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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Zion: Waterfalls and Emerald Pools January 26, 2013

Filed under: Travel,Utah — Kelocity @ 11:53 am
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Here is the last of my Zion posts. If you are catching up, here’s what you missed:

Tuesday was our last day in Zion, so we made the most of it! It took us a couple of hours to get two adults and one baby dressed, fed and packed up. We tried to pack light, but it still ended up being about four trips the car! Babies have a lot of stuff. Some of which we didn’t even end up needing –ahem, Pack N’ Play, I’m looking at you.

Anyways, all the effort to get out the door early paid off when we realized we had exceptionally perfect weather for a hike.
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Whoo hoo! Baby loves her sweet ride! Our destination this time were the hikes around the Emerald Pools. It’s supposed to be a loop, but the middle of the loop was closed due to ice so we did it in two separate parts so we could see the whole thing.

Usually this is a waterfall, but it freezes when it gets cold.
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Although it would have been awesome to see the waterfalls flowing, I much prefer the 50*-60* temperatures over the 110* it can be in the summer!
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On our way around the second side of the loop, we found our own “Narrows”. haha
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It’s hard to get a family photo when Adele can’t see over Daddy’s head. lol But she was there!
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The frozen pools were so neat. The camera really doesn’t capture the contrast in colors in the park.
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Towards the top of the hike, the trail turned to sandstone stairs…
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…that led us to the Emerald Pools! (I’m told in the summer they are much bigger).
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But still impressive nonetheless. This picture was taken on top of this waterfall that we saw earlier, the water literally just falls off the edge of the rock.
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We did it! We hiked to the top of a waterfall with a 7.5 month old baby.
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On the way back down the mountain, we had a great conversation about how we want to raise Adele and all the cool things we want to expose her to as she grows up. Over the past year, we’ve encountered a lot of naysayers who told us that we’d never be able to travel once we had a baby, and it made us proud to look around at where we were on that trail to say “Yes. We have a baby. And we’re traveling. We’re doing it!”
IMG_9484PS. Icicles and Cactus on the same trail? This place is crazy.

Zion definitely impressed us. We had a blast. It was so nice to get out of Los Angeles and into nature. It was only 7 hours away, but it felt like a whole different world there. So what’s next? Yellow Stone? Kings Canyon? We’re already scheming our next National Park adventure.

TRIP DETAILS:
Hotel: Desert Pearl Inn
Restaurants: Wildcat Willies, Zion Lodge: Red Rock Grill, Oscar’s Cafe
Hikes We Did: Riverside Walk, Lower Emerald Pool Trail, The Grotto Trail, Pa’rus Trail, Canyon Overlook, Upper Emerald Pool Trail

 

Zion: Blue Skies and Icicles January 24, 2013

Filed under: Travel,Utah — Kelocity @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

On Monday, after we hiked the Canyon Overlook trail, we took a break and had lunch at the Zion Lodge. Not much is open during the off-season, but we had a pretty good lunch (Grilled Turkey and Cheese with Pasta Salad for me!) Adele munched on my avocado slices, pasta salad and veggies. Mmm.

Then it was time to hit the trails again!
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We drove the entire length of the valley floor to the other side. The road ends at a parking lot and we set out on foot onto the Riverside Walk trail. The trail is relatively easy, but offers some neat views as the surrounding rocks start closing in on you.
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Adele was safely tucked away inside our hiking backpack. She loved facing forward and taking in the sights like we did. Such a big girl.
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The trail was supposed to be 2 miles round trip, but it was cut short when we saw this sign.
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Yikes! Usually this is a waterfall, but in the winter, it completely freezes.
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Someday, we’ll have to come back in the summer because this trail leads into The Narrows. Not sure that I’ll ever hike inside the Narrows (scary!) but I hear you can get inside a little bit to get an idea of what it’s like. Someday. Someday.
Secret Journey[source]

But we still enjoyed the scenery and the fresh air regardless. The Virgin River flows into Zion Valley via the Narrows. I can’t even imagine what this is like when it’s full and flowing. Must be amazing! That river, after all, was powerful enough to carve out the entire canyon millions of years ago!
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We were only on the trail for an hour or so, but it was enough to give Ms. Sleepyhead a good nap.
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With the baby asleep, we had time to kill before we got back in the car. (We didn’t want to wake her up). So we headed down to the river to play around.
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IMG_9371Oh, heyyy! I wanna touch the water!

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Soon after, we headed back to the visitor’s center. I’ve said it before, but I just can’t wait til Adele is old enough to want to buy something in those stores. Will she want books? A bag full of gem stones? Those educational-type stores were always my favorite (nerd alert!) and I hope she loves them someday too!
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With time to kill before we retreated to the hotel for the day, we did a short walk around the property. It was too nice to not be outside.
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Around 3p, we did make it back to the room to relax before dinner. A good two hours of snuggling, crawling and playing. This is what vacations are all about now; quality time with the family! Love it.
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My favorite one:
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One more day left in Zion to tell you about! Hope you’re enjoying the pictures!

 

Adventures in Zion January 23, 2013

Filed under: Utah — Kelocity @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have a few photo-heavy Zion posts coming your way. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

When I left off, we were making our way from St. George to Zion National Park. The drive was relatively short and soon we were in Springdale (the last town before the park Entrance).
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Our hotel was in Springdale, but we skipped checking in and headed straight to the park for a few hours first. We gladly paid our $25 park entrance fee and made our way like little kids towards the visitors center.
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After getting a brief overview from the Rangers, we decided to walk the Pa’Rus Trail nearby to get a lay of the land. The trail is pretty flat and meanders through the valley floor.
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Lots of great views of the towering mountains, unique landscape and the Virgin River.
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At one point, Irving looked behind us and whispered “Look, there’s a bear behind us!” I turned to look and there was a very nice lady wearing a bear hat. haha We had a great conversation about raising kids to appreciate nature and the National Parks.
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This trail was the perfect intro to Zion. It made us excited for the hikes we had planned for the next two days.
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I’m very proud of this picture! If any musician wants to use this as their album art, let me know. I have no clue how to properly use our camera, but every once in a while, I get lucky.
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When we finished our walk, we went back to the Visitor’s Center and watched the 20 minute video on the history of the park. (Did you know they found Dinosaur tracks in there??) We also stamped Adele’s National Park Passport there too! (She’s got two stamps now! Yosemite and Zion!)

Then we checked into our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the day. We stayed at the Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale. Another amazing hotel. I loved it!
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Hard wood floors in hotel rooms wins me over every time. It felt like a ski villa or something. A+.
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We spent the rest of that afternoon relaxing in the room and grabbing some dinner. Most of the restaurants in Springdale are closed in the off season, but we had a great meal at Wildcat Willies. We fed Adele some peas, mashed potatoes, bread and a taste of a pickle! She’s so fun to eat out with now. She loves sitting in her  highchair like the big kids do. So fun.

We had a rough couple of hours that night trying to put her to sleep and we ended up putting her in our bed again. Once she fell asleep, we all slept til 8am the next day! Well-rested parents for the win!

We ate breakfast in the hotel (we bought a pack of donuts from a bakery in St. George), and then set out on a full day of Zion adventures! First, we head out in search of the Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel. It was built in 1930 and goes straight through the mountain! See that tiny hole? We’re gonna drive thru that!IMG_9248

There’s a twisty road that weaves its way up the mountain to the entrance. It was so pretty as the sun was starting to peek into the canyon.
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Check out the frozen waterfalls along the route!

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And soon enough, we were about to enter the tunnel! Wheeee!
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The tunnel is 1.1 miles long and soon enough, we were on the other side! Not a bad parking spot for our little minivan!
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And our first hike started right past the exit.
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We parked the car, strapped Adele into the carrier and began ascending the mountain via the Canyon Overlook trail. She fell asleep pretty quickly!
IMG_9263Note to inquiring Grandmothers out there: She’s got a long sleeve onsie, two jackets, a hat, gloves, booties and a blanket on her! Don’t worry, she was warm. =)
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And up we go!
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Hi sleepy baby! Are you awake?
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Yep! She woke up just in time to take in the beautiful views!
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The Pine Creek canyon below!
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Be careful though, there’s a scary bridge on the edge of a cliff that you have to walk over! Eeek! Scary!

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Adele, are you scared? Let’s listen in to find out:

If video won’t load, click here to view it on youtube! I’m working on fixing it!

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Other cool things along the trail were icicles melting in the morning sun…
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And amazing monuments that only nature could create. This one is called the Beehive!
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How’d you spend your Monday morning?
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After the hike, we drove back through the tunnel and into the valley floor. Along the way, we stopped to look at the Court of Patriarchs.
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Adele was impressed. I love that girl.
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Gosh, we love Zion. Everywhere we looked we were in awe of what we saw.
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More pictures and hikes to come!

 

 
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