Ok, so it wasn't around the world, but it sure felt like it after logging in approximately 2,400 miles on our good 'ol travellin' van. Talk about living in your vehicle...by the end of our trip that poor van needed a bath inside and out! Even though the drive up to SLC is not the most scenic or pleasant, we tried to break it up so it wasn't as bad. Our first pit stop was in Las Vegas. We got a great deal on a hotel through one of those last minute travel sites and actually had good luck with a nice Hilton. We spent the morning swimming and as all tourist to Las Vegas must do, cruised down the strip (with me crossing my fingers the kids would not see anything they shouldn't...ugh!) After Vegas we hit the road and after many a potty stop (thanks Madison!) we made it to SLC. We spent the first couple of days with my parents while Nate left for a business trip to Idaho. We also spent some time with my family up at Park City at my aunt's condo and celebrated my parent's 40th anniversary. The weather was a little chilly for us Arizonans but it didn't slow the kids down. They loved the Alpine Slide (wished they could do it again but the parents are too cheap!), swimming, Cousin Camp activities and just hanging out! Tanner and Alex at Grandma and Grandpa's throwing bread to the ducks and fish!
Glazier and Anderson cousins
Cousins at Park City
We then journeyed over to South Jordan with Nate's parents and tried to get in as much time with Mike and Carol and their family before they departed for their 3 year stay in Santiago, Chile and Greg's 2 years to Concepcion, Chile (how lucky to be serving in the same country as his parents!) We enjoyed being able to attend their combined missionary farewell - what a spiritual feast it was for all of us. Each one of them will be a great missionary. Nate also gained another year (we won't mention which year! :-) while on vacation so we had to do a little birthday celebrating. We managed to hike up to Timpanogas Cave with the kids and encouraged Nate's parents who are in their mid 70's to join us. I think they had second thoughts about a 1/4 of the way up. Let's just say the 3 hour tour turned into an ALL day adventure, but we all made it down alive.
Hiking Timpanogos - "just put one foot in front of the other" was our motto!
After meandering between Salt Lake and Orem, we headed south and found ourselves in Moab. It has been many years since Nate or I had been there and I desperately wished I had had my mountain bike with me. I know those days are over, but I would have loved to have attempted Slick Rock again...it's only been 3 kids and about 15 years since my last "biker girl" adventure. Arches National Park was beautiful and absolutely stunning with the red moutains contrasted against the blue sky. We spent two days driving and walking around the Park and even conned the kids into another hike (after the Timpanogas adventure or misadventure) to Delicate Arch. After Moab, we travelled southeast to Durango, CO where Nate had some more business meetings. What a beautiful and refreshing town...who knew! I'm ready to go back already (maybe that's because it's 115 degrees here!) And, since we had just purchased the oh so pricey National Parks Pass (it went up by $30 bucks this year), we had to do Mesa Verde National Park which is just outside of Durango. We hiked (yes, the kids are all hiked out!) and toured the "Cliff Dwelling" which is part of Mesa Verde. Such fascinating people and way of life. How they actually carved out homes and lived in the sides of cliffs still just baffles me. From Durango, we headed back home making our last stop at Four Corners, something you have to do at least once in your life. We all stood in different states at the same time. So, after nearly 3 weeks on the road, it was nice to get back to our own digs. We had a great adventure and loved spending time with family and enjoyed seeing new places.
Tanner balancing Balanced Rock
Delicate ArchClimbing Walls