Week 12 ~ Rifle Gap, Colorado

Week 12 ~ This week has definitely been one of our slower, more relaxed weeks.  We spent it at a state park called Rifle Gap, camping next to a lake.  We drove the short distance to the visitor center on Tuesday for the eclipse, getting to hear a ranger program dedicated to it while it was happening.  We got about 89% totality, though it didn’t get nearly as dark as we had expected.  It did, however, get very still and we noticed a drop in temperature. Though it wasn’t dark, the warped shadows were fun to see and the light looked much more like late afternoon shadows than 11am.  

Much of the rest of the week was spent at the state park itself, many of us going out kayaking or fishing.  Some even tried swimming and braved it well, though they came back half frozen.  We also visited a local fish hatchery - what a unique place that was! Very near the hatchery, we enjoyed a short hike around three gorgeous waterfalls. There were several caves around the falls, and we had a fun time exploring those as well. 


Friday morning we backed up and left for an area close to Vail, CO.  We woke up Saturday morning hoping to explore Vail Village, but quickly realized we had run into a problem that would alter a good portion of our plans.  The RV generator decided to quit on us, and we spent much of the day trying to fix it.  To complicate things, local repair shops didn’t have any openings for almost three weeks.  Though it got warm in the RV, we were incredibly thankful that we were in the humidity free, cooler temperatures of Colorado.  Saturday evening we went to visit Dad’s cousins who live in the area, and really enjoyed seeing them.  Our great aunt, Gandy’s sister, was also there. When Kaden exclaimed, “Around you, it feels just like Gandy’s here!” we could only nod our heads in agreement.  It was so nice seeing her and nearly having Gandy in the room. After church Sunday morning, we tried making a pit stop at another state park while we searched for someone to work on the generator, but again there was no availability.  So we’re on a little adventure – heading back east and somewhat making it up as we go along.  Come on week 13 – for once, we hardly know what you’re going to bring.  Let the adventure begin!

Week 12: Photography

Colorado never fails to disappoint. Here is some of the beauty of the week, several photos taken by Dad and David. 

Week 11 ~ Zion National Park

Week 11 ~ Though we were stationary for the entire week, we had some of our fullest 7 days in Zion National Park in Utah.  Word has gotten out about this stunningly beautiful place - it was popular and busy, but gorgeous nonetheless.  Our first day at the park, we were able to go on one of the hikes as a family, something we rarely get to do because of our family’s range of abilities.  Through the rest of the week, Dad, David and I took several mornings to go out on longer hikes, while Mom and Dad took the little ones back out in the afternoon. 

We took a half day to drive up to a lake for a picnic.  We had hopes of being able to do some hiking and swimming, though things didn't quite work out like planned. Regardless, a nice lunch by the coolness of the lake was good enough for me. 

One of the most unique hikes I have ever been on also took place at Zion.  Dad, David and I got up early one morning and headed out to the park to do a hike called “The Narrows”.  The Narrows is essentially a long walk through a river – yes, literally through it.  Rocks and sand hugged the side of the canyon for portions of the hike, while you had to walk through the river at other places.  The hike was slow going, and took us about an hour to go each mile.  To top it all off, the hike didn’t even begin at the river.  We had to hike a mile to the beginning of the hike.  We made it about two miles up the river before finally turning back. It was a fun time!

We took off on our second rather extreme hike two days later (we needed a day to recover from the first one!)  This hike is called “Angel’s Landing”, and twisted two miles up a mountain before taking us on a riveting half mile up the sheer side of a cliff to the top.  I made it about half way up the cliff before turning back.  Dad laughed when I told him I thought trying to finish it would taking a “foolish and unnecessary risk”, but it was true.  One of our fellow hikers commented to her son, “Be careful.  If you fall off a mountain, you die.”  Thankfully, we did not die and were free to enjoy the view and the much less strenuous couple of miles back down the mountain.

On our trip out of Zion back to Colorado, we stopped at Bryce Canyon. Bryce, I am told, is somewhat of a mini version of the Grand Canyon. We spent only a couple hours there, but it was such an amazing view.

Now we are back to Colorado for the week – wahoo! Colorado is my all-time favorite, and I’m excited to enjoy the cooler temperatures and hiking opportunities.  Our time is beginning to wind down, but we are continuing to enjoy it while we have it.