Zion National Park

The landscape is so amazing at Zion. I’m not able to take pictures that can capture the views completely.

Zion is great for everyone. You could just drive through, stop at a couple of view points, or get out and get hiking. Any way you choose to visit Zion the experience will be worth it.

One of the things we really liked about Zion was the ability to just park and walk out on the rock. You can walk just a short distance and find great backdrops for you pictures or awe inspiring landscape shots

Did you know that there is a tunnel through a mountian.. a whole mountain. The Mount Carmel tunnel is a whopping 1.1 miles long and we have to admit the kids (and adults) really enjoyed driving through.

There is access to the Virgin River and despite visiting in the spring we made sure to dip our toes, some decided whole heads, into the water.

For more about Zion National Park go HERE

Yellowstone National Park

We have visited Yellowstone National Park three times over the past 6 years. Each time we visited we got to see plenty of wildlife. I won’t go on and on in this post about Yellowstone. It is an amazing, yet smelly place, to to go visit the inside of a super caldera(you know, the inside of a volcano). Yellowstone is a hot spot for not only buffalo traffic jams, bears being bears, and giant herds of elk; there are also plenty of places to stop and enjoy super heated water and volcanic gases. Our advice is to follow park rules and stay on boardwalks. Stepping off of the boardwalks to get closer to a hot spring can lead to fatal injury.

What I want to talk about is a curiosity. At a location I am not going to disclose inside Yellowstone we experienced seeing something truly strange – each of the three times we visited. Now, this involves elk and only elk. There is a meadow that you can drive by and the main attraction, at least for us, has become a pair of bull elk. The best buds like lounging around, just relaxing and perhaps enjoying watching tourists drive by. Here is the thing about these fellas, they don’t appear to move. It’s not that they aren’t looking around, eating, and what not. It is, each visit we have found them in the same exact spot and doing the same exact thing. Ruminating away and growing this seasons antlers. I’m not kidding, we found them in virtually the same positions.

While we have plenty of excellent pictures of other elk. These guys we far enough from the road to make getting a good shot on our phone camera while we were driving. We were not prepared for something like this. Of course, what are the odds of this even happening? We hope to see them again on our next visit!

Please remember that even elk are wild animals. Do not approach any of the wild animals in the park. Encounters with these and other animals in the park can lead to serious injuries and even death.

For more information visit the Yellowstone National Park website.

Winter break

We’ve had an adventurous winter break. We started off with a snow storm that ended up closing local highways. We’re lucky enough to only have to shovel ourselves out of our site. The roads are maintained really well and the highway is passable for us. We did see plenty of spin outs

The older boys got to take a trip to do night tubing at Ski Bowl. They went before the big storm. Ski Bowl, Meadows and Timberline all closed when the storm hit.

A laser light show and d.j. music played while they raced down groomed tubing chutes at Ski Bowl East. To find out more about tubing at Ski Bowl go HERE

Back at home we were able get bust out our sleds and use our very own hills for some fun sledding time.. I have a middle schooler who will wear shorts no matter what!

So, here we are getting buried in snow and breaks almost over. Wait, no it is over! It’s still a snowy mess and we decided to go to the beach..

The beginning of trip went smoothly with the only ‘difficult’ driving just the short trip to the highway. Even though the highway we live off of was still closed about 7 miles up the road you wouldn’t know it at our entrance. 

We made it to about 30-40 minutes out from Florence and we were looking forward to stopping at St. Vinnies (our favorite thift store). The road was flooded and closed. Traffic not moving at all. I began checking the tripcheck camera. The camera happened to be pointing right at the new pool on the road. We waited and waited and discussed driving back to I5 and around to Reedsport. We didn’t want to add hours of driving when we were so close and there wasn’t an alternative route

Finally the drain was cleared and the water flowed away. We made our stop in Florence and got back on the road to Reedsport. Only, we had to sit in traffic again. The only way south crossed a bridge where a wreck had just happened and closed all lanes. After that mess was cleaned up we made it to our destination. A long day traveling deserved pizza for dinner. We ordered from Bedrocks on the Bay in Winchester and it was amazing!

At the end of the day, the older boys were excited for the side by side rental coming up the next day and the youngest was worn out and went right to sleep.