There will be just two more trip updates, one for our next full week of travel and then a “we’re home” post. How is that possible? My heart feels so torn; I miss my friends, but I love the growing family bonds. I miss my comfy couch, but I love the views we see each day. I miss my shower, but I love how quick and simple housework is when you live in 300 square feet. I miss my bedroom door, but I love seeing the sleeping faces of my beautiful children as I try my best to make my morning cup of coffee without waking them.
This experience has been such a blessing. I know one thing for certain and that is the travel bug is alive and well within me, and I seriously doubt we will ever go a year without traveling somewhere.
Now on to what we saw this week.
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Sunday we arose early once again to avoid the Memorial Day weekend crowds and the heat. In fact, we have gotten up between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. all week long except travel days to avoid both crowds and heat. We are spending our afternoons at the campground–doing school and work in the cool of the travel trailer. I thought the kids would revolt when we first suggested this change in routine, but they all seem to be okay with it.
On this particular morning, we headed to Kolob Canyon. We started out by driving to the very top and taking the short, one-mile hike out to the view point of the area. Such amazing views of red rocks sticking out from blankets of green trees.
It was still early and not too hot when we finished exploring Kolob Canyon, so we decided to hit Red Cliffs State Park near the campground area where we heard there was a beautiful hike, however, when we arrived there were no parking places left.
Instead, we headed to Red Cliffs Desert Reserve just up the hill from downtown St. George, Utah. My husband and I had explored the red rocks of the area on our anniversary date, and we knew our two teens that love to climb would enjoy exploring the area. They did love it, but we all lasted less than an hour in the afternoon sun.
We ended the exploring part of our day at a frozen yogurt place–a welcome treat after climbing rocks in the heat.
Monday we headed out of Zion and over to Bryce Canyon. On our way there we came across this area of deep red rocks that caught our attention–Red Canyon State Park.
That very evening before even exploring Bryce Canyon we headed back to Red Canyon to get closer to the red rocks we admired on our drive. One unique feature of the area are the tunnels carved into the rock to make way for the highway.
Tuesday we got up early–as in 4:45 a.m.–so that we could take in the sunrise over Bryce Point. It was a chilly morning, and we all stared at the sun coming over the rocks as our teeth chattered, but the beauty of the sun hitting the rocks made the early rising and the cold temperatures worth it.
After taking in all the view points along the 18 mile drive through the park, we headed to Sunset Point where we began our hike down into the hoodoo filled canyon. Things got hot very quickly as we hiked a three-mile loop back around to where we started.
The views in the canyon were stunning! By the time I had finished our loop I had paused to examine the canyon’s beauty more times than I can count.
On our second day of exploring Bryce Canyon National Park, we hiked the eight-mile Fairyland Loop trail. This canyon is full of these castle like rock formations that seem to contain doors and sometimes windows. It doesn’t take much imagination to see why they called the Canyon Fairyland.
One thing I was fascinated by in the Bryce Canon were the Bristlecone Pine trees. My picture doesn’t do their beauty justice. Such exquisite trees growing in an area that you wouldn’t think anything so large could grow. The canyon area also contained many different types of flowers that added touches of color everywhere you looked.
One thing I learned during our time in Utah is that even the rest areas are places to explore the beauty of the state. Pictured is the Sand Bench rest area that we came across as we drove out of Utah and into Colorado.
We have been in Colorado since Thursday afternoon, and I have been feeling short of breath since we arrived. We are staying in the mountains, and my body is simply not used to the elevation. My husband is experiencing similar symptoms. We are trying our best not to allow them to affect our exploring time in the State.
Saturday we went to the Estes Park area and rode the Tramway. As I explained on Facebook, riding the tram made me a bit nervous since I don’t enjoy small spaces, but I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did the ride with the family–the views were fantastic. I did say to my husband once or twice, “How come we have nine people in our tiny car, and they have just five? This car is too crowded.” So I think I still have a bit of work to do on my dislike of small spaces.
Here is just one sliver of what we saw from the top of the mountain once we got off the tram ride. Tomorrow (Sunday) we plan on exploring the area further, and I am looking forward to it. I love mountains just as much as I love the ocean. The two are so wild, so bold, so confident and free.
With just over a week left our memory board in the travel trailer is getting pretty full–and it contains just a small sampling of all we have seen on this trip. But more important than the sites is the family bonding that has gone on. In the little moments, I see it–we have grown closer as a family. The memories are great, but the hearts that have grown closer to each other–that is the real treasure we will take from this trip.
How To Follow Us Now That The Journey Is Over
My husband and I are currently traveling one weekend a month, you can check out our adventures on our blog The Parents Flew The Nest.
We also have an Instagram account that we keep updated with our most recent travels — @theparentsflewthenest is where you can find us there.
Wisdom Learned On The Road
Want to read more about our RV trip? Dig into the links below!
Week 21 Update Kolob Canyon, Red Cliffs, Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and Estes Park (you are here)
Become A Snail Pacer
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