Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Road Trip - Day 2

There are so many stories from this trip that I'm hoping not to write an entire post for each day, but I'm not overly optimistic. Sunday was another big day of driving. It went something like this:
And then, where two highways diverged, we decided to take...well...probably the one more often traveled, so that we could drive through here:
I was a little sad we didn't have more time there, to be honest. Zion is very pretty and it was a beautiful day. I'm sure we saw very little of the park, all told.
Met some nice folks from Colorado on our way out and had them take a picture of us at Checkerboard Mesa.
Oh, that's a lotta orange. Smunch and I will endeavor to coordinate outfits in the future.

And then it was back to Arizona...
and our final destination. We got out of the mommymobile when we got to the park boundary. It's always fun to take pictures of the kids with the sign, right? But the scene behind us seemed pretty spectacular too.
Still, I kinda couldn't believe we made I got kind of teary taking this next picture. Oh. My. Gosh. We're here!!!
And, so we were. I flashed my newly-minted (at Zion) National Parks pass and we headed for the North Rim Campground, where we received the welcome news that despite the robocall I'd received weeks earlier saying the fire danger was too high, the alert had been cancelled and campfires were indeed allowed. There would be s'mores. Thank goodness.

I guess I should stop here and say that the North Rim is not the favored side of the Canyon. Most people head for the South Rim. It's easier to get to if you've flown, but driving, there didn't seem to be a big difference. And if you're going to book your trip in June, you're NOT going to book a campsite on the South Rim. It suited me just fine, even though I still had to book two different campsites to stay for four consecutive nights.

We had a great spot among the aspens and ponderosas for our first night. The campground is great for car camping. The sites are big and the store is nearby...which is important when you've got constantly thawing coolers. We unloaded our stuff onto a big tarp and I sent Mam to the store for some firewood. While she was gone, I realized it was getting late. The sun was setting and we had yet to catch a glimpse of the Canyon. So as soon as she got back, I piled the surprisingly willing kids back in the car and drove the mile to the rim to watch the sunset.
And what a sunset it was!

If you look closely at the previous picture you can see a faint rainbow angling down from the clouds toward the Canyon. That's because there were thunderstorms rolling across the South Rim, treating us to a spectacular thunder and lightning show, as the clouds turned orange and the rain came down in pinkish cascades.
The rain and clouds also provided for a beautiful sunset.
And about that time, I took note that the rain wasn't just moving along the South Rim of the Canyon. It was moving across the Canyon. And that was O.K., but wait... All our stuff was sitting out on a tarp in our campsite. We hadn't even put the tent up yet.

I grabbed the kids and we rushed back to the car, zipping back to the campground and racing the growing thunder to get our tent up. To their credit, and despite my lack of patience, the kids had never been more helpful. I can't get the tent up on my own. I got the poles in wrong and had to re-do them, but we finally got the poles in their sleeves and arched just right. With just a minute or two left to spare, the rain fly went on and we threw everything in the tent. Phew!

That just left dinner. *sigh* Their quota of helpfulness having been met for the day, the kids hung out in the tent while I put on my rain jacket and went out to heat up dinner in the rain. To their disappointment, I ditched the plans for spaghetti in favor of heating up the pre-made taco meat I'd brought. And we all squished into the tent's small vestibule and ate our tacos while it rained. I wish I had pictures. I suppose I'd left the camera in the car at that point.

Sometimes the memories are better...and funnier than any picture could ever be...

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