Wednesday, May 25, 2011

more red rock and the grandest of canyons!

Oh where to start! We are now in Sedona, Arizona, but I’m going to spend this post filling you in on what we’ve been doing since the last post.

In case you couldn’t tell from my last post, we LOVED Moab. There was so much to do, the scenery was stunning, and it just had a great energy about it. On Saturday last week, a dream came true for me when I spent the morning mountain biking near Moab. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for about 15 years, so it was wonderful to get out there and find out why the area is so well known for its biking. I went with a group of 5 others and a guide. They picked me up at our RV park and off we went about 20 miles to the trail head. We biked about 2 miles on dirt trails, then got up onto the slickrock and just climbed up and up and up. We saw dinosaur footprints in the rock, and amazing scenery all around. It was rough rock - not smooth at all - so my body certainly got jarred around. But nothing compared to coming down! At the very top, we left our bikes and hiked into a remote area of Arches National Park. So beautiful! Then down we came….. bumping all the way down the slickrock. Everyone else in my group had rented bikes with dual suspension, so I was the only one getting jarred around on my 17 year old hardtail bike with a trailer bike attachment on the back -  I got a few looks! But I had fun and I kept up with a couple advanced riders in the group, so I didn’t worry about it! It was just thrilling to be out there. I kept saying to myself…. I’m mountain biking in Moab…. I’m actually here!

The next day we did something completely different and somewhat incongruent, a hummer excursion into an area called “Hell’s Revenge”.

This area is famous for its jeep track and people come from all over the world to drive over these fossilized sand dunes. (What’s also called slickrock, or sand stone) We were driving almost straight up some steep hills and coming straight down the other side!

 It was quite an adventure. I probably wouldn’t choose to do it again, but we did get to see some areas we wouldn’t have otherwise and it was quite the experience!

That afternoon, we got into the RV and headed towards Bryce Canyon, stopping along the way at many other beautiful places. We stopped in at the Valley of the Goblins – a valley full of little hoodoos in so many different shapes and sizes. That was fun until the wind picked up and it started to storm! We took refuge in the RV then continued south-west. We drove through Capital Reef park, more amazing red rock and sheer cliff walls. We spent the night in the bush somewhere, then arrived at Bryce Canyon the next morning. It was very different from what we had been seeing but by then the kids were getting pretty tired of looking at red rock! So tired in fact, that we decided not to go to Zion as planned, but head straight to the Grand Canyon.

We did a long day of driving and camped at the Grand Canyon that night. Our first hike out to the rim that evening was so cool. What an amazing place! So grand, it’s hard to really take in the scale of it.

The next morning we saw the IMAX movie on the “Secrets of the Grand Canyon” – an amazing journey through the history of the people who have explored it. So well done and so fascinating. Then we went exploring ourselves!

It’s challenging keeping 3 kids engaged when we’re doing so much sight seeing! John and I were so excited to see the Grand Canyon - I almost needed to pinch myself to believe I was there. But the kids were squabbling, and cranky and just wanted to go back to the motorhome! Argh! So frustrating. But once we got to the rim and sat down and had a snack while taking in the view, they started to enjoy it.

We got on a shuttle bus and took a little ride into the Grand Canyon Village where we took in some more views of the canyon. The kids enjoyed watching the squirrels and chipmunks scampering around and the birds surfing the updrafts off the canyon walls.

I'm so happy we got to see this incredible place. I know the kids won't remember it, but I sure will! One day, when they are older, we'd love to go back and raft the Colorado River. One day......

From there, we beelined it for Sedona. We're here now, enjoying this magical little town. But more on that later. Internet access has been hit and miss and when we do have it, I often don't have time to sit down and write a post. It's amazing how much there is to do when travelling with 3 kids! It's not a vacation, but it's certainly an adventure!

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