Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another day, another early morning. Although I'm not usually a morning person, I am finding it pretty easy to get out of bed out here, given the time change. It's actually quite nice to get so much accomplished so early in the day--I wish this is how things came naturally to me at home!

Once ready, we decided to take a drive through Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping at the scenic overlooks. Bryce is located at a fairly high elevation, and because it was so early, it was quite cold out. We wanted to wait for it to warm up a bit before doing any hiking. Also, Nora needed a nap so we figured she could take a morning snooze in the car while we did our driving around.

While Nora slept in her car seat, Michael and I took turns getting out of the car to check out the views from the overlooks. Not exactly the ideal way to see the sights together, but it was one of the sacrifices we had to make while traveling with a little one!

The views were just beautiful. It was really interesting to explore Bryce and see how different it is from Zion.

As you can see in some of the photos, it was so cold at the higher elevations that there was actually still snow up there.

By the time we reached the top, Nora was awake, so we decided to get out of the car all together. At first, we planned to hike a short, easy trail up there, but soon discovered that it was completely snow covered. We didn't want to risk getting lost, so we ultimately chose to turn around and get back in the car.

We stopped at a few more scenic overlooks on the way back down toward the entrance/exit.

Once back down at the bottom, we went to our hotel to pack up and check out. We had a little something to eat, loaded up the car, and then went back into the park.

We set out to hike on a trail called Queens Garden, which is 1.8 miles round trip. The trail winds down into the canyon, then you have to turn around and backtrack back up. Although it's not very long, it was a little rough on the knees to walk all of the way down, and then it was a bit challenging to hike uphill all the way back up! It was worth it for the views, though... holy moly.
As we set out, it was time for Nora to eat, so instead of sitting in the car to feed her, I rigged her in a nursing position in the Ergo carrier and fed her as we hiked. Multitasking FTW!
Can you even tell? I don't think the people we walked past could, either. :)

Once Nora was done eating, Michael took over carrying her, and she promptly fell asleep.
End of trail--but we still had to walk all of the way back up!
Walking back up was quite tiring, but we made it. Once back at the car, it was time to head out to our next destination. To help break up the long drive from Bryce to the Grand Canyon, we planned to spend a night in Page, AZ. Still, it was a 2.5-3 hour drive, and we were eager to get it over with.
After fighting it for quite some time, Nora did eventually pass out during the last hour of driving.

Upon arrival in Page, we made a quick stop at a grocery store to replace some of our essentials, and then checked into our hotel. To our disappointment, it ended up being another kind of crappy room (a Quality Inn). Oh well... nothing we can't handle for one night.

Once unpacked, we headed out for dinner at a restaurant called Fiesta Mexicana. It was SO GOOD. Plus, they had awesome margaritas. Score!

Because we've been getting up so early, it's been easy to fall asleep fairly early, too. We're calling it another night, and we'll finish our journey to the Grand Canyon in the morning!


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