Monday, May 9, 2016


On the first day, on our way in we found a slot canyon off of one of the scenic lookouts. Here are my sister and I playing in it:

Just a few miles away, we found another quick mile hike up to Canyon Overlook. This was our first look at Zion National Park. It was beautiful. On the way, a big horned sheep also crossed our path. It is amazing how they can stand on such tall cliffs.

Once we got to the Visitor's Center my sister and I started to work on our Junior Ranger badges. Then we had lunch and did another hike up the Watchmen trail. It was 3 miles, and on our way up I found a Sierra Mountain King snake. He was small but he was right on our trail! They eat rattlesnakes and they are really cool. 

black-, white-, and red-striped snake

Here are a few pictures from the top. It was cool to be able to watch over some of the canyon and some of the town near it, Springdale.

On the next day, we started with a ranger talk on rattlesnakes. It was fun and I got to participate with the activities. 

Then we hiked three miles at Emerald Pools. At the top there were a lot of big flat rocks to climb on and that was fun but the pools looked muddy brown. It looked like dookie. We had lunch and hiked down to go to the next spot.

It rained a little bit but we still did the River walk, that was an easy flat 2 miles. My dad found this Jerusalem cricket. It looked like a huge wasp without wings, but it is harmless.

We went to the coffee shop to warm up after our hikes for the day.

On our final day, we hiked to Scout Lookout. It was 4 miles round trip and had a very steep section of 21 switchbacks called Walter's Wiggles. It is named after a superintendent of the park that helped design them in the early 1900s.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bryce Canyon National Park

On our way to Bryce Canyon from Page, we stopped at the Grand Staircase / Escalante National Monument visitor center. It was a place with information about dinosaurs because it is near where they found bones and other dinosaur fossils. I earned another Junior Ranger badge.

We hiked the Toadstools. It was a short hike, just over 2 miles. They are mushroom shaped rocks. They are rocks with large rock shapes on top and thinner ones on the bottom. Around them, the rocks have eroded so they leave these funny shapes.

When we got to Bryce, we checked into the hotel and played in the pool. 

In the morning, we went to the visitor center to plan our trip and watched the movie about Bryce Canyon. It was called the Shadows of Time and taught us how hoodoos were formed and how other rocks there were formed. They were mostly formed by wind and water erosion of surrounding rocks.

Later, we went on a three hour horseback ride through 8 miles of the canyon. I was on a horse named Raspberry. I rode behind my sister in the front of the group. A couple of times, my horse threatened to kick my mom's horse because her horse kept throwing her head around a lot. My butt is still sore from the ride! The guide said that's what they call a "souvenir." It was still so much fun!

After that we drove to Rainbow Point and a lot of other points too. We also saw a group of pronghorn antelope. We started on a hike at the end of the drive, but my sister was so tired that she refused to walk. We just got to see the views from really high up, 9115 ft. I was really mad at Autumn because I really wanted to hike.

The next day my parents made us get up really early for sunrise at Inspiration Point. Autumn wouldn't walk the whole way up, but I did. I was really hungry though so I couldn't wait for it to be over. When we finally went to breakfast, I was so hungry that I got sick before our food arrived and ended up barely eating anything. 

After that we hiked through the canyon on the Queens Garden and the Navajo Loop. It was sunny and nice, and we did a long hike with a very steep hike to the top at the end. I love hiking.

We went back to the hotel and watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid because it has scenes from the places we are visiting now. It was a good movie, but I didn't like that they died at the end. 

After that we did another big hike through the canyon on the Fairyland trail to Tower Bridge. Our camelbak was leaking and we ran out of water on the way back, which made us all nervous and thirsty. My mom was so worried about getting back before it got too late and we got sick that she didn't pay attention when I showed her that something was hurting and itching on my back. Later that night she noticed the fang marks and a big red rash and knew that I got bit by something. The next morning, my dad brought me to a park ranger and they agreed that I did get bit and that I was healing fine. So, we were on our way to Zion for the next part of our adventure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Page, Arizona

 On the way to page we stopped at horseshoe bend. It was nice to get out of the car and walk but I couldn't imagine what was lurking down the edge of the cliff. I wanted to sit on the edge, it was so exciting. I laid on my stomach and creeped up to the edge. It was thrilling. There was a light wind and we could see boats at the bottom. They were the size of a piece of gum. Sometimes, we are so far away when we look at these big things that it is hard to imagine how big it really is. Seeing the people helped a lot. This was true in the Grand Canyon too.

The next day we went to a Native American Reservation that has a hidden canyon inside. There are two canyons, Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon. You have to pick which one you go in and have a native guide with you. Our guide was Josh. When he brought us out to the lower canyon, you couldn't even see anything at all. Then we went down these steep steel stairs and inside was a beautiful, magnificent layering of folded limestone. It looked soft like clay but it was hard and there was a lot of red sand on the path. Some spots were narrow, and some had folds that I could hide in. I loved it there! It was a lot of fun.

Later that day, we went for a hike to the Hanging Gardens. We saw a lot of jack rabbits. On the way back we went off the trail towards Lake Powell, but it turns out the distance was a lot more than we expected so we had to go back. We also saw a ton of collard lizards, one even got up on it's two feet and ran from us. My dad stalked a horned toad to get a picture.

After that hike, we went for a good look at the dam. It was massive (like everything we've seen on this trip). It was also closed for visitors going down :( Maybe next time. Either way, it sends power to a lot of VERY BIG power lines.

The next day we rented a boat and went to Rainbow Bridge, a national monument. It took us all day to get there and back. I was the navigator through the waters. It was fun to read the buoy numbers and the map. At the bridge there was only one other boat there. We walked about a mile to the bridge and it was beautiful. You can't drive here because it is on Native American land and because no roads go to the bridge. It felt very special to be there.

On our way back to the marina and our boat broke down.  We were waiting for a tow boat for an hour so we decided to jump in, but the lake was FREEZING. Eventually, the tow guy, Marvin, came to rescue us and took us and to boat back to the marina.

On our way out of Page, we stopped in the visitor's center and I earned Jr Ranger badges for both Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge.  Overall, Page was one of the funnest places we visited so far. Yosemite is still my favorite!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Grand Canyon

The drive to the Grand Canyon from Sedona was dry. It was flat until we started going up a lot.

We got the canyon late so we just checked into the lodge and had dinner. We went to bed so we could get enough sleep before the next day.

At the visitor's center in the morning we met Ranger Ron Brown. He gave us Junior Ranger packets and talked to us about the park. After that we started to walk the rim of the canyon. the sky was clear for a while but then a big cloud fell into the canyon and everything disappeared. It started to snow a lot, we couldn't see, but we kept walking. We walked over two miles that hike.

At the village, we visited the Hopi House shop and got souvenirs, I got a glass box with a 3D plastic coyote inside. We had lunch then went back to our lodge for the rest of the afternoon to relax in the room. It was nice to watch the snow out the window.

The next day, it was a lot warmer outside so we took a shuttle to the stops along the Hermit's Rest area to see more of the canyon, but we didn't make it to hermit's rest. 

After that we went to Ranger Ron's fossil talk. He took us to the Bright Angel Fault Line. It is a place where the continental plates touch.

The rocks on either side of the fault line are from different time periods because one of the plates rose higher than the other reveling older rocks. You can tell because the rocks on the surface on the left match the rocks 200 feet down on the cliff so you'll find fossils on one side but not on the other.

We had lunch at El Tovar then we started to hike the Bright Angel Trail. We did two miles of the trail.

Then we went to the Critter talk. It started to rain so we went into the gift shop.

We left the next day for Page, Utah. It was cold and snowy, but we stopped to get our Junior Ranger badges. Along the way we stopped at the Tusanayan Musuem, and the Desert View Watchtower. Off to Page we go.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Sedona is beautiful, the rocks are red! When we first arrived, it suddenly became cold and stormy. It rarely rains in the desert, but it did. And, the wind was going almost 30 miles an hour. We were cold, so we enjoyed the storm from the hot tub.

We had a fun pizza dinner and went to bed early. It was nice but a little cold the next morning. We drove to the top of Airport Hill and hiked around a little. I loved the feeling of sitting on the ledge of a tall cliff.  Then, we went to Chapel of the Holy Cross. It was crowded and a little boring. The church is built into the hilly red rocks.  I got in trouble for collecting money and my mom was freaked out by a tourist who dropped her drawers right in front of her and peed near the walkway! We didn't stay long.

After that, we hung out at a playground until we took a Pink Jeep Tour onto the Broken Arrow path. Witch is bumpy and crazy. So basically you ride in a jeep up the mountain.

Then we watched the sunset over the mountain it was beautiful.

After that, we went to bed.

In the morning we went to slide rock witch is one of my favorite things so far this trip. So we went to slide rock Arizona state park and went on a large hike down oak creek. When we got back we were tired so we changed into our bathing suits and slid down a slippery rock in the river.
Then we were off to the Grand Canyon.


Monday, April 25, 2016


Day 1: We drove from Yosemite with Grammy Char and Uncle Dave to the campsite where they are staying with cousins Wendy, Jane, Sam, Devon, Eric, and Daria. I don't get to see them very often so I was so excited to get to play with them! I am reading a series that Devin gave me in San Francisco, I also read two other books she loaned me while we've been driving: A Wind in the Door and a book about Einstein and the Theory of Relativity. After we played with Jane and Sam a little, we drove to our hotel. It was 7200 ft! On the way up, it started to get windy and it rained, then hailed, then sleeted. We couldn't even see but we knew we were on a cliff going up, up, up. Our hotel was nice and warm though.

Day 2: We met all our family at the museum and Sentinel tree. We all went to the giant Sherman Tree. We hiked around but then the clouds rolled in and we ended up picnicking in the cold. After that we drove to Lodgepole and the whole park was celebrating Earth Day. It was really exciting because they had a raffle and we won stuff. Eric won a lot of bottled water and my family didn't think it was very Earth-friendly. Then, we drove back down to go for a hike in the woods. It was a lot of fun. We walked to Tharp's log, where a guy carved a house out of a tree. Near there we saw a bear on the trail. (I think it was Jane who saw it first.) It was far away, but we watched it for a while. We also all wrapped ourselves around a giant sequoia tree. The first one we tried was too big, even for all 12 of us (I am counting Daria, but she's 1.5). The next we did worked!

After the hike, we went back to our hotel and had dinner at the lodge and went to bed.

Day 3: On our way out of the park, we met up with everyone again. We found a hike that was really fun, it had a small path with a huge cliff down to a river and really tall grass. The adults made us go back and we had a picnic. While we were eating, we started to play and I was balancing on a log and saw a rattlesnake. It stared right at me! Then, I called my cousin Jane over. Eventually, the adults came over and yelled at us to get away.

Then, we drove to the airport and said good-bye to Grammy Char and Uncle Dave. After we flew to Phoenix, we got into our car so that we can drive to Sedona.


Day 1: We're here! Finally, we are here. I can't believe we are here. Me, Autumn, Mom ,Dad, Uncle Dave, and Grammy Char. Earlier we went through the woods to dinner it was 2 miles (Dads idea) then we headed to bed. We are sleeping in heated tents. Autumn is with Grammy Char and Uncle Dave so I get Mom and Dad all to myself.

Day 2: This morning we went to breakfast, then we went on an 7 or 8 mile hike (round trip it was over 10 miles and 2,000 vertical feet that we climbed) and saw Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. I liked to walk up front with Dave. He knows a lot about a lot of things. Some parts were really narrow with steep stairs. Some of these parts were even wet from the spray of the waterfall. At the top, we could look down the waterfall.

Day 3: Today we went for a hike all morning around the valley floor and up to Columbus Rock (on the way to Yosemite Falls) then had lunch. Dave and I had a lot of fun building cairns. Then we had leisure time and after that walked to mirror lake, which actually looks like a mirror. Then we had dinner. We ended up walking 7 miles for the day.

Day 4: We woke up, had breakfast, and packed up to go. Then, we drove to Alder Creek. It had...ALDER TREES. See.

Then, we drove to Sequoia to meet up with more of our family at their campsite.