Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zion National Park to Las Vegas

June 25, 2011

It takes a long time to get a bunch of kids and grown ups out of the house. When we finally got there it was already 1 p.m. We hopped on the shuttle and it took us to the Riverside Walk Trail. The shuttle ride was pretty hot and crowded. There driver could both hear and see what was going on the shuttle. She kept asking people to not put their hands outside the windows. When Aaron asked if Royal, who was sick, had had anything to drink. The driver came over the loudspeaker and said, “There is no drinking on the shuttle!”

Aidan got pretty carsick once we got to the trailhead and needed to have his shirt and hat wetted to make him feel better. We walked to the river and cooled off our feet and legs. The cousins were throwing giant rocks into the river. Collin urged our family to take off on the trail and leave everyone else to their own devices. The trail was kind of similar to a hilly sidewalk. We saw lots of interesting plants and a few lizards, squirrels, snakes, tadpoles, and lizards. The snakes were eating tadpoles in the river. The squirrels were eating food that people had dropped. There was a really shady area by the river where a ton of people had stopped to cool off. Some adults were jumping off a rock into the river and getting swept downstream by a pretty strong current. On the shuttle ride back we happened to see Collin’s family seated in a café near the Emerald Pools trailhead. We hopped off the shuttle and joined them for some lunch. I had a black bean burger that was pretty good. An interesting thing about the café is that they don’t sell bottled water. Instead they have faucets that dispense mountain spring water from the park.

A couple of friends from college happened to be at the park at the same time. We met Shauna, Doug, and their kids in the visitor’s center. We hadn’t seen them in 7 years. It was great to catch up and make plans to stay a night with them in Colorado on our way back to Pennsylvania. They want to take us to Crave, a restaurant that serves a burger with donuts as the bun.

Two take home lessons for Zions
1. It’s too hot in June
2. You need more than one afternoon.

After a quick stop at Sol Foods Market to buy some host gifts, a straw hat for me, and ice cream for all. We drove three hours to Las Vegas, Nev. to stay with Ryan and Mical. You have to cut through Arizona to get to Nevada from Southern Utah, weird, huh? We forgot about the time change and told them we would be there at 8 pm, but actually got there at 7 pm. We hadn’t seen them in 4 years. Their youngest son’s middle name is McKinney to honor his and Collin’s friendship. Ryan works in construction and Mical just finished cosmetology school.

We ended up getting take out from Olive Garden (no pictures or descriptions, everyone has been to Olive Garden). We stayed up pretty late watching videos of my last roller derby bout, Ryan beating someone up during a fight club match during his UVSC days, and a tape of his mission to Guatemala. Collin and I slept on an air mattress in their living room next to Ian and Aidan in sleeping bags. Aidan and Ian started out in Cole and Caden’s room, but found it too hard to sleep with four boys in one room. Emm and Madison slept in Madison and Callie’s room.  They have two French Mastiffs: Ginger and Joba. They plan to eventually breed the dogs.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gone Fishin'

June 24, 2011

Today we went fishing at Panguitch Lake. We rented a boat and borrowed some fishing gear and set off after some trout with Aaron at the wheel. It was a beautiful sunny day, but the wind was blowing so hard we all had goose bumps. We caught four fish: 2 rainbow trout, 1 cutthroat, and one brown trout. There was also one we had on the string tied to the boat and broke loose when we had the boat going full throttle. There was a rainbow trout that we had almost in the net, but we caught another fish at the same time. The net we tried to use wasn’t big enough, so a 2 ½ rainbow trout got away. Most of the time we spent on the boat was just relaxing and taking in the scenery. Aaron taught Collin how to tie fishing knots and bait a hook. The guy at the bait shop gave us some garlic pickle juice to dip the worms in and that seemed to be the winning combination for bait. All the kids helped watch the poles and grab the nets.

Aaron brought them home and gutted them. April baked them in the oven after stuffing them with onions. The fish was pretty yummy.

Everyone got pretty sunburned from being out on the boat all day.