Epic Road Trip - Week Two
“Life is a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.” - Danny Kaye
At the end of week one we were in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Week two brought us to Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. We were able to fit a lot into this week!
Day Eight: We were up early again and on our way to Great Sand Dunes National Park. But before we got there, we headed north a bit to Rye, Colorado. Another stop on Ryan’s Art Installation bucket list was Bishop Castle. It was amazing, beautiful, and a bit scary. Have you ever gone to a fair that pops up in a mall parking lot over night (or somewhere like that)? And you really wanted to ride a ride that looks fun and exciting? But then you start to think about the fact that it was set up overnight and you are just not so sure it is quite safe, but you really want to check it out. Well that is what I mean when I say scary. Except this was not built overnight, it was built by one man over the last 60 years. And just so you know Ryan took Addy all the way up to the dome. They survived and loved every minute.
Day Nine: We spent day nine at the Great Sand Dunes. We got to the dunes early to get ahead of the crowds and the heat. We climbed to the top of Star Dune. And then we took turns sledding down different slopes. The afternoon was spent exploring Zapata Falls with some dear friends. And then we went back to the dunes after dinner to sand sled a little longer.
Day Ten: We said our goodbyes to our dear friends and then we were off to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
Day Eleven: We were up early (AGAIN!!) to get hiking at Bryce Canyon. We had a whole day of hiking planned, but after the first hike we had a picnic and headed back to our KOA. We hiked the Navajo and Queen Garden Loop Trail. It was really hot by the time we finished, and the kids were zapped. Tip: Always have a first aid kit packed in your hiking backpack! Just having it in the car does not count. Ava slipped and cut her knee pretty badly on our hike. It was bleeding, she was trying not to cry, and I was using whatever I could find in our bag to clean it and bandage it up. Then along comes this amazing couple and they had everything we needed to bandage & clean her up. I felt like the worst mom, but I learned from that mistake and we moved on!
Day Twelve: We left Bryce Canyon the next morning to head to Page, Arizona. There we had scheduled a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon with Ken’s Tours. This stop was in my Top 5 of the trip. Magical is the best word I can use to describe it. It was crowded at the start of the tour, but got better as we went on. Just as a side note, you can only experience Antelope Canyon with a guide. Our guide helped us take some great pictures and was pretty entertaining. That evening we drove down to Arcosanti to spend the night. We stayed in the Sky Suite. This was another stop on Ryan’s art installation bucket list.
Day Thirteen: After breakfast we took a 1-hour guided tour of Arcosanti in which we learned the history of the project. Arcosanti is an “architectural site and urban laboratory where the residents are part of a 24/7 living experiment!” Then we headed north and made a quick stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross on our way to the Grand Canyon. We arrived at the Grand Canyon in time to walk the Rim Trail for a bit and catch the sunset.
Day Fourteen: We rounded out our second week with a full day at the Grand Canyon. I, being the sweet mom that I am, got the kids up at 4 am so we could catch the bus to the Rim and see the sun rise. It was chilly, but a really great experience. And I think they would say they enjoyed it in the end...maybe :) Later in the morning we all hiked a short way down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. And then Ryan and Addy hiked on down to the 1 1/2 mile rest house.
Week two was a blast. It was hard to believe we were already halfway through the trip. Be sure to check out week one (if you haven’t already).