Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Vacation: Zions, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon

Wednesday we got up early and got through the gates of Zions within minutes of it opening. The morning ended up being the best time to see the park. The light was hitting all the rocks so beautifully, the air was cool and fresh and the kids were excited to see everything. An awe inspiring morning.

 The views did not stop when we exited Zions however. All of Southern Utah was interesting and new: sights the kids had never seen before and Dave and I hadn’t seen in a long time. Around 11am as we approached the border of Arizona we spotted Lake Powell and a sign that said “Lone Rock”. On a whim we followed the sign out to Lone Rock which ended up being a national park site (we had purchased a National parks pass at Zions that morning) so we got in for free.

This whim ended up being a fantastic find. Lone Rock is a really cool site where everyone just drives their vehicles out onto the sand next to the lake and parks. Yes, RV’s, cars, motorcycles, boats, jet ski’s, everything is strewn about on the shores in a first-come first served mad dash mess of excitement. Some parked sideways, some backed in, some diagonal, all as if they didn’t care so much where they were as much as they cared about getting out and into the beautiful beckoning waters of Lake Powell.

In our mad dash across the sand we ended up on some softer than is desirable sand; not a good thing for a big rig like our ours. As I heard the wheels start spinning and felt the back end slightly sinking my heart did the same. “Two days in and already disaster” I thought. “Dave is going to freak out” I thought. “Can I just jump out and swim in the lake while Dave figures out this mess he drove us into?” I thought.

Dave hopped out of the RV and called Heath out to help him. I started prepping the girls for the water and made myself busy with other things, I did not want to get involved in what was going on outside. I heard some clanging around in the outside storage bins of the RV, heard Dave and Heath talking and debating and digging. Dave jumped in and tried to move the thing again, it rocked and sunk some more. I expected a slammed door and a few choice words.  Instead he jumped back out, more clanging and talking and figuring. Two more times he and Heath worked on the RV wheels, I sat and prayed. Amazingly, miraculously Dave and Heath patiently and persistently worked on unsticking us from the sand and within about 15 minutes got the RV up and out of our near disaster. I was so proud of both of them for saving my vacation and doing it without even muttering one harsh word. We all jumped out and spent the next few hours playing in the water, eating lunch, swimming out to the buoys (Dave and Heath—they were rewarded with licorice from my stash), and then laying out to dry in the sun.

 Unfortunately we had to get going, we had other places to see and we needed to stay on our time schedule—this had just been a whim but a memorable one. I think we will try to get down to Lake Powell’s Lone Rock again sometime. Loved it! Next stop Grand Canyon.

The views all the way to the Grand Canyon continued to be beautiful. We made it to the park by about 4:30 got our campsite at the Desert View Campground and made up our dinner before heading over to the rim for our first peek and the Sunset Ranger Talk. The ranger talk was a great set of stories about mishaps of years past at the Grand Canyon. The kids loved the stories and learned to be careful and respect the dangers of the Canyon.

Our first peek of the Canyon was jaw dropping; I do not have words to properly describe it. Somehow it made me feel so small yet so important all at the same time. To think that God created this vast landscape and that a combination of His forces: the water of the Colorado river, volcanic activity, wind, sun, minerals, people, had acted together over millions of years to make all this and I was just one little speck in all of it here to kick a few rocks and observe . . .

Anyways, it was amazing and unforgettable. Lots more pics tomorrow.
Next Day: On the way to the Grand Canyon
Summer Vacation 2010 Beginning to End

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