May 28, 2018

It took a few days to rest up and recover from our trip. I had so many photos to go through from the trip I couldn’t convince myself to take my camera outside. After watching more and more of the cone flowers open up I finally went out. The cone flowers are just beautiful!

The butterfly weed is awfully pretty too.

We went to the Farmers’ Market in Jonesboro to get our Vidalia onions. On the way home we stopped at theVarsity for lunch. Yum for onions and the Varsity!

I had been watching this birdhouse from inside the kitchen for a few days. The bird(s) had been very active flying in and out. So I got a chair and my camera and sat out on the front porch for an hour or so.

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 10

Monday, May 14, 2018

We got up and left at 7:35 AM. We got gas, ice and breakfast and headed south. I did not take any pictures this day–I may have been pouting about having to go home and Tommy was in “let’s get home” mode.

All in all, we had another wonder family vacation with the kids. We were happy that Molly was able to join us for a few days.

Total miles driven for the whole trip – 4496.

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 9

Sunday, May 13, 2018

We left Burlington at 8:20 AM. It was 49 degrees with heavy clouds. It some areas it was really foggy.

We got to the Drury Inn in Mt. Vernon, IL at 7:20 PM. We ordered pizza for dinner and then went to bed. We wanted to get up early and get home the next day.

Total miles driven – 760

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 8

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Tommy and I were the first ones to leave Escalante. We packed up and left at 8:40 AM as Tommy wanted to get east of Denver before stopping for the day. The kids were left to close up and check out. The house in Escalante was perfect for us all.

Although it’s never as much fun going home, we were still able to see some interesting sights.

We made it to the Fairfield Inn in Burlington, CO at 7:30 PM. The Dish Room restaurant was recommended to us so we went to dinner there. The food was really good!

Total miles driven – 674

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 7

Friday, May 11, 2018

I wanted to get some sunrise photos so Tommy and I decided to go to Bryce Canyon again. We got up early and left the house around 5:30 AM. I can’t imagine why, but no one else wanted to go with us.

The sunlight hitting the hoodoos made them look like they were glowing. We drove up to see the Natural Bridge again and then left the park. When we got to the Kodachrome Basin State Park sign we decided to drive through it. Some of these smaller parks are pretty fantastic if you haven’t yet seen the bigger ones.

A selfie…kind of. ๐Ÿ™‚

When we got home, Amanda and B were there by themselves. Evan, Hall and Molly had gone for a run and to the Slot Canyons. Once everyone was home, rested and cleaned up we went to the Circle D restaurant again. We went early this time hoping to not have to wait for a table. We got a table within a few minutes and the food was really good.

After we got home it was time for photos:

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 6

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On our way to Bryce Canyon, Tommy saw a pulloff that had some information at it. Seeing nothing of interest from the truck he was curious so he turned in. There were two Anasazi granaries way up high. Pretty cool and we would never have seen them if Tommy hadn’t pulled over.


Then on to Bryce Canyon.

After looking at Inspiration Point we met up with the others at the Visitors’ Center where Amanda, B and I got our Passport books stamped. Miss B also got to “adopt” a prairie dog who she named Prairie Doggy. ๐Ÿ™‚


Look, ET is here!

We ended our day at Bryce Canyon by having lunch at the Lodge. The food took forever to get and wasn’t very good. When we got home, we rested a bit before going out to dinner. Amanda called the Circle D Eatery to see about reservations since there were 7 of us. She was told reservations were not necessary. Unfortunately, when we got there the place was full. We waited quite a while and when it looked like it was going to be a while longer, Evan found another place for us to go. We had a wonderful dinner at the North Creek Grill. Tommy is still talking about the lava rock they brought out with his steak. ๐Ÿ™‚


Utah Trip 2018 – Day 5

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Evan and Hall left early to go for a run and then to drive over to St. George to pick up Molly. Tommy, Amanda, Miss B and I left a bit later. We stopped at Escalante Outfitters for breakfast. Amanda and Tommy got breakfast rolls (because, according to Tommy, the guy in front of him ordered them) and I got a triple berry muffin which I shared with B. Breakfast was yummy! Our plan was to meet up with them in Springdale, right outside of Zion.

While waiting for Evan, Hall and Molly, we went to the Visitors’ Center to get our Passport books stamped. It was crazy how many people were there. Along the way, we stopped at a pullout where a Ranger was giving a talk about animals in the park. Miss B was really interested in seeing the rattlesnake in the jar. The Ranger told us to look for the bighorn sheep that were down the road a bit.

We went through this tunnel which was about 1.3 miles. Every so often there was a portal that you could look out if you were driving slow enough.

At the Visitors’ Center Tommy and Amanda checked out the 3D map of the park while B and I checked out this lizard.

We left the Visitors’ Center and caught up with Evan, Hall and Molly in Springdale and had a picnic lunch. We talked about seeing more of Zion, but in order to do that we would have had to get on a shuttle. In order to do that we would have had to find a parking spot in a parking lot that was jam packed. So it was decided to head towards home.

This should be called White Knuckle Road.

When we got home we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner. Then sat back and watched the sky.

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 4

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

We started out our day at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitors’ Center.

From there we went to the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Tommy and I waited for the kids to take the 1+ mile hike. But first, Miss B had to get through her meltdown. She evidently was too shy to have sunscreen applied. ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo by Evan O’Toole

Photo by Evan O’Toole

We then went to Devil’s Garden in theย Grand Staircase-Escalante NM via the bumpiest road I have ever been on. We stopped at Devil’s Garden for a picnic lunch. Such cool rock formations, but man it was hot!

After lunch, we drove a little way to where there were dinosaur tracks.

And they found some!

Photo by Evan O’Toole

Photo by Evan O’Toole

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 3

Monday, May 7, 2018

We left Grand Junction at 9:20 AM after getting breakfast and filling up the truck. We were heading to Capitol Reef National Park to meet up with the kids who were driving down from Salt Lake City. Some of the sights from Grand Junction to Capitol Reef:

We got to the Visitors’ Center first and sat outside and waited for them. It was a delightful day, although a little warm. While waiting for them, I took a few pictures.

When the kids arrived, we went to the campground and found a picnic table and ate lunch.

We then went to the Gifford Homestead to get some pies. We bought cherry, apple, peach and mixed berry pies and a loaf of sourdough bread. Best cherry pie ever!

Evan and Miss B filled up with water while we were at the homestead and we checked out the horses.

We then drove the Capitol Reef Gorge trail. Everyone but me hiked the trail in to see the petroglyphs, pioneer register and tanks.

It was a long, fun day with beautiful sights. We then drove about an hour to Escalante to check into the house that we rented for the week. We ate dinner at home as we were all tired.

Utah Trip 2018 – Day 2

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Our second day is always more fun than the first because we get out of the congestion and traffic of the east and we are off of the interstate or seeing things we don’t normally see. We left the hotel at 8:15 AM, filled up the truck, got breakfast and headed west. Although we were traveling on I70, we were on the lookout for churches, barns or anything else of interest. Since it’s flat in Kansas, we were able to see the steeples for these churches.

Sacred Heart Parish
Park, KS

St. Mary’s Church
Ellis, KS

St. Fidelis Church
Cathedral of the Plains
Victoria, KS

St. Ann’s Catholic Church
Walker, KS

Somewhere in eastern Colorado we saw this plane flying low. We thought he was probably cropdusting, but I never saw any spray. He was pretty low when he flew over us.

We stopped in Aurora to get gas, ice and lunch. Had to fortify ourselves to get through Denver. There was lots of traffic but it kept moving. Once we were west of Denver the ooohhhs and aaahhhs started.

We finally got to the Courtyard in Grand Junction at 9:00 PM. Once again we were too tired to get back in the truck to get dinner so we ate at the hotel.

Miles driven – 815