Our post-Thanksgiving trip this year was down south (like last year), where we got sweet cheap winter-deal Marriott rooms, braved the first real storm of the winter, and were able to explore. We drove to Cedar City Friday night and hit an unexpected snowstorm, which covered everything even with the sun out on Saturday. Luckily we brought layers. Friday night we swam in the heated pool until closing. Saturday we took to the eastern roads and headed to Bryce Canyon.
driving Highway 14 we saw this beauty
the most perfect naturally-toned rocks + covered in snow + conifer forest = total magnificence
coming into Red Canyon, on our way to Bryce Canyon (we'll be back to Red Canyon very soon)
many ravens roamed at everywhere at Bryce
The one hike we were able to do in the below-freezing air was the 1-mile Bristlecone Loop at the very southern tip. We had frozen pantlegs and wet feet in all the snow but it was exhilirating and wonderful!
one of many, many views
in one of the greats, a 1600-year old bristlecone pine
this guy needs to look behind him
the famous Natural Bridge arch
grottoes at Bryce Point
Jarom and I took to the chilly air
This was Jarom's favorite (you can barely see it to the right in the picture above, much smaller). He christened it "The Fortress."
Love at Sunset Point, perfect as the sun went down
the Silent City
I like this view because you just see sacred Navajo Mountain in the faint background, a big lump 80 miles away that almost all of us will never set foot upon.
our snow-loving family! (this timed shot was pretty difficult/creative to get right)
hip hop hooray
mule deer bade us farewell
cool brick billboard in Panguitch
Saturday night we spent in St. George, with another round of heated (outdoor) pool and spa swimming (very refreshing). Plus we love our complementary and consistent continental breakfasts.
first stop, the Rosenbruch Wildlife Musuem
the kids had binoculars and these radio sticks so we could listen at each section
future and current explorers
I caught you
this walking stick's only bigger than my hand . . .
We headed toward Santa Clara, the cutest little town near St. George, and visited the Jacob Hamblin home.
the old home has survived floods and many years and at least twelve children
we definitely want our house like this
just enough room to sleep--perfect functional bedroom
We got to pick cotton from plants outside. Much of it had bloomed and was just waiting for our curious hands.
Jarom gathered the most
Last we went to Land Hill in the Santa Clara River Reserve, to hike along the pretty cliffs and find ancient petroglyphs. I took the kids there last year too, but it was good enough to go back to, plus we explored more this time around.
love walking through St. George's red dirt--it's something we fell in love with on our first visit
Bella found the first petroglyphs
they were etched about all over, in clusters
a beautiful panel far below, too far to reach . . .
. . . though the kids tried anyway. A bit scary.
the late-fall river cliffs capture the sun just right
found a checkerboard!
I climbed down a steep section to see some otherwise unreachable rock art, including this nice 1861 signature in wagon axle grease by good ol Don Graf.
three different layers -- close art, middleground art, and the kids up above on the edge of the cliff
It was a great getaway and adventure--we're ready to go back!