Early morning photos at our campsite. Cody was really into spotting the lizards. This one happened to pose for us. After a quick breakfast of cereal we headed to the Island in the Sky Visitor’s Center at Canyonlands National Park. We scooped up the Junior Ranger books, listened to a ranger talk on geological layers, and then watched the park movie.
We hiked Whale Rock at noon. It was a one mile one hour round trip hike. We actually hiked it in under an hour. For whatever reason hikes that involve the kids scrambling up rocks motivate them even though they are even more work than the usual flat trail. Cody was moving quicker than Scott. This left me going in between a state of peace soaking in the beautiful surroundings and slight heart palpitations at watching Cody teeter looking over the edges for the next sign of the path.
We tried to get Cody to sit down and relax and take in the surroundings. He decided he needed to keep moving.
The temperatures were still hovering terribly close to one hundred degrees. As long as it was overcast things were bearable, but once the sun started to sneak through the holes in the clouds things became slightly uncomfortable. Sometimes just walking from the car to a roadside display was exhausting. Thus we sympathized with the kids when they started to moan or as Scott says they turned into whine-a-los. We just kept giving them more and more water. At one point on the way down Cody asked to take off his shirt. this always makes me nervous since he is super white and easily burns, especially when we don’t usually put suntan lotion on his shirt covered belly.
The especially hairy gentleman, no not Scott, is John Wesley Powell. We have heard a lot about him on this trip. In May of 1869 he set out to explore the Green and Colorado Rivers and map them. He was a geology professor and one armed Civil War veteran. He started his trip with four boats and nine men. After three months he had two boats and six men.You have to wonder what happened to the three men…
Cody was energized by the whale rock hike so he became a little to big for his britches, or super sassy pants. Another family commented because he didn’t really want to listen to our warnings to stay away from the slick ledges. Scott responded by letting Cody know where his little sass could go. The other family thought we should recycle the sass instead of just throwing it out.
This was the Grand View Point Hike. It is a total of a mile long, but it was late afternoon and pretty strenuous, so we did less than the full hike.
Cody was lizard spotting again. He was determined I get a picture.
When Cody wasn’t hunting for lizards he was hunting for shade, no matter how tiny.
We wrapped up the hiking and headed to the Visitor’s Center to get our junior ranger badges from the same ranger who gave us our ranger talk this morning. Then we headed to drop Scott off in the middle of the desert. (This seems to be a running theme.)
Scott went for a mountain bike from 4:30 to 6pm at the Moab Brands/ Bar M Trail. He said the trail was the perfect mix of different terrain and captured the essence of Moab. The trail was ten miles northwest of Moab right off of Route 161. It is just a few miles northwest of Arches National Park. Scott was able to see balanced rock in Arches while on his ride.
While Scott was biking we headed to the grocery store to get ice, milk, and some Skittles. You know, the basics. Oh and gas. Not too many gas stations out in the middle of the dessert. We also had a chance to get in a few quick phone calls while we had service.
After Scott’s bike ride we headed towards the one of the other sections of Canyonlands: the Needles District.
The picture right above to the left is of an arch we saw on the way out of Moab from Arches towards Canyonlands Needles District. Scott wasn’t going to stop at first and he was flying. Then he changed his mind last minute. “Hold on everyone! We’re coming in hot!” I just gave him a look of slight disbelief. He responded, “I wasn’t going to stop, but they left us a nice landing strip.”
We arrived at our campground around 8:30 with just a little bit of daylight left. I had been hoping to watch and listen to the bats swoop and squeak just before bed this whole trip. We finally saw them. Unfortunately one of them got caught in my bike tire.
We do a lot of snacking in the car, but we have been slacking on actual meals at times, which is very unlike us. Last night as we were scrambling to get the tent set up before the dark settled in Cody asked, “I know Mom! I can eat some Pringles and a banana for dinner. Would that be okay?” My response (I cannot believe I said this), “That sounds great Cody!”
The star-filled sky was once again incredibly captivating. Scott and I also had another sun shower off the side of the van, only there was no sun, only stars. I shivered for only a moment and then I was dry again.