While hiking through the canyon, we found this tunnel that goes under the road. It was just long enough that when you got to the middle of it you can see through to the other side. Nathan was especially nervous in here until he saw the light at the end. It was dark inside, but is lit up here from the camera flash.
Our reward from walking through the canyon and through the scary tunnel was a few murky pools of water and some mosquitos. Since there wasn't a whole lot to look at, we peered into the water and noticed a bunch of tadpoles swimming around! COOL REWARD!!!
We traced our steps back and made it back to our car. Then we ate peanut butter sandwiches in the car and headed off to find another hike.
Our next hike was along a really steep dropoff and ended up being more of a fight than anything for the first part of the hike. This picture is at a stopping point on our 2nd hike.
I was so nervous about the kids getting close to the edge and not paying attention. Jeremy and I kept telling them to be careful and to hike away from the edge, but a couple of them weren't paying any attention and ended up getting in trouble, which resulted in tears. Hmph. So much for a nice outing and showing our kids the views. Here is the bar we had to hold on to while we hiked with a dropoff on the other side.
See the arch in the mountain? Very cool.
Once we made it to the top, most of the bad feelings were sorted through and we were able to actually enjoy the views that we came to see. Samantha still wasn't too happy. This fence is right along the cliff.
Alexandra was tired and she found this little spot and plunked down. I came over occasionally to give her water or fruit snacks. She didn't really move until it was time to go.
Nathan opted for more climbing. It's a boy thing. He had to see if he could get even higher. He was making me so nervous. I had to keep telling him to get down . . . get down . . . GET DOWN!
Aaaah, one big happy family. :)
Athena was our photographer once again. She's pretty good!
This is a view of our hike from the other side.
Another arch (yes, this one IS different).
Believe it or not, we made it down safely and happily from our second hike and completely worn out. We got to drive through the big long tunnel again and stopped at the entrance for a family picture. Proof that we were really here. :)
Then back to the condo. I have to say, this is one of my favorite parts of a road trip!!! Our car ride was quiet all the way back.
At the condo, we showered and got all cleaned up from our day out. Then Jeremy called and made dinner reservations at Texas Roadhouse. Thank goodness he did - the wait time without reservations was a whopping 2 1/2 hours! Whoever was there that long is absolutely crazy! Even with our reservations we ended up waiting about 1/2 hour.
It was worth the wait. From the time you walk in the door this place has you eating. Peanuts, rolls, drinks - then dinner.
Nathan is such a goof! He thought he was so amazing to drink from his water cup and his root beer at the same time.
Here are Jeremy and Samantha enjoying their steaks.
Cute daddy daughter picture.
Mother son. :) Nathan couldn't stop long enough to shoot off a smile. Those chicken fingers must be so tasty.
Athena has never been much a meat eater (she takes after me). She was completely satisfied to have the house salad for dinner.
And I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon and sweet potato. Something for everyone!
After dinner we stopped by the St. George temple to see it all lit up at night. One of these times our kids will be old enough that Jeremy and I can leave them for a couple hours and actually go inside. I've never been inside this temple, but the outside is gorgeous.
This picture didn't turn out so great, but it's the only family picture I have of us visiting the temple. I'm glad we could take our kids there to see it.Sum up: Even though our day was really long with a lot packed into it, I had a wonderful time with my family. I'm glad we had the opportunity to share these experiences together!