Wednesday, July 29, 2015

day 6

We got up early to beat the crowds hiking to Delicate Arch in  Arches National Park, Utah.
Again, my fear of heights almost had me quitting. And the drive through the park up the side of a cliff was scary enough for BigBig that he stayed in the car the whole time instead of hiking. As i was driving up the cliffside my daughter, Jesse, started singing 'little boxes' and for some odd reason that seemed to help me from panicking too much.

"little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes, made of ticky tack. there are red ones, there are blue ones, there are yellow ones, made of ticky tack."

The hike is labeled as difficult but my daughter said she didn't realize that when she planned it. It's only 3 miles but quite steep and there is much of it that's along a ledge (no barriers) with a drop off of 460 feet,(I think it said).
It was scary but worth it at the end. I am glad we did it.
Such a stunning spot.!

I have a postcard of the arch framed at my work desk now. And BigBig's sketchbook as well....
After our hike we went back to Moab for lunch at Milts. i got a buffalo burger.
Then we drove all the way to Arizona and found the apartment where my daughter will be living. we also stopped at a very photographed loop in the river, about a mile hike to it but i couldn't get close enough to the ledge to get a good photo,but Brandy got one.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

day 5

on this day i thought my worries were over, but it turns out i am afraid of driving in the mountains even when we are not on the edge of a cliff. i guess it was the speed of the traffic going down and the need for the runaway truck pull offs, i don't really know, but i was nervous wreck for miles....until we got to utah really. Brandy loved the mountains though, and did the morning driving. Even in Utah, i didn't have the feeling we were"down" until we had gotten through the spotted wolf canyon in the San Rafael swell. At least that is what I think we were driving through when I looked it up later, because even though you are on a flat road it seems to open up in the distance into a canyon, and you just feel the elevation. i am so used to living in a valley with foothills around me, i just don't feel comfortable in the higher elevations. i didn't expect that, i thought it would be the flat land of kansas that would make me uncomfortable, not the mountains and mesas. at least i wasn't afraid of the tunnels though. That's one thing at least!

i did like Moab, Utah. it was another small tourist  town, surrounded by walls of red rock. we ate at quesadilla mobila. i got the enchanted chicken, very good.
BigBig shared my guacamole. He was fine on the road here, unlike me, and he had really built up an appetitite waiting for this stop. 
We had time to shop; another rock shop, and galleries and shops full of polished cut sandstone that looked like abstract landscapes in pink rock. 
We planned to camp this night but a storm blew in and the wind picked up, swirling red dust at us. We took refuge in a shop but within 10 minutes it was flooding. To get into "Nuggy" I stepped into water up to my ankles, so we quick found a hotel downtown instead. It was nice, with an outdoor hot tub and pool with rose petals floating on the turquoise water. After an hour or so the rain stopped and the street dried back up. We went and got icecream, i had a delicious pineapple shake, before swimming.
One more day to travel....

Saturday, July 25, 2015

day 4

 On day 4 we got up early to go to a butterfly conservatory.
 we were advised to walk carefully as the butterflies were "puddling" and they didn't want us to step on any.
 it was beautiful and calming,
tons of butterflies flitting about.
 very hard to get good photos though.
one landed on brandy.
the big blue morphos were my favorite but hard to get a photo of. Big big enjoyed this, nothing there to scare him at all. but he was worried enough about the next planned activity...
white water rafting.
 Next we drove to Idaho Springs , which was a scary drive because Nuggy, (Brandy's car) apparently couldn't handle  the elevation and decided to barely make it up the mountain, then going down the mountain was along a steep ledge so i wasn't pleased. i did see a heard of buffalo but could barely bring myself to look as i  had my eyes glued to the road.
we got there and i was so scared i almost thought i wouldn't be able to do it after hearing the safety and instruction lecture before hand, when it became clear the "easy" trip my daughter signed us up for was
like a lazy river that a child could ride along on, and that there was a good possibility that we could fall out and become a"swimmer". We were told if we did to lift our legs and try to float with the rapids because if we tried to stand we would get our feet stuck and the current would push us forward and we could drown.
there is no way to hold,on, as you have to paddle, so you stay in the raft solely by wedging your feet under the sides. every time our guide told us a rapid was coming up i would wedge my feet even tighter , till I had bruises the next day on my ankles. But our guide, Ryan was great! He did a great job of getting us through safely.
I really did enjoy it, and I think I would even do it again. The girls loved it!
Big big sat it out on the car once he heard the water was ice cold and we would need wet suits. Plus it was raining , not something bigbig was a fan of.
Idaho Springs is a small tourist town that we liked so much we changed our plans of going to the aquarium back in Denver. We stayed in Idaho springs and shopped, buying crystals and getting colorado style pizza at Beaujo's. they served honey to eat with the pizza crust. and there was a map where you could stick in a pin  to mark where you were from.

a great but exhausting day!