Tanner wanted a wilderness experience and we certainly got it.
We had to stay overnight in Tropic but I didn’t mind it too much. It cost us more than we had been planning to spend but the bed was nice and I was happy about the shower in the morning 😉
We got up pretty early so we could pack up and get to Bryce between 9:00 and 10:00 am. We cleaned up, dressed and packed back in the van. Oh, and Tanner got sick and threw up before we left the motel… and in a ziplock on the way to the campground… and at the campground. Poor kiddo. He said “I finally get to go camping in the wilderness and I have to stay in a motel instead. And now, I’m the king of barf!” Happily, he was feeling better by the time breakfast was ready.
The marathon was supposed to last until 10:00 am but it was pretty much over by the time we pulled out of the motel parking lot. No sign of any runners and the escort car was gone.
We made it to the campground in Bryce by about 9:30 am. We started unloading and setting up camp. First things to come out of the van were the stove, cooler and the makings for breakfast 🙂
I told hubby that he and the boys should go set up the tent while I made breakfast. He feigned surprise and said “You? Cook?!?” Wise guy.
With breakfast out of the way and camp mostly set up, the van was quite a bit roomier. We set out to see the canyon.
Here is a little slide show of the pics we took if you’d like to check it out.
|Picture slideshow created with Smilebox|
We started at the Rim Trail. When we were talking about heading to Bryce, I had told hubby that I didn’t want to go on the Rim Trail. The boys scared me last time we were in Bryce Canyon. They wouldn’t stay on the trail and kept running right along the edge. Kids have no fear – even when they should.
I’m not sure if hubby figured I was being paranoid, assumed the kids were older and would do better this time or just had no idea where else to go in the park but we pulled right in to the parking lot heading to the Rim Trail. Before we even got out of the car, I told the kids what we expected (stay on the trail, stay with us, no running, littler ones have to hold a parent’s hand, etc.) And then their Dad even went so far as to tell them that if they didn’t, they could fall, that the cliffs were very high, they’d most likely die and they’d have a long time to think about it first. He doesn’t mince words. (Super Cringe)
We travel down the Rim Trail a bit and at first it’s going just fine. We get a few pics and I’m nervously making sure everyone stays back from the edge. We went from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point (or maybe the other way around) when one of the boys decided it would be a good idea to run down an incline yelling “Geronimo!!!” Eeeeeeek!
We had been talking about going a bit farther. I told hubby I wasn’t too worn out yet. But that sort of decided things for him. Plus he said we should go back to the van for water. So we headed back, kids bickering and jostling. Yeah, I guess they were all through exploring for the time being.
We went back to camp and had lunch. Then hubby and I sat in camp chairs to read for a bit while the kids ran around the camp a bit. In the morning, there had been a few camp spots around us that were not occupied so they had run all through them while we were preparing breakfast and setting up camp. Now we had neighbors and they had a very limited space to roam. I finally convinced hubby to take us out again for a bit more sight seeing.
I know this sounds silly, but I’m not sure where we wound up. I was pretty tired and didn’t pay attention. Here we go, it was Cathedral Wall (thanks Google). I had never been over to this part of the canyon before. It is so awesome! This pic is in the slide show above but I’m including it here for ya:
This part of the canyon made me nervous though. Yes, I’d be happy if the entire canyon had a fence around it, haha. Anyway, I stayed near a fenced area with the littler kids and let hubby take the older boys out a bit father. In the meantime, Tristan seemed intent on testing how sturdy the fence really was. He kept running up a slope and then dashing into the fence. After the 4th or 5th time, I took him and Tianna back near the parking lot to wait for the rest of the gang. He was content with watching a chipmunk dig a hole (we saw tons of chipmunks up there) while Tianna picked up pebbles to throw in a puddle. Almost the entire time we were in Bryce, she had a handful of dirt and/or pebbles. She was covered in dust by the time we left. I combed her hair into a ponytail Sunday morning and had to wash caked dirt from my wide tooth comb when we got home! I told hubby he should take a picture of her all dirt streaked and messy. He must have thought I was kidding.
When hubby got back with the older boys, we headed back to the van. I was feeling pretty good about not slowing everyone down too much due to my CFS when Tristan ran back to me and linked his arm through mine, saying “Poor Mamma. It’s too sad you are so slow… and can’t keep up with your family.”
Gotta laugh at this stuff, right? And what a sweet, compassionate little boy. I thought I was doing pretty okay and not slowing everyone down. And hubby is a charge ahead and expect everyone to follow him kind of guy so I’ve always been the caboose, making sure all the ducklings actually do follow. But it used to be by choice. Now I sort of naturally fall to the rear. Hopefully, it will be by choice again someday 🙂
Back to camp we went for dinner. Dinner done and back in chairs to read. Then Tianna needed a bathroom break so we headed up the hill together. Just outside the bathroom, I spotted a small bird. I slowed Tianna down so she could see it and not scare it off. It had cornered a bug but was standing like a statue while we slipped by and went into the bathroom. We were in there quite awhile because I spent a bit of time cleaning the dust bunny 😉 When we went back out, the bug was gone but the bird was still there. And it didn’t seem well.
I told hubby about the bird and that I thought it might be hurt or sick. He wasn’t interested but the boys sure were. Up they ran to check it out – and try to catch the bird. I finally got hubby to go up to the bird. It seems silly now but I thought maybe there would be a nature center or preserve it could be taken too. And I definitely didn’t want the boys trying to catch it, in case it was sick rather than injured. But that is just what hubby did. Eeeew! Now what, right? We decided to take it up to the rangers and see what they suggested. But birdie didn’t make it. 😦 Back to camp and everyone’s hands were washed. Plus surfaces in the van that were touched while transporting the bird.
Bedtime rolled around and again, restless little girl. Loudly crying. Wanting to go home. I took her to the van and sat with her. Sang to her. Rubbed her back and everything else that I thought might help. She finally dropped off to sleep and hubby carried her back to the tent for me. We slept pretty well after that. Sunday morning, we started packing right away. We had both side doors on the van open and the hatch. We were nearly finished loading up and two of the boys were already sitting in it. Then Tanner shouted “Hey! There’s a chipmunk in the van!” The stow away hoped right out and scampered away. Yep, plenty of wilderness for us. We saw a lot of deer in the park too but fortunately, none of them got in the van, haha.
One last thing to tell, we stopped on our way home a few times. One of the times we stopped, it was because hubby needed caffeine to help him stay awake. I kept offering to drive but he just chugged energy drinks instead. So we were waiting in the entry way of a gas station and the kids spotted these goofy fake mustache things in a small red vending machine out front. As their Dad came out of the store, they flocked around him and Tristan asked if he had any cents. Hubby laughed and said “No. I have no sense. Just ask your Mom” which earned a chuckle from a female motorcyclist standing near by.
Hope you all had a great weekend too 🙂