Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Happy Thirteenth Birthday Aaron! Zion Style!
After Bryce we headed to Zion, one of our favorite national parks. Somehow we managed to get our favorite campsite and the boys spent the first afternoon there having epic sword-fighting duels among the cottonwoods and towering red cliffs. The next morning we hopped on the up-canyon shuttle with our eye on the Hidden Canyon hike. Unfortunately it was closed so we changed gears and hiked up to Scout's Landing just below the infamous Angel's Landing. At Scout's Landing we enjoyed a snack as we took in the views and watched throngs of people start up the epically steep scramble to Angel's Landing. The trail is insanely steep and exposed and makes even our climbers' stomachs turn. I couldn't believe the crowds of normal-tourist people heading up the chain-assisted trail. They looked like ants swarming an ant hill. We ventured up the first set of chains and sat on the scariest rock platform we have ever sat on with the kids. It still makes my mom-stomach turn to think about or to look at photos of it. Given the number of people on the trail and the scariness factor we opted to turn around and come back another time when the crowds cleared. We spent the afternoon swimming in the Virgin River at the campground. It was delightful to get fully clean. In the evening we ate dinner at our favorite Zion restaurant, Oscar's Cafe. On the covered patio we watched as a storm rolled through and pounded us with rain. Back at the campsite we walked over to the river to see it swollen and angry in the twilight.
The next morning we were awoken by a very excited, now thirteen-year-old birthday boy, Aaron. We snuggled in our bed while he opened his presents. Mother Nature had quite the celebration in store for Aaron's birthday. She dumped what was left of Hurricane Norbert on us. Throughout the day we watched as the Virgin River flash flooded and raged outside of its banks. It was super cool to watch it flood so insanely fast, become clogged with logs and then drop slowly as the day went on. Mudslides closed the national park for part of the day and south of us, an entire section of I-15 collapsed. We spent the morning deluge in a coffee shop where the boys amused themselves with a tank game. In the afternoon, the clouds parted, the sunshine came out and we went for a walk along the river surveying the changes. We then went for a walk with Aaron's new remote control tank. Very cool. In the evening it was back to Oscar's for dinner where we sang happy birthday to Aaron over a brownie sunday. We had no candles so we substituted straws instead and Aaron sucked in brownie and ice cream instead of blowing out flames after he made his careful birthday wish. Happy thirteenth birthday Aaron!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that Sylvia's battery went dead the day before Aaron's birthday so after a jump start from the park ranger we bought a battery that's just a little too big for the battery compartment which Jason and a mechanic grunted and sweated into place. Fingers crossed....here's hoping it gets us home.
Click here for photos.