Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Where the Pure Breezes Blow and the Clear Streamlets Flow

Here is proof of the level of geekdom that exists in our family: our family vacations involve driving long distances to remote valleys to pay homage to the filming  location of the death scene of Captain James Tiberius Kirk  in some random Star Trek movie from the 90's.   This place is also known as the Valley of Fire.  When we got home, we watched the movie, and yes indeed, Captain Kirk did indeed meet his death on this very mountain.

I am no better though, really.  I got every bit as geeked out over the chance to see Atlatl Rock, and it's petroglyphs.  But at least I get geeked out over reality, and not something that never even really happened.

Climbing up this rock involved lots and lots of stairs.  At first Olivia made it up about one fourth of the way, then she got scared and refused to go any further. The rest of us went up without her. It wasn't too long though before we looked down and saw her making her way back up again, all by herself. She made it all the way to the top and even ventured out onto the metal ramp to look around.  She sure was proud of herself, conquering her fears and all.

We also lucked out and went on the birthday of the state of Nevada, which means that we got in for free, and we got a complimentary deck of cards from the great state of Nevada as well. What else would you expect to get as a gift from Nevada?

These are just more random rock shots from Valley of Fire.  It really was a pretty amazing place.   It was also a great place to meet your daughter's boyfriend's mother from France for the first time.  I guess we didn't take any pictures of that event, but she really was there. and so was Erwann. They drove from LA thay day and we managed to both get to the same spot in the desert at almost the exact same time.

After all that hiking around, we hit the pool at our hotel.  Olivia would have been happy to stay at the pool the entire time. In fact, we have decided that our next vacation will involve nothing but sitting poolside.

 The next day, we hauled off for Zion. Oh Zion, dear Zion. Land of the free. What is it about  Zion?  No where on earth can possibly beat this place.  I just don't know why we stay away so long in between visits.

Hiking Emerald Pools

Oh, here is a picture of Valerie, Erwann's mom.  And the rest of us girls

We even made it to the top.  About half way up, Olivia started complaining.  She was ready to be done.  She had not planned on quite such a hike.  But once we made it to the upper pools, she completely revived.  All it took was a little water, a little sand, and a little basking on a rock in the sun.

After that, we had lunch at the lodge and enjoyed the rockers on the front porch for a bit.

After lunch and a rest, there was a little talk of tackling Angel's Landing, but no way was I doing that with Olivia and Duncan.  And me.  It scares me.  So we settled for this hike instead:

This was the view from the top, and considering it took about one fourth the time of Angel's Landing, and about a tenth the anxiety, I would say it was well worth it.  This was Canyon Overlook, it was the PERFECT hike for our group, and the views are amazing.  There are even a few places where you have to scurry over some rocks and narrow paths so you really feel like you are hiking.  It never gets too hard though, and it is beautiful the whole way up.

Alisa and Erwann and his mom were planning on camping in the  park that night.  We followed them to their campsite, and then I got really jealous that they got to camp out and have a fire and s'mores and sit under the stars.  We were also sad that we had to leave them so soon.  They were taking off the next morning for more sight seeing adventures and we our lives at home to get back to, so we said our sad goodbyes and took a jillion pictures of each other.

 Oh yes, it was Father's Day, which sort of got overlooked in all the hubbub.  Might have to have a do over. 

 I'm just so HAPPY to see her!

Alisa and Will are equally talented in the cock-eyed look department.  Or maybe spending time with all of us just does that to them.   On the drive there, we were talking about Piper being left at the dog boarding place and Olivia was worried about how sad she must be feeling without us.  Will must have scoffed at her worries, because I heard her say to him, "Well, would you like itWill, if your family just went off and left you all alone for four days?"  A hort pause, and Will says, " Uh, yeah, actually, I would".  And then we all laughed.

But he was just joking.  I think.

Anyway, now we are home, and all the fun appears to be over for the time being.  Olivia is back in school and Dan went back to work. I took today off to catch up on laundry and do some yard work.  The laundy is coming along nicely, but it is raining cats and dogs, so the yard work is going to have to wait.  The rain is not stopping Audrey and her friends from jumping on the trampoline.  Someone is going to break their neck, I am sure.  Olivia has swimming lessons every afternoon for the next two weeks, and the rain will not stop those either.  It is going to be nuts around here for the next 14 days.

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