Rodeo!

We had the opportunity to go to a rodeo that was across the street from our hotel.

2014_06Jun_06183346_2311 2014_06Jun_06183350_2312

There was bucking bronco riding,

2014_06Jun_06184132_2316

2014_06Jun_06190358_2323

bull riding,

2014_06Jun_06193052_2331

barrel racing,

2014_06Jun_06192336_2328 2014_06Jun_06190128_2318

and sheep riding (little kids).

2014_06Jun_06201724_1277

The atmosphere kind of reminded me of going to a high school football game. It was fun but not as much the spectacle that I expected it to be. However, I had never been to a rodeo before, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

Advertisements

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

We got up early that Friday–6:20 am–to beat the crowds at Bryce Canyon. This was actually later than planned. I had planned to get up at 6 am, but overslept because we had gotten in late the night before.

We headed to Bryce Canyon and it actually was a bit cool when we started, but heated up quickly.

The canyon, itself is unusual. The hoodoo formations looked like they were made of very crumbly orange rock. The rock is easy break up into smaller pieces and it seemed that the trails that we’d be hiking on were just piles of that rock.  This actually made it a bit difficult to hike.

When we started out, we saw (and smelled) a group of horse trail riders heading off into the canyon.

We picked a trail called “Queen’s Garden” that went into the canyon. We were a bit limited as far as choosing trails that would meet the needs of the family–nothing could really be too long.

The trail was steep at times and we had to hold on tight to ~A~. He slipped several times hiking down the trail.

There were several places that they had made doorways in the rock that the trail went through.

When we got to the bottom of the canyon, we found the “queen”. There were more trees and some interesting formations.

The older boys wanted to go longer, but ~A~ was done. So Christine and the boys headed on to do another loop, while ~A~ and I headed back up the way we came. Hiking back up was a little harder and so I told ~A~ stories as we hiked to keep his mind off of the steepness of the trail, but I ended up having to carry him the last half mile of the trail–the steepest part.

We caught back up with Christine and the boys and visited several other overlooks. Each new view of the canyon was new and surprising, but everyone was getting tired, so we headed to our lunch hike.

The plan for lunch is that we’d go on a short hike called “Mossy Cave”. I pictured it as shaded and cool with cool stream nearby. It wasn’t like that at all.

The hike was longer than expected and in the direct sun. There was nowhere to sit near the Mossy cave and it was mostly blocked from getting near it–you could just look to see the cave.

We backtracked our way down the trail and ~K~ found a semi-shaded spot under some pine trees and we ate lunch there.

Afterwards, we waded in the nearby creek. The water was icy cold–probably melted snow from the mountains.

Hot and tired after lunch, we packed it in and headed back to the hotel.

Traveling to Bryce Canyon

We drove from Moab to Bryce Canyon City today. The trip wasn’t too bad–only about 5 hours or so.

MoabToBryce

We found a picnic area to eat near a river (it just had picnic tables and pit pots, but nothing else).

When we got back in the car after lunch, it turned out that we had made a wrong turn and were heading in the wrong direction. Luckily we were only a few miles away from getting back on track.

We drove through Red Rock canyon, which was full of bright red rock.

Finally we got to Bryce Canyon.

2014_06Jun_05153712_1091

We checked in our hotel and got settled in. The room was bigger than most that we’ve been in.

After taking a nap, we drove to the Bryce Canyon visitor’s center and looked around, watched the movie about the park and got some information from the rangers. Then we stopped off at one of the lookout points. The view was spectacular. There were these rock pillars in rows all around the canyon (called hoodoos) and it was a spectacular view.

We tried to go to the hotel restaurant for supper, but when we got seated and looked at the prices– we felt like we were being robbed, and there really wasn’t much interesting on the menu. So we went next door to the diner and had food there. It was passable, but not great.

Christine put ~A~ to bed and the boys and I went to an astronomy program at the park. After the talk, they had 7 telescopes set up to view different planets. It was fun, but we didn’t get home until almost 11 and were very tired.

A Run in Moab

Christine and I got up this morning at 5:30 to run. We ran down main street until we got to the bike path to the north of town, about 1 mile. From there, we ran across the bridge that spanned the Colorado river.

That put us 2.5 miles out, and so we had to run back to the hotel from there.

IMG_20140605_061103925

We got to see the sun on the canyon walls on the return trip, which was nice.

Running on Main street–not so nice, but glad to go a little father than a 3 miler.

A Day at the Arches

We got up at 6am so that we could get to Arches before it got too hot. The highs have been in the mid 90s and today was no exception.

We got to the park about 7:30 and drove to the Windows area and did a loop hike that allowed us to see some of the most prominent arches in the park. There were still lots of shadows, so were able to keep cool when we were in the shade. But boy did it get hot quick.

We then did an out and back hike to see the Double arches and took some photos there. ~K~ climbed up to edge of the window and looked to the other side.

2014_06Jun_04093654_2027 2014_06Jun_04094946_2047 2014_06Jun_04095036_2052 2014_06Jun_04095012_2049

After that, we drove to an overlook of the Delicate arch (which is the picture on the Utah license plate):

2014_06Jun_04104832_2071

You could actually hike to the Delicate arch, but it would’ve been too long for ~A~. With the sun getting stronger, we opted to just go to the overlook where you could see the delicate arch from afar.  Even then, the overlook hike was longer than we expected and was in the direct sun.

~A~ faded on that hike and I had to carry him some on my back. It was getting pretty hot, so we headed back to the car and stopped at some views (including Balanced rock).

We stopped at the visitor’s center and then drove back to the hotel, ate lunch and headed to the pool, which was cool and refreshing.

We went out to supper at Paradox pizza, and then headed back to the Arches park.

2014_06Jun_04195102_1024

It would’ve been nice to drive back farther into the park, but was getting late, and would’ve been an 18 mile drive. So we settled to hike on Park Avenue, which was closer to the front of the park. By now, the heat of the day was gone and we watched the sun set and cast shadows on the rocks.

The hike followed a dry creek bed. There wasn’t really a trail, so they had piles of rocks as markers (called cairns) for the trail.

2014_06Jun_04084220_1977

The hike ended at the road, so the big boys and I hiked back up to the car, and then drove it around to pick up ~A~ and Christine.

It was getting dark as we headed back to Moab.

Heading to Moab

We got up at 6 this morning to pack up, eat breakfast and say goodbye to “The Springs.”

ColoradoSpringsToMoab

We decided to take a route on 24 up to CO 9 and then to 70, rather than doing I-25 up to Denver and then I-70 W.

We drove over 2 passes:

2014_06Jun_03094008_1827

The first was Wilkerson Pass, the 2nd was Hoosier’s Pass. This was all before getting onto I-70.

2014_06Jun_03093702_18242014_06Jun_03093826_1825

We got up over 10000 feet and saw snow by the side of the road. We also drove through a couple ski resort areas before finally getting onto I-70. Then there was still some serious mountain curve driving as we drove past Vail and Aspen.

Once we got through most of the mountains, we stopped at a rest stop, and then Christine drove for a while.

IMG_20140603_115644301 IMG_20140603_115638981_HDR

IMG_20140603_120032207

IMG_20140603_120038707

The next part of the drive was through Glenbrook canyon. The CO river ran through there and in several places there wasn’t enough room for 4 lanes of traffic, so they had the roads on top of one another.

2014_06Jun_03125114_1860 2014_06Jun_03124012_1849 2014_06Jun_03123654_1842

We drove through 4 or 5 tunnels.

2014_06Jun_03124232_1856 2014_06Jun_03124104_1852

We ate lunch at a rest stop about 40 miles from Utah. It was bright and getting hot. We’re going to have to watch our sun exposure in this area.

IMG_20140603_134536144_HDR IMG_20140603_134555177

Christine drove the rest of the way. It opened up into a wide land, with lots of mesa and canyon formations. Red soil, so it is really different that what we’ve seen so far.

2014_06Jun_03164104_1878 2014_06Jun_03164936_1881 2014_06Jun_03154212_1874 2014_06Jun_03152822_0854 2014_06Jun_03165112_1882

We got to Moab around 5 pm, checked into our hotel and took a brief break, then went to supper at Moab Brewery.

IMG_20140603_185540798

After supper, we drove over to Arches to go to the visitor center (which was closed), but drove in the park and stopped at a couple of overlooks and even walked down a trail into the canyon area. Kevin had us just stop and listen and we were able to see how quiet the desert was. It was a cool experience.

Looking forward to our time there tomorrow.

A Respite in the Springs

Monday we slept in before getting started on the day. After pushing hard for almost a week to get out west, we were getting road weary and needed a break.

After a reasonably slow start, we headed off to the Focus on the Family headquarters. This was one place that we had wanted to go in Colorado.  I’m not sure that we knew what to expect, but wanted to go see Whit’s End.

We got there at 10am and went on a tour of the facility.

IMG_20140602_105733546

They showed us the lobby area, where they do the video spots, and the studio where the talk radio shows are done.

IMG_20140602_105740900_HDR

Afterwards we went to the visitor’s center where they had a self-guided tour telling the history of FOTF, a bookstore, and downstairs was an AIO area for kids and Whit’s end.

IMG_20140602_112606364
IMG_20140602_112618385

IMG_20140602_112804620IMG_20140602_115000638

For some reason, ~A~ was kind of freaked out about the area and so didn’t really want to do much there.

They had a puppet show area, but when I pretended puppets, he didn’t like it. I’m guessing it reminded him of the animatronics from the Gateway Arch museum.

We did go for ice cream at Whit’s End.  The older boys had a WodFamChocSod (world famous chocolate soda) and ~A~ had a vanilla ice cream cone.

IMG_20140602_121118101

IMG_20140602_123143309

FOTF turned out to be kind of a bust. The older boys were really too old for the Adventures In Odyssey stuff. They had gotten over the radio show.  ~A~ was too young for it and wasn’t familiar with AIO yet. So we came at the wrong time. Ages 8-12 would have been perfect, and we’re not there.

After FOTF, we went shopping at a couple of outlets and then headed back to the hotel room to take naps. ~A~ slept until 5:30 pm, so we really couldn’t find something else to do, so we just chilled at the hotel. A nice respite.

Tomorrow we gear up again and head to Utah.