Saturday, March 24, 2007

Zion trip

(Having picture issues again - forgive the out of orderness) Gracelin loved the cairns. I can see why - the do seem strange and almost magical. For those of you who don't know, a cairn (pronounced karen, like the girl's name) are used in hiking to mark the way along a trail - especially in an area where the trail isn't necessarily evident. Like in a redrock area. This is a cairn that G built herself, and was extremely proud of.
My annual spring conference for work was held in Springdale this year - just outside of Zion National Park. We saw this as the perfect opportunity to take a mini-vacation with the family. It was a quick trip - only 2 nights in the hotel. But the drive is only about 200 miles, so it was do-able - even with the little monsters . . . er, kids. We even managed to fit a hike in to the Emerald Pools. We packed the girls into their packs, and headed out. I felt I huge difference in my fitness level even from where I was last week. We passed several groups of people - but no one passed us. And we were quite the sensation with our packs. It was a good feeling to pass groups of huffing and puffing people, all while carrying 30 pounds of kids on our back. I will have to admit that part of what kept me going at my fast pace, was the fact that Bryn would cry if I stopped. That girls loves constant motion. I was a bit disappointed in the pools this year though. It seems that the drought was really affecting the water levels. But it was still wonderful.

I did start to have some foot pain on the way down. Ben had forgotten his shoes, so we were forced to buy him a pair of shoes in town before our hike. The salesman convinced him to try a pair of Keens. He was very happy with his purchase. So, after our Emerald Pools hike, I convinced Ben that I needed a pair as well, along with some new support socks. I love them - they are so comfortable. I took a short hike with G the next day, and my feet felt wonderful. My plantar fascitis didn't hurt at all. I'm thinking I may start running in them :)
Gracelin got a hiking hat, that she refused to take off for the first day and half. I'm not sure why I like this picture - I think the cheesy dinosaur looks out of place. But G loved it. How many girls do you see hugging dinosaurs?
The kids had a blast down there. There is something so spiritual about the red rock cliffs. On the way down the canyon, G noted that the mountains appeared to have been "glued together and then painted". She's right - the landscape is simply amazing. There was a park next to the city building, where my conference was located. The kids spent lots of time playing there.

At our hotel, there was a short hike (about 15 minutes) that circled up to a knoll. At the top, was an amazing vista. G hiked up there twice. She's a tough little girl, and she was proud of herself for making it to the top. Bryn cried a lot of the time she was being carried - I finally figured out on our last day, that she was sad because she wanted to be walking too. That girl is all about motion.

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