Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Vacay - The National Parks - Park 5

Although we gave ourselves two nights to stay at the Grand Canyon, the thought of the 1,400 mile drive back to Houston was heavy on our mind, so after only one night - we felt the itch to start heading back. My motivation to pull stakes and hit the road, was also due to the dismal night sleep I'd had the night before.  While Charlie was toasty cozy in his -20 degree rating bag that I'd bought him for his birthday one year … I shivered the night away in my mere 0 degree rating bag.  In my current awake state, I'd zip my bag to his - or ask him to trade bags with me.  But when it's 2 AM and you're desperate for sleep - you just don't possess the brain power to do much more then shiver and keep hoping that you'll eventually doze off.  

Since there had been no showers at this particular campsite, before we piled in the car for the drive back - I insisted that everyone get cleaned up.  Converting the picnic table in to a salon, I boiled pots of water to wash everyone's hair - as Charlie washed their feet. 


With squeaky clean children, we descended the Colorado plateau, and passed through Navajo Nation and across the magnificent Colorado River.  The woman in the gift shop was telling us that long ago, there were people living on opposite banks of the river, but getting across and up the embankment was virtually impossible.  


Look at this bridge!


It's actually the Navajo bridge…


Kids, quick! Pose for a picture!  And William, in the midst of his face-palm is saying, "MOM, NOT AGAIN. PLEASE…. OH MY GAAAAAAAH…."  


En route to our fifth National Park, we made a stop by Meteor Crater. Although this isn't a National Park, we took a tour around the rim of the crater, and spent several hours in the visitor center learning about what has been labeled the world's best preserved meteor impact site, on EARTH.

Here are the kids with what remains of the meteor!


Charlie doesn't count this fifth National Park as a legitimate stop, since we just skirted the entrance and didn't take much of a hike.  But we did get a picture of the park sign!


And a stamp and sticker in our passport book!


And we taught the kids about how petrified wood forms, and they got to see why they call this place the "painted desert."


A palette of beautiful colors for as far as the eye can see.  Albeit short, we had a great time, and Charlie was talking with one of the Park Rangers about career opportunities.  It turns out, several of the parks have a need for geologists, and they are on the look-out for scientists that can answer questions and lead tours.  


This, of course, very much piqued Charlie's interest, who went online and download applications - and was in the process of filing them out, when I said, "STOP.  THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING.  Do you really see us selling off everything and living in a National Park - and leading tours?"  I mean, I'm sure we'd look great in these outfits.

But …. I'm not quite there yet?


The rest of the trip home was rather uneventful … although I might have cut the tip of my finger and promised my family in blood that I would never make them drive ALL THE WAY through west Texas again. Even I have to admit that it's a rather atrocious trek after you've already driven 4,000 miles.

In the end, we visited five parks, and have the brochures to prove it!


Next up … I'll be writing about another amazing trip: the total surprise one I took Charlie on to celebrate his 50th birthday this past November.   And, the amazing trip that we are currently planning for this summer, which we anticipate will take us through seven national parks - including two that are in Canada.


On that note, me thinks it's just a matter of time before Charlie and I are living in an RV, serving as campsite hosts, and writing messages like this one on our windshield.