For people who only live 2-3 hour away, we have not spent nearly enough time in Zions. But we are trying to rectify that, and we put together a weekend trip for the middle of May. The trip included my family, Brad & Jules, Courtney & Curtis (who brought along a few cousins) and Jon's old mission companion, John Marsh and his girlfriend Ashley.
Marsh only recently moved to Las Vegas, in fact we had planned the trip even before the Jons reunited. But it was like it was meant to be, because Marsh's family happens to own an awesome house about 5 minutes from the Zion's entrance. Now that's my kind of friends with benefits.
I am not sure what part of the conversation I had missed but I expected us to arrive at a 2 bedroom sparse woodsy cabin. Instead we drive up to a beautiful four bedroom home right on a small creek. All of the adventure with none of the uncomfortable sleeping on the ground. It was awesome. We had a room of bunkbeds for our family and it was perfect.
All of the non pregnant/nursing/small children participants took off Friday morning to hike the Subway and had a glorious time. They (and by they I mean Jon) even caught an extremely large rattlesnake, all captured for posterity by GoPro. Curtis's comment on the event went like this.
Ashley "Look a rattlesnake"
Curtis (thinking) "Ooh, don't tell Jon"
Ashley "Hey guys, look a rattle snake!"
Jon, while running full speed to the location "I'm gonna catch that sucker!"
Curtis and Brad (shaking their heads in resignation"
But they all came back alive and, aside from some sore muscles and sunburn, unscathed.
The rest of us went adventuring around the property. We waded through the cold creek and threw some rocks, we played a little soccer in the backyard, and then we threw on our hiking clothes and headed into the canyon. Courtney had to leave us a little early so we didn't have time for a very long hike. After studying our maps, we chose the Weeping Rock which the guide described as a 30 minute jaunt.
Well maybe it was counting the shuttle ride, because the jaunt was about 5 minutes. But the rock was cool and the kids had a great time exploring.
We got back in time to cook up some ribs and dogs with some oven smores (another benefit to house camping)
The next day the whole crew headed up to hike Angel's Landing. The hike is only about 4 miles but it takes you pretty quickly up the mountain and it got hot pretty quickly. We went at a really good time, only part of our hike was in full sun and it wasn't very crowded. Scarlet and Rhode hiked like champs. Their only complaints were which one of them would lead the pack.
These two pregnant ladies also were doing some serious trail blazing.
Jude and I made it up together and Asher and Jon went together as well.
We didn't climb up the cables at the top and stopped in the river to cool off when we hit the bottom. Asher just tends to strip without warning whenever he needs to go to the bathroom but it definitely caught his aunts and uncles off guard when he was suddenly pantsless.