the wild west
our adventure began with a power failure at the airport...
crap... we weren't shedding one day off of this trip so we readjusted flights and booked it over to the southwest terminal and off we went.
vegas was our destination but decided to have it be the last part of our vacation. it would be our oasis after the exploration.
we booked a condo for two days in st. george, utah. suuuch a beautiful area. the terrain is so incredibly different from missouri. growing up in middle america essentially landlocked from the beauty of oceans and mountains any chance i get to visit these places i am in awe... like a kid in a candy store.
i don't think ava knew what she had signed up for. she thought "the canyons... cool!" well, we pushed her very hard.
our first stop was Zion National Park. INCREDIBLE! it was super hot (being July) but we set out anyway. with our hiking gear on we took the tram up to the emerald pools trail. a 4 mile hike up (then back down) the side of a pretty steep mountain. we walked slowly and kept her close so she wouldn't fall off the side. we were happy to see a pool/stream at the top where we could cool off.
the next morning we set off for Brian Head Mountain. also incredibly beautiful - we stayed at the Bryan Head Lodge and were most pleased to be enjoying cooler weather since we were very high in altitude. Again we got up early and drove an hour or so to Bryce Canyon.
ava was a bit more frustrated now that she knew what she didn't know before Zion. it took quite a bit of coaxing but she finally cheered up and was ready. we set out on the navajo loop. going down was awesome. coming up wasn't optional, it was mandatory and it was tough. at one point judd carried ava (which i still cannot believe he agreed to this request). i thought for sure he would have a heart attack!
after 2 days in Bryce we drove back to vegas and had a room booked at the MGM. this was our paradise. despite it being 1,000 degrees we had decided to just enjoy the many pools and head out at sunset each night to show ava the lights.
what an incredible adventure. we want to see more of the parks in 2017!
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