While teachers in the state of Arizona are walking out and refusing to teach until they meet a financial agreement with the state – we decided to have a little school of our own – in Zion. Southern Utah beauty holds a special place in my heart and I took the break from school as a great time to head north and enjoy the outdoors.
I had plans to head up next weekend with another lady to check out our campsite for girls camp, but once we got the notice that there was no school on Friday, my plans quickly changed. It became a road trip with Hallie, Hunter and Bennett. Despite the long drive (6+ hours each way) we made it up one day and returned the next. It’s what we could fit in with all that we already had planned at home. Would I have preferred a shorter drive – sure. But it is beautiful and we had a great time.
Our first stop was my old stomping grounds on the east rim of Zion National Park – we’re having girls camp there this summer and I needed to check it out and make some plans. While I was taking pictures and making plans for camp – the kids roamed the property. They played basketball and kickball. They checked out the heated pool. And enjoyed the rec barn and some ping pong and pool. They explored. It felt good to finally be out of the car.
Our next stop was inbetween the campsite we were checking out and the hotel we were staying at in Kanab – Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We’ve driven by the sign for the sand dunes along highway 89 every time we drive to and from Idaho – yet I had never been there. In all my years living there – I had never visited the dunes. It’s a potential activity spot for camp so we drove ten miles off the highway and landed here. (we didn’t even actually make it into the state park. We found this spot with parking and no one in sight so we stopped.)
I’m not a sand fan so I had my shoes on until Hallie was so enthusiastic about this amazingly soft sand – I had to try it out for myself. And it was just as she described. It was fine and soft and didn’t stick between my toes (exactly what I don’t love about the beach). We had planned to bring some simple disc snow sleds to do some sand sledding but we forgot so we just played. We ran up and down the dunes. We rolled, we raced, we twirled, we ran our hands through it. There was so much laughing. We could have stayed there for awhile…but after an hour, a storm moved in and before long the wind was whipping that sand in our face and the light rain drops were causing a nice rust colored mess everywhere. But it was fun while it lasted.
Our last stop was on the way home in Page, Arizona (home of Lake Powell), the Horseshoe Bend hike. This is a hike that I have wanted to try for many years. But we’re usually driving by on our way to or from Idaho and it’s not great timing – plus the thought of taking Briggs and Cannon has been a little daunting. This trip was the time to make that hike happen.
Sadly, it was a little disappointing. It was Saturday morning and there were three tour buses full of people (above and beyond the normal visitors) making the short hike and taking in the beauty. You lose some of the grandeur when it is overrun with people. The other downfall is that they’re doing some renovations which blocked off some of the viewing area (the viewpoint you see in many pictures). There are no safety fences or barriers – its just cliffs. Even at a safe distance the kids were noticeably uncomfortable – partly watching everyone closer to edge taking their pictures. It is a beautiful view – but the experience was somewhat diminished by circumstances. I’m so glad we never attempted it with our younger kids and I could wait a couple more years before trying it again.
And then we were home. Hunter wasn’t so sure the 12 hours in the car for such a short trip was worth it. They all agreed the continental breakfast was amazing and they all want to take Briggs and Cannon to see the dunes. For me the trip was great. I don’t mind driving and the beauty always makes it worth it. It was also productive in seeing where we are going to camp as well as adding and crossing off activities – sorry Horseshoe Bend. 🙁