On the Mountian with the kids

I went back out to Vernal yet agian last weekend to help my brother and sister watch their kids.  My Brother ended up going to Colorado to compete in some race (he took third place … out of three people in his division) and my sister had to work and go to some wedding.  Friday night we just hung out and slept on the trampoline with all four of them.  We all fell asleep watching the stars.  On Saturday we went to the movies and after that we headed up into the mountians and set up camp at Red Canyon campground on Flaming Gorge resivoir. 

We went for a little hike around the rim after setting up camp then came back and started cooking our hobo dinners.  After eating dinner I tried to do a sad attempt at starting a fire so the kids could roast marshmellows.  I forgot my boy scout fluid so I think I ended up inhaling too much smoke before I found out pine cones are a good way to start a fire.

After that we went and stared at the stars agian to fall asleep.  We tried picking out constellations in the stars and I think Chase the oldest found 5 different big dippers 😉 
In the morning while I was picking up camp they spotted a pretty big blow snake.  I bet it was close to 5 feet long and it was interesting watching it. 
After that we headed down off the mountian and concluded our trip up in to the mountians.  I was suprised at how easy it was to have all 4 kids up there.  Usually having all of them drives me insane but this time it was actually very enjoyable.  I guess I will have to do it more

A trip down South … then it went South

Well Last wednsday I took off on a whirlwind adventure down to Southern UT and Arizona.  Our goal was to go to as many good parks as we could and get some cool pictures (the whole point of the trip was for me to play with my camera and get used to it while seeing some pretty sights).  Well I think we sucessfully accomplished our goal by going to 5 national parks and 3 state parks.  We started off by spending the night wednsday in Moab, UT.  We set up camp at a campground in the dark… It stunk like sewage but we soon got used to that smell (not sure if thats a good thing or not).  We went into town and got some good food and some yummy heffy.
We woke up in the morning and headed to Arches National Park.  We set up camp in an awsome campground  and headed out on our trek to take pictures of  the arches.  We started off by heading out to Devil’s Garden on the trail.  It was a 4 mile hike round trip and worth every step of it.  on the trip we heard about every language spoke under the sun.  The whole trip seemed to be dominated by German speaking tourists however.  There were other languages such as oriental, french, spanish, portugese, dutch, and a few others.  After we got done with there we stopped at a couple other arches and then headed to the Delicate Arch (the one on Utah Centenial Plates).  It was an awsome sight to behold.  It was southing and relaxing just sitting there looking at it.  I started taking some pictures of it through a smaller arch nearby.  After I got done there I headed out to get a closer look at it.  At this time my camera decided to tell me that my battery was dead even though I had only taken 80 pictures with it.  I was soo pissed but managed to calm back down and just enjoy the sight.
After that experience we headed back into town and got me another camera battery and some groceries.  At this point I found out that my camera was just having issues and the battery wasn’t in fact dead.  I ended up shooting another 400 pictures with the battery.  But at least now I have a good backup to my origninal battery.  We then went back into the campground and went to the Double Arches with is probably my second most favorite set of arches in the park.  It is amazing sitting under them looking out onto the valley.  We sat in that area and enjoyed the sunset before heading back to the jeep and back to the campground.
We woke up early in the morning the next morning and made our way back out to delicate arch to watch the sunrise.  We were actually about 4 minutes late for the sunrise but were saved by the clouds.  That bought me the 5 mintues I needed to get some good pictures as the sun was coming up.  We were joined by a LDS ward that were driving roger insane with their Gosh’s and Dang’s.  After a while we made it back to the Jeep and went back and took down camp so we could head to our next destination.
We then went to Goblin Valley where we were joined by some russians and germans.  The Valley was surreal looking at it.  As Roger’s sister commented, it looks fake.  It was so fun hiking around in the valley through all the strange formations.  After that we went up over Boulder Mountian which was another spetacular view.  Then we went through Capitol Reef, then on to Bryce Canyon.  We hiked around the rim of Bryce Canyon and enjoyed a sunset there.  We found one of two left over campgrounds and took up one of them for the night.  I played around with my camera getting some night photo’s  I will post one of them even though they were not that good since I am still experimenting with them.
The next day we spent most of the time on the Road heading down to the Grand Canyon.  I still can’t believe the breathtaking veiws that the Grand Canyon has in hold.  We go there around 15 mintues before the campground closed and then set up camp and headed out to do some hiking.  We hiked around the rim until it got close to sunset.  We sat down and I enjoyed probably the most peaceful sunsets ever for me.  I got a couple pictures but was more enchanted by the sunset then interested in taking pictures.  I guess thats one thing I will have to get over if I want to get good pictures.
The Next morning I got up and rode my bike down to one of the lookout points and watched the sunrise.  It was pretty but I found that about 20 minutes later when everyone had pretty much left and gone back to their camps is when it really got beautiful.  They sky’s cleared out and you could see soo far and down deep.  The colors were all soo rich and really photogenic.  The people that were in a rush to get back to their campgrounds for breakfast or to go back to bed really missed out here.  I took a walk along the rim for the next 2-3 hours and enjoyed specacular scene one after the next.  I often found myself crawling out on a ledge to get a better viewpoint for my camera.  It was such a fun experience.
 After that we started our Journey back home.  About 40 minutes outside the park the AC went off in my jeep.  This was the starting of a bad sign.  We stopped in Page where I heard for the first time the horrible noises it was making.   I found out here that my AC compressor was having problems and had gone out.  It would still spin but with a bad sound.  Since it was already ruined I just grabbed a fan belt and headed out on my way.
We decided to head through Zions Ntl. Park so we could get to I-15 quicker.  I would rather break down on I-15 then in some small podunk town in the middle of nowhere.  Zion’s was amazing and I can’t wait to get back there and actually spend some time there.
We stopped in Cedar City to take a shower, gas up, and get something to eat.  This was a bad idea and when the trip really headed south.  After taking a shower and eating we went to leave and when I went to start my jeep it started squeeling like no other and soon enough smoke came rolling out.  I opened up the hood to take a look and found that the AC compressor was no longer spinning and was completely locked up.
We took a taxi into town, got a motel room and hung low for the night.  The next morning I had it towed to a shop and just waited away.  Around noon he called telling me the parts wouldn’t be in for another day.  I extended my stay and Roger and I basically got bored off our asses the whole time in Cedar City.  Finally, after 42 hours, my jeep was ready to go and we headed out of town.  So here I am now driving down I-15 Venting some of my frustrations with the trip, but, even though I had difficulties with my jeep, I had a great time and Very glad I went.  I can’t wait to get back down to some of the parks and spend more time there.  Now that I know which ones I want to spend time and a better Idea of what I want to do.  Now just to see who wants to go with me and when 😉