Zion & Bryce National Parks – Utah, Tucson – Arizona, and White Sands National Monument – New Mexico (October 2016)

(Day 1) – Four states in one day! Flight from St. Louis, MO to Las Vegas, NV then traveled to Hoover Dam which spans from Nevada to Arizona and then drove to destination – Zion National Park in Utah.

Great Views of Hoover Dam
Great Views of Hoover Dam
Beautiful Day to See Hoover Dam
Beautiful Day to See Hoover Dam

(Days 2 & 3) – First big hike of the trip in Zion National Park, a challenging 8 mile hike climbing over 3K feet in elevation called Observation Point. Next we challenged ourselves to hiking for miles in the water – fantastic views and quite the adventure with varying currents and water depths along The Narrows.

Beauty of Zion National Park
Beauty of Zion National Park
Family Time
Family Time
Boys love taking breaks together!
Boys love taking breaks together!
Love holding this sweet boy's hand along the mountain side
Love holding this sweet boy’s hand along the mountain side
The Hiking Crew!
The Hiking Crew!

 

Zion National Park
Zion National Park
Here We Go On Water Hike "The Narrows"- What Were We Thinking?!
Here We Go On Water Hike “The Narrows”- What Were We Thinking?!
Some points more dangerous than others
Some points more dangerous than others
Fantastic Views Awaited Around Every Corner
Fantastic Views Awaited Around Every Corner
Whoa!!! Careful!!
Whoa!!! Careful!!
Samuel liked the dry spots
Samuel liked the dry spots
Austin loving new water pack!
Austin loved new water pack!
Picnic up high on the rocks so we don't get washed away!
Picnic up high on the rocks so we didn’t get washed away!
Serious current, more noticeable with 45+ lbs on your back!
Serious current, more noticeable with 45+ lbs on your back!
Tired kiddos ready to get back to dry land!
Tired kiddos ready to get back to dry land!

 

(Days 4 & 5) – Drove to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah and hiked at 8K elevation, no easy feat with these boys in pack!

 

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Bryce Canyon National Park
Starting our hike around 8K in elevation
Started our hike around 8K in elevation
"You guys can keep going, we need a break!"
“You guys can keep going, we need a break!”
The Boys!
The Boys!
People asking to take our picture because they couldn't believe we were hauling these young kids!
People asked to take our picture because they couldn’t believe we were hauling these young kids!
Fantastic views of the varying rock layers throughout the canyon
Fantastic views of the varying rock layers throughout the canyon
Scenic Stop
Scenic Stop

(Days 6 – 11) – With a 9-hour drive to Tucson, Arizona an early 3am departure was definitely a good idea! After back to back days of hiking through knee high water, long distances and notable elevations we were ready for some much needed relaxation. Several days full of school & work coupled with pool time and long bike rides. We learned about lots of different aircraft at the Pima Air & Space Museum which displays over 300 aircraft spread out over 80 acres. Aaron enjoyed a day out on the golf course and the boys and I took a drive to Tombstone, Arizona to check out O.K. Corral.

Pima Air & Space Museum - boys practicing to fly!
Pima Air & Space Museum – boys practicing to fly!
Samuel loved the little blue plane
Samuel loved the little blue plane
O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona - Live "Shoot Out"
O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona – Live “Shoot Out”
Boys practicing hitting targets to protect us from bad guys!
Boys practicing hitting targets to protect us from bad guys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Days 12 & 13) – Loaded up our SUV and drove 22 hours back to St. Louis, including a fun stop at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico to attempt sledding down sand dunes!

Family excited to have bypassed Park Ranger solicitation to catch the sunset at White Sands National Monument!
Family excited to have bypassed Park Ranger solicitation to catch the sunset at White Sands National Monument!
Sledding attempts down the sand dunes
Sledding attempts down the sand dunes
What's better than getting to run up and down huge sand dunes?!
What’s better than getting to run up and down huge sand dunes?!

Favorite Kid Quotes:
• “Look at all these videos games for us, thanks mom and dad! (i.e., airport arrival in Vegas casino land)
• “Those people down there look like breadcrumbs” (i.e., cliff side in Zion National Park)
• “That’s one of my bosses on that motorcycle, let’s race him!” (i.e., every motorcycle rider, except those on purple bikes is one of Samuel’s bosses and yes – we raced!)

Look ahead includes notable time with family and friends over the holidays coupled with potential weekend travels. Thank you for sharing in this adventure!

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