We kicked August off with another trip. This trip was not one we had originally planned, but when a friend of ours got permits to hike the Narrows in Zion we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The biggest obstacle was finding something to do with the kids. My brother and sister-in-law live in Cedar City. When they said they could watch the kids the day we did the hike we began planning our final summer adventure.
Despite our love for all things Southern Utah, we had never taken both the kids to Goblin Valley. We took Cooper when he was a year old, but haven’t been back since. It was incredibly hot, but we still played for the better part of an hour before fleeing to our air conditioned car. We camped in the mountains that night which was a smart decision since it was a little cooler.
The next morning, we hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase Escalante.
After our fun in Grand Staircase, we headed to Bryce Canyon. We stayed at Ruby’s Inn. The kids thought it was the most amazing campground because it had a swimming pool. We didn’t take any pictures of that, but it was a great way to cool off in the afternoon.
The daily afternoon monsoon also helped to cool things off and our new six man tent (so spacious) passed the test and kept us and our stuff dry. It was fun to show the kids Bryce. We honeymooned there over a decade ago (no pics because we lost our camera) so it has a special place in our hearts.
While in Bryce, we also attended a church service at the Lodge. It was a very small congregation and as we were listening to the service, I realized that all the people putting on the meeting had already attended meetings in their home towns. They didn’t need to be there, they were there for us so we could take the sacrament. It was a touching moment for me and a good reminder that each and every one of us matters.
After two days at Bryce Canyon, we headed to Cedar City. We met up with Noel’s dad. We went out to lunch at watched Secret Life of Pets 2. The kids were happy to see grandpa Mike. Also, I’m pretty sure they think Sizzler is the best restaurant ever, ha, ha. We met up with Spencer and Sarah for dinner, then said goodbye to everyone including the kids. Then Noel and I headed to meet up with our friends the Royers.
We got up early to hike the Narrows. We were hiking with our friend Steve and his two oldest kids, plus two of their friends. (One of the friends was in our Trek “family” so it was good to see her again.) Noel and I hiked the Narrows back in the pre-kid days and had such a fabulous time. We were excited to be back.
When we’d done the Narrows before, we camped half way through, but this time we did a through hike. It made for a longer day. By the end, the teenagers abandoned us to power through to the end. The sage, adult hikers took their time enjoying the beauty and carefully choosing our foot placement to avoid injury. I honestly don’t know how we hiked this last time without poles. The water was also higher since it was a different time of year and we also had a wet spring. There were spots where Noel couldn’t touch the ground. We don’t have any proof of that because everyone’s cameras/phones were stowed in dry bags, but it was something else to float down a river with hiking poles and a backpack. We hit up Dairy Queen afterward and if you’d asked me then, I would have told you they make the best burgers known to man.
While we were gone, the kids had a blast with Spencer and Sarah. They explored lava tube caves, swam in a lake, and played video games. We spent the night in a hotel and then made the long drive home. Noel and I both went back to work the next day. (Work hard, play hard.) Before the Zion trip was in the works, we’d bought tickets to go to an OAR concert. The concert was that night and even though what we really wanted to do was put on comfy pants and watch tv, we headed out on a date. It’s ridiculous to say you’re exhausted from having too much fun, but that’s where we were at.
The music was great, as we’d expected. But we were wondering if we’re getting too old for concerts. All the drunk and high people weren’t our favorite. We left during the encore to get ahead of all the people who would be driving home, but probably shouldn’t be. The next morning I taught a 6am class. I’m pretty sure I took a nap later that day. We spent the next few days pulling ourselves together to get ready for the school year.
While we were in Southern Utah, we saw a sign at an elementary school that said, “School starts August 14th. Resistance is futile.” That’s definitely how I felt about it.
Even though I dread the start of school every year, it has made some things easier – grocery shopping and working mostly. The kids seem to enjoy their classes and no major disasters have happened with school yet.
One day after some meetings at the school, I was headed home. I took a gravely corner too fast and found myself on the ground with scraped knees, hands, and arms as well as a broken headlight. It didn’t keep me off my bike though.
We’re trying to go on “micro adventures” now that school is in session. One Friday evening, we headed to a nearby open space park for a little mountain biking. It was a lovely evening. Sprinkled in with everything else, were runs where we saw snakes, a mother-son kickball church event, and lots of gardening at the school garden (and dealing with skunks . . . ) August was good to us.