Saturday, July 20, 2013
The sun was shining bright this morning & it was beautiful. I was anxious to get out of the area & put the horrible experience from the day before behind us. I was up around 6:30am since little man had woken up screaming. Wish I knew what he was dreaming about. I put him in bed with us & I went to the bathroom. When I got back I realized there wasn’t enough room for all of us so I took Emry with me & slept next to Annika on the couch bed. I got about another hour of sleep then felt Dalton climbing on me. We all laid there snuggling then I decided to get up & get the show on the road. I told the kids if they hurried we could go to the park before we left. Hubby was making bacon (yum) & Annika just wanted toast for breakfast. I went to the gift shop to see what they had. I was excited to see the same dress that I wanted from a camp site in Minnesota. I didn’t want to pass on it again so I got that for myself, a cute dress for Annika & a t-shirt for Dalton. When I got back Emry had woken up & was crying. The kids had eaten & hubby had cleaned everything up already. Woohoo! I took the kids out of his hair so he could get the trailer ready.
The kiddos played for a bit at the park then 2 girls came running over. Annika was excited to play with them, but they were speaking a foreign language (French) & she couldn’t understand them. They were playing on this airplane that was like a teeter toter & Annika got on too, but they would make faces at her like they didn’t want her on there. She went to climb on the back but one of the girls kind of pushed her way passed Annika then got on the back. My baby girl just stood there. Poor thing, but she kept trying to include herself. Dalton got on too & I heard Annika say “be careful with my brother because he’s smaller” she also said “let my brother get on there too”. It made me kind of sad to see this going on, but I don’t think Annika was fully aware of what was going on & I didn’t want to say anything since they probably wouldn’t have understood. She stood back for a moment just watching them then she’d look over at me & I would smile at her to let her know it was ok. She finally came over to where I was & went down the slide with her brother & I pushed them on the swings & they got on the see saw. Another girl came over then 2 or 3 boys, but they were all older. I would say 10 & up to probably 14 or so. They boys were being rough & shaking the airplane back & forth & Annika said “those boys aren’t being nice”. They were just playing rough. Poor baby girl just wants some kids to play with. Times like this we really miss our friends back home.
Hubby drove up & was ready to go so I gathered up my little hens & we headed out. It was going to be a long drive to Bryce Canyon (about 4.5 hours). I hoped the kids would do as well as they had a couple days before. The scenery was beautiful, but the weather was overcast & blah. No surprise there since I’ve come to the conclusion that we are the Bergmark cloud. As usual we saw lots of horses & cows & the kids felt it necessary to point out each & every one. They crack me up.
We finally got to Bryce Canyon & decided we would take the shuttle bus to see the sights. Time to give hubby a break from chauffeuring us around. We needed to hurry since rain was coming. We first stopped at the visitor center to get the kids their passport stamps. We decided souvenirs would be last. Annika got the pamphlet for the junior ranger program & she started off finding 10 pieces of trash to pick up & throw away. We searched the area while we waited for the shuttle & she found her 10 pieces as was very enthusiastic about it. Another checklist on her program was to find certain animals & other items then circle them. She had to get them in a row like bingo. We found almost all of them. There was a hands on speaking engagements by the park ranger that we were supposed to sit thru, but due to the weather we weren’t able to. Oh well the other stuff was fun for her to do. The kids really got a kick out of riding that shuttle bus. It was like a free ride at an amusement park..haha.
We made it up to Bryce Point & the view was spectacular. It’s hard to explain that kind of beauty so you just have to go see it for yourself. Simple as that. After looking from all the viewpoints & plat forms we made our way back to the shuttle stop. The sky was looking freaky. Next stop was Inspiration Point & hubby asked if we should get off & I said “sure for a quick look & photo then back on in 15” (the bus came every 15 minutes). I was hoping to get inspired at Inspiration Point, but guess I was too busy trying to get photos before the rain came. There was some neat lightning going on & the thunder was deep sounding. We managed to get a family photo, but it turned out dark due to the very cloudy sky. We started making our way back to the shuttle stop & it started to rain. We huddled under the awning & more people started squeezing in as it rained harder. We saw behind us a small yet fast river had formed & was flowing down past everyone’s feet. Thankfully we had a good seat. The temperature had dropped & it was cold & my poor kids were dressed for warm weather. I felt horrible & hugged them close to me to keep them warm. We were first in line for the shuttle but when it came people took off to get a spot on the bus. Everyone for themselves apparently. Thankfully we managed to get seats in the back. Dalton was up wiping the windows since everyone breathing had fogged them up. When a group of people got off I sat next to hubby & Dalton crawled up next to his daddy & fell asleep. Thankfully when we got to our stop the rain stopped as well. Whew! We loaded up our circus & went to get a quick souvenir. Annika had her eye on all the toy horses but we are drowning in horses so she settled for a rider for her horse. Really looking forward to getting our house so we can get these toys out from under our feet.
We made our way to our camp ground which was about 45 minutes away. Not a long ride, but we were cold & tired & I was looking forward to setting up & settling down. The camp was 2 miles from the main road on a gravel road so we got the suv & camper nice & dirty. Hubby was nice enough to ask me if this road was giving me flash backs from the day before on that horrible 4 wheeling experience. Not funny. Even though we were out in the boonies it was a cute camp ground & a deer was next to the park area. Annika wanted to go “play” with the wild deer, but we had to explain why that wasn’t a good idea. She didn’t care, but maybe if she were to get kicked or bit by a deer she’d change her mind real fast. A family of deer walked thru once we were set up & they didn’t seem too bothered with the people around. Thre were also lots of chipmunks running around & we were told to keep our doors closed or else they’d get in. Yep not wanting one of those for a pet so our doors stayed closed. I got caught up on laundry, which took forever since there was only one washer & one dryer. I was talking to a lady about Colorado & hubby talked to an older guy (not by choice, the guy was all over hubby like white on rice). Gotta say hubby has been quite the social butterfly since we started on this trip. One of the guys he was talking to said to be careful since he’d spotted a mountain lion near the camp ground the last couple days. Eeeck! That’s an animal on our list we haven’t seen, but I’m not too anxious to see one up close & personal.
Tomorrow we head towards the north rim of the Grand Canyon, which should be another awesome viewing experience. I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon since I was a young kid (probably 10 or 11). I’m looking forward to getting to the in-laws house in a couple days. I’m ready for some elbow room & just relaxing for a while. I’m ready for that hot tub & I know hubby is too.
Posted by Berg-Marks The Spot at 3:31 PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
By the time we got ready to leave Ogden early in the morning it was already hot. We didn’t make it to the Mormon temple because hubby didn’t want to drive the trailer in the city & he said parking wasn’t good. Dang, but maybe next time. The drive to Capitol Reef National Park wasn’t as long as we thought it would be. Hubby planned on staying at Escalante then doing day trips to Capitol Reef & Bryce Canyon, but he changed his mind & we stayed at this little place with an awesome view. The canyon behind the camp ground was beautiful & the colors were awesome (reds, oranges & green). There was a park & pool at the camp ground, but it was too cold. We decided to go ahead & see the park now & do the scenic route then call it good & head out to Bryce Canyon in the morning.
We got into the park around 4:30 & stopped at the visitor center for the kid’s stamps for their passports. At the corner of my eye I saw a lady take a map of the park, but disregarded it. Mistake #1 on my part. We saw some huge rocks, which Annika was nice enough to correct me & say “those aren’t rocks they’re boulders”. Excuuuuse me smarty pants. We stopped at one scenic look out, but the temps were not in our favor & rain was coming. We drove down this one road that was bumpy & the kid’s voices were vibrating, which they got a kick out of & Dalton kept saying “again again”. I believe it was our second turn into a scenic point & off to the side was a 4 week drive route. I said “oooh let’s go” & hubby did that “eeehh” & I said “aaawww daddy’s scared”. Mistake #2 on my part. Annika chimed in with “let’s go”. So hubby gives in & we head towards the trail. It started out ok with “woah woah woah” & laughing. We drove through some washes & made comments like “hope we don’t get a flash flood” with a grin & smirk on our face. We even stopped so I could take a photo of the Sequoia in a 4 wheel drive area, but I look back & that photo was a joke compared to what was coming. We saw some fresh tire tracks & hubby said he saw a white vehicle start out ahead of us, but I never saw it. The trail really wasn’t that bad at first then we came to a crossing over a wash with water running thru it. It wasn’t big, but hubby took a really good look at it to see if we could cross it since it was uneven & we would do a little climb over it. I’m pretty sure he said we should turn around, but I said we could do it. Mistake #3 on my part. So we went thru it & it was fun & I think we scraped the undercarriage on that one. The trail kept going & going & it started to get a little harder. Annika started with “why did we come down here, let’s go back”, but I told her it was ok. Hubby had to put the suv into 4 wheel drive a couple times & he was nervous about the tires ripping on the rocks, but we kept going. I was getting nervous by now & worried about the weather. I was also worried that we had no cell phone coverage & no internet coverage & worst of all was that no one knew we were out there. It made me think of the movie 127 hours. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it was just me & hubby, but I had 3 precious babies in the back seat. I remember making the comment early on that we had a few snacks & my boob juice if we got stranded, but we remembered we had at least a case of water in the cooler in the back seat so that was somewhat comforting. However I took all the blankets out to wash them so we had nothing to keep warm if it came to that. All this was running thru my head as the trail got worse. My stomach was starting to get into knots & then we see the white vehicle coming towards us. We thought the trail was done & they were coming back. I was kind of relieved, but then the lady gets out & tells us that the road got too steep & they had to turn around. She asked us if we called the visitor center to let them know we were coming out there & we said no. I didn’t even think about that, but then again we hadn’t planned on doing a 4 wheel drive trail until we saw it. Mistake #4. Now I was really worried since they couldn’t climb the trail, but they were in a crossover vehicle & we had our big Sequoia with 4 wheel drive. So we pressed on. We saw where their tracks stopped & the steep climb they were talking about. I’m pretty sure we made the comment about not wanting to turn around & go all the way back because it was at least an hour drive that had passed. We should have turned around! Let me say also that the kind of rock out there was brittle & our tires had spun a couple times. So we decide to make the climb thinking the end was just around that cliff. We were so wrong & that point was the beginning of the really really bad trail ride that had me praying for the next hour and a half or more. The kids were all sleeping at this point & I was glad because I know for a fact Annika would have been crying out of fear. I remember hubby saying “we’re committed we’re committed” as he started up that steep climb because there was no stopping. Had we stopped we would have slid backwards & probably gone over the edge. It was wide enough for us to go thru, but when I looked over the edge to see how much room we had it was less than a foot of space. I didn’t want to visualize us falling off the edge & tumbling down into the gorge, but the thought crept into my mind. I had a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit & I had severe dry mouth. I forced myself not to cry in fear because I didn’t want the kids to see me that way. I wanted them to feel comforted that it was ok. I was holding onto the handle by the window & my entire body was tense. The last time I was that tense was during natural childbirth. I gotta say as I’m typing this & reliving it in my mind I’m still shaken up & my stomach is in knots.
We made it up that steep ledge only to come to the top & see more & more & more. It was very discouraging. The under carriage of our suv scraped several times on this trail & hubby worried about us breaking down. It got to the point where we thought we might have to camp out in the wilderness if the suv broke down or if we got lost. I was scoping out safe looking places just in case as I prayed for our safety & for Kurt’s ability to drive us out of there in one piece. I regretted pushing him to drive this dumb trail & promised I’d never encourage him to do anything like this ever again & I told him to go with his gut next time & to put his foot down & say “no” to me.
This trail seemed to go on forever & a couple times hubby had to get out of the suv to walk down a steep grade or around a corner to see if it was safe for us to continue. Of course there was no going back, especially down that very steep & narrow ledge so we had no choice. Both times he said it was ok. Our gps showed us in the middle of nowhere with no streets nearby. Ugh I hated that feeling. Several times the trail seemed to get better & we got our hopes up that it was coming to an end, but then we’d start climbing again on rough terrain then would decline again on rough terrain. What made it worse was the fact that it had rained earlier so some of the rocks were slick & more rain was coming so there was that urgency to hurry & get out of there. I remember thinking at one point as I held Emry’s hand that “she’s just a baby & has her whole life ahead of her”. I know it sounds silly & you’re probably thinking I’m being over dramatic, but until you drive that trail with your babies in the back seat, you have no idea. Before kids, hubby & I did our fair share of 4 wheeling when we lived in Vegas & in the Azores the first time, but this was way worse & we had our precious cargo with us. Bad bad choice on our part. I thought we’d be THAT family you’d see on tv that came up missing & people would chime in with “what were the parent’s thinking”. I didn’t want it to come to that. Annika finally woke from her nap & it was right when we were on a bad patch of the trail & she started talking about something, but hubby told her “stop talking right now, I need to concentrate”. I think she could sense his tone & I turned around & told her to pray in her mind & I held her hand tightly. I held on to her hand for a very long time not just for her comfort but for mine as well. At some point, I can’t remember when, Dalton woke up & asked for his movie. I thought it would be a great distraction for him so I gave it to him & Annika asked for hers as well. Anything to keep their minds occupied & their eyes off the road.
Posted by Berg-Marks The Spot at 11:08 PM
So our plan to get up early & hit the road didn’t really happen. I was planning on Dalton waking up early, but he did then went back to sleep. It figures when we want him to wake up early & be our alarm clock he doesn’t wake early, but when we want him to sleep in he doesn’t. I got up to start the space heater again then went to the bathroom. Everyone was still sleeping so I went back to bed as well. It was about 6:30am(ish). Emry was still pretty warm, but she slept all night long. Annika came into our bed & snuggled then hubby finally got up & got moving. The air bed has been losing air & my butt was touching the hard bottom of the bed & the mattress was kind of curved inward towards me. Needless to say I wasn’t comfortable so I decided to get up. Hubby was on a roll which meant I had to hurry or else I’d be the rotten egg (the last one). I got the kids ready & got their breakfast then got myself ready. I fed Emry some yogurt & then hubby was ready to leave. Gotta love how he stands right there near me just waiting. Ugh….I don’t like being rushed. I inhaled some granola & yogurt fast then realized I had to pee. He was attaching the trailer to the suv so I ran to the park bathroom & made it back just in time to leave & good thing too because there were 2 other trailers coming up behind us. We were on the road at 9:06am, not too shabby.
The park seemed empty for a Sunday morning, but we figured people were just now making their way in. It took us about an hour & a half to get out of the park & we saw more buffalo & prong horn on the way out. They are amazing & beautiful creatures, but I’m kind of to the point now where “you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all”. We had our close encounter with them already & got photos so no need to stop….unless they’re blocking the road & they did that to us the day before. I got a photo of the buffalo walking down the middle of the road & his hump is in the window as hubby drove by. As we exited the park there was a huge line of people ready to get in. Yep we made it out just in time to avoid all the traffic. We crossed over into Montana for a brief time then were in Idaho. Every time I hear the word Idaho I think of Mr. Potato head from Toy Story “way to go Idaho”. The kids watch those movies way too much & I hear the dialogue so I could probably recite the movies. We were worried that the kids would be totally unbearable during this long drive, but they did amazingly well & we were so grateful. I made sure to praise them on being so well behaved. One of Dalton’s favorite movies right now is Toy Story. He calls it “Woody Buzz” movie & he’ll say it over & over & over again “woody buzz woody buzz woody buzz” until you get him his movie. It reminds me of when I was traveling in Germany with hubby & his friend & I had to pee, but his friend said we weren’t stopping. I started with “peepee peepee peepee peepee” & next thing I know he’s pulling over. Haha! Hey it worked & now it’s coming back to me with my son. Yep full circle. Today Dalton said “da skyyyyy” in reference to the part of the movie when Woody’s string gets pulled & he says “reach for the sky”. He’s so darn cute….my son that is.
Since we are out west we see LOTS of cows & horses & each time Annika says “uhhh mommy you might want to look out your window right now”. I know what she’s talking about, but I make sure to comment with an “ooohhh horses” or “wow look at all those cows” or something just to acknowledge her. Again “you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all” but she gets so much joy & excitement out of seeing them & I don’t want to make her feel like it’s not a big deal. One thing hubby & I find humorous is when Dalton sees animals on his side then says “ha ha ha ha” in that teasing kind of way like “they’re on my side not yours”. Annika always comes back with “be nice Dalton” or “how come nothing is ever on my side”. Sheesh the sibling rivalry so soon?
As we made our way into Utah we saw dark clouds & sheets of rain ahead. Maaaan this weather is drawn to us. There were huge drops of rain then the hail started & it sounded like it would shatter the windshield, but thankfully it didn’t. At one point Dalton screamed, which made us laugh, but I reassured him that it was ok & it was just big rain. When we finally got in front of the storm hubby filled up at a gas station & we checked out to see if there were any dings, but we were all good. Whew! Of course the storm was catching up to us again so we got out of there as fast as we could, but not before I had to change Emry’s diaper on the front seat & I started to get rained on.
Our destination was Ogden, UT where Hill Air Force Base is. It was so hot! It was reading 95 in our suv. We are not used to that kind of heat since we’ve been up in the mountains the last week or so & before that it hasn’t been very hot at any of the places we’ve been. I was ready to get leave before even setting up & get back up in elevation where it’s cooler temps. I scored on a “camp site”, but it was really a mobile home park for $13.50 for one night. Hey it didn’t matter to us since we were only there to rest before hitting the road again. We need to hit up more inexpensive spots like this to make up for the expensive park camping we did. I planned on taking the kids swimming, but the pool closed at 8 & by the time we set up & ate dinner it was after 7 & would take at least 15 min to get everyone ready so it wouldn’t have been worth it to go. That’s ok because it turned out nicely in the evening & I went outside for a bit with the kids to play a few games with them. We played hide n seek & freeze tag. Annika has one of those laughs when you hear it you start laughing too & you’re not sure what you’re laughing at. Oh I made one of Annika’s favorite dishes for dinner (chicken n rice) & she ate everything off her plate & said “I love this stuff, it’s my favorite & I want to eat it all the time”. Well ok then. Later that evening I was trying to explain something to her in a serious manner & when I was done she said “look mommy there’s something shiny” I couldn’t help but laugh. That girl cracks me up. Did she hear a word I said? Probably not.
Bed time came & I blew up the air mattress. I noticed it was leaking faster than it usually did. I was bummed out since under the air mattress is just a piece of hard wood. My back & neck are already jacked up from sleeping around the kids all the time. I didn’t want to feel even worse sleeping on plywood. I blew up the mattress again to see if I could find the leak. I could hear it & when I lifted the sheets I saw a tear/hole big enough to fit my pinkie finger in. Bummer. Annika came over to inspect & stuck her little finger in the hole before I could tell her not to & the whole grew. Gah! Hubby took a look & said “yep it’s done, there’s no fixing that”. Not what I wanted to hear so late at night. Thankfully we have a king & twin size air mattress with us. The king was way too big so it had to be the twin size. Well wouldn’t you know that when he took the seat cushions off the bench seats (kitchen table) they fit perfectly next to that twin mattress so neither one of us would have to sleep on that hard wood. Sweet! He’s so handy to have around. The kids were watching Cars while all this was taking place. Once everything was good to go, I got Emry to sleep & hubby showered & laid next to Dalton. He was snoring in no time (hubby not Dalton). Two more down, but now for the night owl. Annika was playing a horse game & said she wasn’t tired. Riiiight. She fell asleep rather quickly & I was going to move everyone around, but decided it was all good. Tomorrow we’re stopping by the Mormon church to take a photo then it’s off to Capitol Reef National Park & Bryce Canyon.
Posted by Berg-Marks The Spot at 9:51 PM
Sunday, July 14, 2013
I woke to the sounds of knocking on our door. It was one of the park workers asking if we were leaving today. Uhh no. I told him we were here until tomorrow. He said “ok I was told to come over here & ask, sorry for waking you”. Gee thanks, but I managed to go back to sleep for a little while. Emry woke up with a smile & seemed fine, but she was still feverish throughout the day. She was playful & had an appetite. I’m thinking she’s just teething because she had some nasty poops today. I remember Dalton having nasty poop after poop when he was teething. I pray this is just it & nothing more.
Since we were done seeing everything we wanted to see at Yellowstone, we decided today would be a lazy day with some cleaning up & reorganizing. After breakfast hubby got into nesting mode or something so I took Annika & Dalton out for some play time. Annika wanted to finish the ranch we started yesterday. We collected some sticks to make a corral, training circle, and a cabin shelter for the people. Dalton was trying to help, but kept knocking stuff down, which irritated Annika & caused her to talk mean to him. Ah the vicious circle. Once the cabin shelter was done we needed pine needles to cover the roof to protect from rain. Annika was so into doing this. She’s very creative, which I love. After a while I could hear Emry crying so I had to tend to her. Hubby had vacuumed inside & pulled the stuff out from under the couch to vacuum under there & rearrange. He even remade the kid’s bed. What? I was loving this. I don’t know about most women, but my idea of an attractive man has changed from my young years. In high school & my very early 20s it was all about the most attractive guy. Of course those attractive guys from high school are now not so attractive. I see lots of beer bellies & lack of motivation on their part. Now, although looks are nice it’s not only about that. It’s about how good a husband & father he is. Seeing my hubby fix things around the house, clean up & rock our babies makes me want to jump his bones even more…hehe…and his looks are still there. I can stare at him just as long now as I did back then. Ok I got side tracked. Where was I? Oh yeah, by now it was lunch time so we ate & got ready to head out. We wanted to see the Fishing Bridge & Yellowstone River up close. We also wanted to find a wifi window so he could check his email to see if any job stuff has popped up.
We found a nice picnic area near the water & hubby put his feet in & said it was freezing. Water was crystal clear. We saw a pelican & buffalo tracks. Dalton kept squatting next to the river (too close for my comfort) & was looking thru his binoculars. He was checking out the tall grass & flowers too. He cracks me up.
Went to the famous fishing bridge (you can’t fish on it anymore) & I walked down with Annika while hubby walked on the bridge with sleeping Dalton. It was windy & a little chilly out so I was doing my best to keep Emry’s ears covered as well as her body. She loves to put her arm up & out of the Ergo carrier, but I prefer her to be all tucked inside. Annika & I walked up to the bridge & I got a photo of them with the river in the background then it was back to camp for us. On the walk back to the suv, Dalton literally stopped to smell all the flowers. He would stick his nose down, take a whiff, then say “umm good” or “aaahhh” or “yummy”. It was cute, then I started to get annoyed because I wanted to hurry & get Emry out of the wind, but watching him reminded me how we should all stop to smell the flowers. Life happens too fast & we should take a break & look at the beauty around us. Funny how a 2 year old can teach you things or just remind you of what you should be doing.
I actually sat outside & relaxed for a while with hubby & the kids while they played. I think this was only the 2nd time on our trip that I’ve done this. I need to do it more often. After a while Emry was rubbing her eyes & being fussy so I took her in to feed her & put her to sleep. She zonked fast so I decided to nap as well. It was a perfect opportunity so I wasn’t passing it up. I slept for 13 minutes then hubby came in with an angry Dalton who needed his diaper changed. He woke up Emry, but I managed to get her back to sleep fast. They went back outside & we went back to dream land. Ahhhh loved it! I slept for about an hour, but it felt like 5 minutes. I will take what I can get.
Hubby came back in with the kiddos & started dinner & did all the dishes & cleaned up. What? I had to make the comment that “daddy is awesome” to which Annika replied “daddy’s our hero”. Our plan was to get the kids in bed early so we can get out of here early in the morning. We’re heading out the western entrance to the park into Idaho then down to Utah. We are planning to do it all in one day which should be about 6 hours. That’ll be the longest trip so far. We’ll see how it goes. I did get the kids bathed & lying in bed watching a movie by 8pm, but it was almost 11 before Annika finally went to sleep. Dalton on the other hand was happy to fall asleep. I’ve caught up with my blogging & heading to bed “early”. It’s 11:16pm.
Posted by Berg-Marks The Spot at 10:49 PM