Summer Vacation: Day 1 and 2
If you can't tell I was in a real big hurry when I wrote my first summer vacation update. I apologize for the abruptness of the message. I wanted to get pics and a bit of information up but I also wanted to visit with our friends, The Swansons, whose internet connection I was borrowing to make the post, too. Sunday and Monday were a great start to the vacation and we had such a wonderful time seeing our old friends from the college days, having our kids get to know each other, etc., etc.
We have not had a dull moment this week. Tuesday morning we headed out of Salt Lake City and headed South to the BYU campus. The campus has changed a great deal and we enjoyed showing off some of our old haunts to the kids and exploring the new facilities there--we got a tour from one of my old professors of the new Family Sciences building and the Clothing and Textiles rooms they've got now. We were so excited to run into some old friends while we were there, a happy coincidence. I also took the opportunity to take my History midterm on campus at the testing center. We got the kids some BYU logowear, splurged on BYU creamery ice cream cones and got our photo ops in--notice the big "Y" on the mountain in the background, the sun was shining in Cora's eyes.
By about 2pm we were back on the road again. I made a late lunch in the RV (really we had ice cream for lunch and what I made was of course just a snack of sandwiches :). We made our way down towards Zion National park but first made a stop at the Walmart in Cedar City. We had been wrestling with having the right connections for our DVD player, needed some bread, postcards and of course our Utah collectors magnets. We ended up being there longer than expected, Walmart has a way of sucking you in. Within an hour we were back on our way to Zions.
As we drove through the small town of Springdale just outside of Zions we discovered that the road through Zions would be closed from 8pm-8am. It was 8:45. We missed getting through by 45 minutes, the amount of time we were dinking around aimlessly at Walmart. Dave was miffed and we were all a bit disappointed. There is no way around and so we had to wait it out until 8am. We had to find a camping spot (our intended camping site was on the other side of Zions). We ended up parking 9 miles back from the Zions entrance on some BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land on the side of the freeway. We were the only people there. We settled in.
What could have been a terrible night on the side of the freeway ended up being an incredible night. I stepped outside and watched the sunset while the kids wrestled and rough housed and Dave read his new book in the RV. When the sun went down and it got dark enough we took a blanket outside and lay out together for a memorable hour under the stars. We found all the constellations we knew and then made up some of our own. We spotted lots of shooting stars, satellites and a few planes. The kids got an excellent look at the Milky Way and for the first time realized why it was called the Milky Way: it looks like someone spilled milk in the sky. When everyone quieted down and was fully relaxed and half asleep we climbed back into the RV for a good night’s sleep listening to the bats, grasshoppers and the gurgling of the Virgin River below us.