The Watchman

The Watchman

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Time with Grandpa and Grandma

I mentioned in a previous post that my parents had been to St. George for a visit and we were able to spend time with them.  For a very long time, my parents have owned a time share condo in St. George.  I can remember coming here to visit as a teen.  We always went to Zion Canyon or another National Park in the area.  We always swam.  My parents would go golfing.  And I would always end up with a sunburn.  I can remember sitting on the balcony of the condo looking at the St. George Temple lit up in the evening and thinking I had never seen anything so white.

Now my parents may have slowed down a little, but this time is still a break from home for them.  It also affords them and my children a chance to have some one-on-one time that they get so little of with us living five hours away.  This year my sister came with them so that was an extra bonus.  It is nice to know that we do remember some things from our childhood the same way.  (Insert big smiley face)

While Emily was at Girl Scout Camp, Jon and Lela went with my parents and Lorelei to the Grand Canyon.  Not much hiking was done, but the view was spectacular.

Some wildlife
More wildlife

And even more wildlife

Jon's video of a lizard doing push-ups

On Friday, Lela, Emily and I took my parents and Lorelei to Zion.  It had been years since my parents had driven up through the tunnel to the East Side of the Canyon.  I love this drive up the switchbacks and the spectacular views.  The tunnel is a engineering marvel.  It stands as a tribute to the hard work and perseverance of all those who had a part in the construction.  

For me exiting the tunnel to the East Side is like entering another world.  It is a world of slick rock that appears to have been poured or oozed out to form this landscape that is a stark contrast to the towering sandstone cliffs found in the main canyon.

This trip we were able to see something I haven't seen in the previous nine years of living near the Canyon - Desert Big Horn Sheep.  Not only did we see one, but four, including a baby.  They most amazing thing about the wildlife in the Canyon is that to them people are part of their environment, so they are not afraid to walk down the road with you or stop and pose so you can take their picture.  Make sure you don't try to pet them or feed them because they are still wild animals who need to be able to fend for themselves in order to survive.

For lunch, we stopped at Checkerboard Mesa and let the girls do some climbing while we ate.  Then we drove back down canyon to catch the shuttle at the Natural History Museum for the ride up the Main Canyon to the Temple of Sinewava.  There the girls did their best to get soaked in the Virgin River.  The day ended with a stop at the Zion Canyon Lodge for an ice-cream cone.  

Emily was so excited about seeing the Big-Horn Sheep, that she picked one as a treat at the gift shop in the Museum.  Since the money from the purchase will go to the Adopt-A-Big Horn Program, she will soon be receiving an adoption certificate.  She was even able to name her sheep - Bucky (Lela's suggestion).

My little mountain goats found a comfy place to hang out and eat lunch.
Mom, Dad, the girls and I with Checkerboard Mesa in the background.
Same group less me add Lorelei
Girls in the River
Made it to the rock.
All done!
Now if you want to experience driving through Zion - Mt Carmel Highway Tunnel and an excellent song to boot, you can watch this Emmy winning video, Rocks on Fire, by one of my favorite groups - Red Rock Rondo:


  1. Love the pictures. The views are beautiful (so is your family!) That tunnel however, makes me nine kinds of claustrophobic. Grandparents truly rock.

    1. I know exactly what you mean about the tunnel. I can't decide if it is easier to traverse as a passenger or as the driver. The view is so worth it though.