A Travellerspoint blog

August 2018

Last Day in Bryce Canyon

Walking the Rim Trail

sunny 85 °F

Kids woke up early and got dressed quickly. They were not going to miss out on another breakfast at the Bryce Canyon Lodge. And we did make it in time.

We have been spoiled by the lodges in the National Parks: El Tovar at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake Lodge, Princess Lodge in Alaska, Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone, Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park and Banff Springs Hotel in Canada. We have not stayed at most of these hotels, only had meals. The Bryce Canyon Lodge was good but not in the same league as the other lodges. It was fun, and kids were impressed but to us, well, we expected more.

We went back to the RV, changed clothes then hopped onto the shuttle to walk the rim walk. The rim walk is a partially paved walk that extends from the hotel to the campgrounds. Note that there are no handrails except at the lookouts.
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We walked from the hotel but only made it to Sunrise point where we caught a shuttle back to the RV. We drank nearly all of our water and as it was getting quite warm out and water was not available for about another mile we cut the walk short at 1.5 miles.
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Along the trail were many beautiful views of the canyon. In a forested area, kids stopped to play on downed trees. They stopped to count the rings of one tree and Lucian gave a little lesson on reading the life of the tree. Kids then looked for bugs under the bark of the downed trees, jumped and played.
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We stopped for last-minute souvenirs, then packed up the RV and started for home. Another successful grandkids trip completed.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:38 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature hiking national_park outdoors bryce_canyon_lodge grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra bryce_canyon_national-park Comments (0)

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

We took the grandkids for a hike thru the hoodoos

sunny 85 °F

We’d planned to leave early for Bryce Canyon, to beat the heat over the steep stretches of Hwy 191. Of course, we didn’t pack anything after our campfire dessert and didn’t wake up early.

The trip to Bryce took about 8 hours, including bathroom stops and a lunch stop. We did beat the worst of the heat and the stretch south has a shorter uphill, but the downhill is steep and long. Best to let the engine do the braking if possible.

We didn’t have a campsite reservation at Bryce Canyon and were a little concerned, however, there were many sites available. Many sites are sloped but most in Loop A are a pull thru making it easy to park.

After running amok, the grandkids settled in for the evening.

Wednesday morning all of us slept in late. Grandkids ran, hiking up to the top of a hill. They ran back yelling that they saw the entire canyon. They had found the rim trail.

We were really tired of being on the road so it was nice to stay put while kids made up games like “hit the rock across the picnic table with sticks, making mud structures, and playing walking talkie. Fortunately, we were within walking distance to the Visitor’s Center, so picked up Jr. Ranger books, and watched the movie.

Thursday was our big day. We’d decided to go to breakfast at the Bryce Canyon Lodge then hike down into the canyon. We got dressed and drove to the Bryce Canyon Lodge arriving at 10:15, only to find that the dining room closed at 10am. Kids were not happy campers.

We ate breakfast at the RV and then hopped on the shuttle to Sunset Point for our hike. The hike we wanted to take the kids on was the Navajo loop taking the cutoff at the bottom to the Wall Street trail. We’d read to hike counterclockwise but the aide at the top of the trail recommend hiking clockwise. As we walked down the trail we saw that the Navajo trail was steep and in the sun. We were glad that we’d checked beforehand as the Wall Street was much shadier and had a breeze. Several people hiking up the Navajo trail were in trouble with the heat and sun.
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https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

Kids ran down then up the 1.5-mile of trails, but I hoped they looked around at the beautiful hoodoos. Hopefully, they will remember this trip for its unique beauty.

Posted by Miss Chris 19:58 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature hiking national_park outdoors grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra bryce_canyon_national-park Comments (0)

A Day With the Dinosaurs

A day in Dinosaur National Monument

sunny 90 °F

The drive from Cedar City was hot and long. We’d forgotten how long of a steep grade we had to drive over. If you are planning a trip over Hwy 191 into Vernal, then just beware and be prepared.

We arrived in Dinosaur about 6pm, found our campsite and unpacked. We had thought that it would be nice and cool but alas, it was very warm. Fortunately, the evenings cool off nicely. After dinner and a campfire, we turned in for a much-needed sleep.

Monday morning, we got an early start. We wanted to go on the ranger-led hike at 10am and then visit the Quarry site. There are other sites I’d like to visit and photograph, but it will need to be another trip.

We got to the Visitor’s center in time to buy forgotten hats before catching the tram to the top of the hill. The quarry, where Dino’s were discovered, is at the top of the hill and the hike is out of the quarry area.

https://www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm

The Quarry is the hill where Dinosaur bones were discovered and taken from and then others exposed. A building was built along the hill protecting the exposed bones and allowing for inspection by the public.

The ranger-led hike goes down into the canyon from the quarry. One goes forward in time, from when an ocean was covering the area. Wave prints are visible in the rocks as well as exposed dinosaur bones from 150 million years ago. It was great for the kids to get a visual experience in reading time in the rocks and seeing a real deposit of dinosaur bones.

On our hike was the man and his son who were camped across the road from us. At the campground, we’d said hi and kids had played some together. On the hike, we got to be better acquainted.
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We finished up our hike, and the plan was to find a picnic table, finish up the Jr. Ranger books, eat lunch stored in our electric ice chest in the truck, get Jr Ranger badges and a couple of souvenirs, then go back to the campground.

Great plans foiled again! We found that our built-in inverter had stopped working so the food in the ice chest was getting warm. Then we realized that the sandwich bread had been left back at the RV. So much for sandwiches!

We ate some pieces of turkey and cartons of yogurts then went into the visitor’s center for the Jr. Ranger badges and a little souvenir. Kids chose small magnifying glasses and Emilio, dino toys.

Starving, we piled into the truck only to discover why our inverter quit. The battery was completely dead. Dale tried to find someone to give us a jump while I went into the Visitors Center to see if I could get us help in there. Alas, I was told to call Emergency Roadside which was all well and good except that my phone was at 1% and our AAA card was back in the RV. Fortunately, another GM truck owner came to our rescue, gave us a jump and we were on our way.

Arriving back at our campsite, our new friends, Zac (the dad) and Benjamin (the son) came over. Benjamin came to play with the kids and then dad (encouraged by us) brought his camp chair and chatted.
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Benjamin ate some additional dinner with us and Zac brought over their smores makings. Around our campfire adults drank wine while kids gorged on smores.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:26 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature hiking outdoors grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra dinosaur_national_monument Comments (0)

A Real Adventure To Start A Grandkids Trip

Spending time in the ER is not the way to start a trip

We’d promised a grandkids trip to the 4 middles, ages 5-11 and thought that a trip that included Dinosaur National Monument for our 5-year-old obsessed with Dinos, would be good. We had put off the trip for a variety of reasons, and finally were running out of time before school started. As school is starting next week and kids clamoring to go, now was the time to put up or not!

We decided to leave early Saturday morning and beat the heat over the pass. That meant shopping with 4 kids on Friday: Costco, Trader Joe’s, and the local supermarket. Of course, we had so much food that the RV fridge couldn’t hold anything more and we had to use our electric ice chest.
Saturday morning came too early as we’d been up packing until 2a.m. We didn’t wake up super early and still had food to pack. Finally, at the late hour of 9am we drove away.
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The drive thru Las Vegas was really hot and super slow over the passes but we made it past St George where it was slightly cooler by 10pm. We found a rest stop for the night believing that it would be quiet and restful.

The RV was quite warm, so we opened the windows and the door, with the screen shut. A truck pulled up beside us with a refrigerator running, making a racket. As the kids were complaining about the racket I thought I’d shut the main door. I opened the screen and stepped, not onto the steps, but rather into the air, about a 3-1/2’ drop. Apparently, I smacked down onto the pavement, hitting the left side of my head.

Dale said I screamed, a scream that he said he cannot forget. He put the steps down then helped me up. Blood seemed to be pouring from my head. I thought that I should go to an emergency room as my head was hurting and still bleeding. Poor grandkids were so scared, but we thought to put on a video, so they became occupied quickly.

At the ER, they took a CAT scan and pronounced my brain was intact. One friend commented that “at least they found a brain”, which is better than no brain probably! I told the Dr. that I bonked my head but didn’t knock any sense into it. He asked if any anyone caught me treading air on video? Well, fortunately, no one caught that act on video, so I would not be appearing on stupid-stunt videos.
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I got a pill, something strong, to reduce the swelling, and make me sleep. Unfortunately, it was like Codeine which keeps me awake. I left with instructions for massages, foot rubs and ice cream in bed.

We stayed camped in the hospital parking lot for the night and by morning the swelling was down. Unfortunately, I was awake most of the night, so I was ready to sleep.

Like another friend said, “not a good way to start an adventure”.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:10 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra Comments (0)

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