Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adventures with a little girl...

A little disclaimer, this has nothing whatsoever to do with sewing, and everything to do with hitting the reset button on our lives.

My husband, daughter and I took a little trip this past week, and I just had to write a little something about it. We decided to do a camping trip through some of the National Parks in Southern Utah, and it was totally extraordinary. Being from New England we are used to feeling surrounded by forest, lakes, and trees, but the country out there is like nothing I had ever experienced. Sure, I've been to Vegas, Phoenix and the like, but the transition from one landscape to the next is so abrupt in that corner of the state it's just very exciting.

So we started our trip in Zion National Park where the order of the day is soaring sandstone canyon walls and steep, heart attack inducing cliffs. My child hiked 8 miles that day (not all at once!), and as you can imagine slept like a champion in the tent. We would've loved to go up the canyon, but you have to get your feet wet, and the weather was still a bit chilly.

The following day we headed to Bryce Canyon where we had thankfully given ourselves a night inside after two nights in the tent. Bryce is at 8000 feet, and it was COLD! In fact, it snowed that night, and I got some great shots of all the hoodoo rock formations in the canyon the following morning. At this point in our trip it seemed as though the weather was really going to get worse, and we toyed with the idea of heading south to the Nevada border. But, no, not us hardy souls. And in fact, I'm so glad we didn't because we would've missed one of the highlights of the trip. So on to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and some of the coolest, narrowest slot canyons I've ever been in.

Spooky Gulch, in the Escalante area, is a small gulch that is known for its accessibility, and narrowness. Honestly, we are not small people, but had we been much wider we would not have made it through the maze of rock. It is about 15" wide at its narrowest, but to be frank, that goes on for a long time. I think the canyon itself is only about 1/2 mile long, but it feels so much longer! Our daughter had no problem racing ahead, a serious problem for us of course, because you really can't see around the next bend, and she was soon unseen.

All's well though, and my husband eventually caught up to her and helped her over the harder spots. I thought I'd feel a little claustrophobic, but the canyon was so awe inspiring, that I loved every second of it.

The next two nights were very cold, down into the low 20's, but we still had an amazing time. The last day of our trip we decided to drive the Burr Trail from Capitol Reef National Park back to our campground in one big loop. We saw a few arches, the "Waterpocket Fold", which is a geologic feature in Capitol Reef that is too strange for words, and picnicked overlooking the Fold and the Henrie mountains.

I'd highly recommend any of the places we went for kids. There are tons of small, rewarding hikes to do, and that's all they really need to be entertained anyway. A few rocks, a whole lot of dirt, and you're on your way.

But I admit, my own bed never looked so good...


icicle said...

I went to Bryce Canyon when I was 12 and I'll always remember the strange landscape as I'm sure your daughter will. Sounds like a great trip!

jkziel said...

How odd is it that I lived in UT for 5 years and never went to Zions or Bryce??

Melissa said...

You are brave, brave,brave. What a wonderful trip-- I love the color of everything-- it's so different from the lower parts of the Southwest where I've been. Wonderful stuff!