Friday, December 11, 2009

Real holidays!

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

driving conditions

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)

lovely robin

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

hey hyena

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!


moonshinejunkyard said...

WHAT AN AMAZING TRIP! i am so glad you posted about it and let me just add that i love that you two actually BOTH post...a lot of couples/families only the mama posts; it is fun to hear both your voices in these stories. anyway GREAT PHOTOS. the silent city one literally took my breath away. it reminds me of something from an Italo Calvino book! I also love the family photo where you guys all form a little tower with that gorgeous landscape of rocky majesty in the background. seriously FRAMEABLE! How neat that you got to see all different types of weather and I love the hunt for petroglyphs and how the kids can't resist climbing down for a closer look. Like Oey's King Kong shirt too, and the hyena pics....just tons of fun stuff! Makes me want to go exploring!

Becky said...

Amy, I love reading your blog. You are showing me all the places I haven't been to but need to see. Such beautiful pictures.