Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Snow in June

June 19, 2011

We bid a sad adieu to Diamond Valley and drove to Snow Canyon to hike and collect Moki marbles, naturally occurring, small round rock formations that burst from the Petrified Dunes. The park ranger kind of rained on our parade by telling us that there were hardly any Moki marbles left because people were leaving the national park with pocket loads of them. That pretty much killed my brilliant plan of collecting a giant bag of them to display in an apothecary jar on the shelf in our living room. Fun fact: Moki marbles have been found on Mars! We had a picnic lunch of cooler food (peanut butter, grapes, string cheese, etc.,) and then started hiking around the gorgeous and treacherously windy dunes. The boys really enjoyed the hike, but Emma complained that she liked to get her exercise in the hotel room. I guess she’s more of an indoor person.

I really enjoyed taking pictures of the landscape and breaking in my new Chaco Vibram Z2’s. Best summer outdoor shoes ever! I was able to climb around and scramble up and down the rock formations without worrying about slipping or stumbling. It’s hard to go back to flip-flops after experiencing what true foot comfort can be.

After several complaints from Emma, we got in the car and drove toward Brianhead, UT, stopping in Cedar City for gas at Cedar Nut and Candy Company, home of the ugliest sweatshirts in the universe. I felt really bad for a lady who, just after purchasing a huge bag of Skittles, spilled the whole bag on the ground. My kids asked if the candy on the ground was up for grabs . . .

The drive to Brianhead was pretty twisty and the altitude was very hard to adjust to. I got winded after going up a flight of stairs and we all felt a little nauseous. Brianhead is Utah’s highest elevation ski resort at 9,800 feet. We are staying with Collin’s family at his sister Katy’s in-law’s cabin (did you get that?). Katy and Justin had their baby, Johnny, 3 weeks early and were unable to join us for our (hopefully) annual McKinney Family Reunion. We met Collin’s dad, John, at the cabin and settled in.  It was 40 degrees! I found some giant Uggs in a closet and was very close to wearing some hideous tight ankle sweats because I was so cold. It has been snowing on and off for a couple of days.

The cabin is awesome, minus the dead animal heads and skins everywhere. It’s huge with 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and three living rooms, vaulted ceilings, and 5 of the bedrooms have a TV in them. The kids have their own TV room downstairs where their bedrooms are. There is a girls’ bedroom and a boys’ bedroom. Each of those has a triple bunk bed and a regular bunk bed. It’s decorated in a very woodsy, fisherman, hunter style with carved wooden animals, antler chandeliers, and all sorts of animals decorations including cast iron toothbrush holders shaped like moose. There are plenty of toys and books for the kids to entertain themselves with. It looks like it’s going to be an awesome stay.