You should know that when I say "schedule," I say it the British way..."shhhhhhhedule."
So, we're heading out arlay arlay in the morning to catch a flight out of the Ham at 6:20 a.m. You know, normally, waking up that early is not so awesome, but for a trip, it's the best. Early morning stuff is so much fun. It reminds me of our childhood. We'd always get up early to head to Disney World or to the mountains or to catch a flight somewhere exciting. I love airports in the morning. Nobody's really there yet. The security guards and check-in folks are still in good moods. Starbucks doesn't have a line. That's actually also the only time I really drink Starbucks coffee...in airports. It tastes better to me in an airport. And I need to stay awake. One time, on the way to Tahiti, I just about never woke up. The stewardess was seriously concerned.
We have a layover in Houstin (hey, Casey and Melissa!) for like four seconds and then our final destination is Las Vegas. We'll be in Vegas for about 17 minutes before we grab our rental and drive north!
Our first night's stay is at the North Rim Grand Canyon Lodge. Yeah, it's like a five hour drive from Vegas, but worth it. It's the last night of the year (and until May, I believe) that the lodge is open. They have a Shining type of situation where it's closed for the winter/snow season and there's a caretaker that keeps watch over the lodge. Creepy, right? I wonder how many ghosts live there now.
We'll be dining at the lodge's dining room. That's kind of a given. There's no other place to eat for hours.
Sunday morning, we'll hike to the Bright Angel Point lookout.
Around lunch, we'll head two hours north to Zion! We'll be going through the Zion switchbacks and tunnel and we'll stop to view the Checkerboard Mesa and do a quick hike to the East Canyon Overlook.
Monday, we're hiking to Angel's Landing and the Watchman. Angel's Landing was named that because several decades ago, a pastor hiked to the top (before they had the chains) and said "Only an angel could land here." Nice, huh. Now, Angel's landing has two parts and we're not sure about doing the second part. It's only an extra half mile...but let me show you what that extra half mile entails...
The trailhead. Your goal is the tippy tippy top of that mountain.
Then, you get to a place called Scout's Lookout. This is where a lot of people stop, admire the view, and turn back. A.k.a. This is probably where Ruth will stop. After this point is the half mile to the peak. You come to some chains. On the right is an 800 foot drop off.
This is called the Step of Faith. It's hard to tell in this picture, because he was using a wide angle lens, but on the left is a 1200 foot drop off, and on the right is a 1000 foot drop off. I mean, if I'm gonna fall, I'd want to fall to the left...an extra 20 stories of sight-seeing. The step itself is about 3.5 feet wide. This is the narrowest (and panic-inducing) section.
Worth it? Ahhh...I dunno. It's a beautiful view, obviously. Since the park started, I believe something like 19 people have fallen to their deaths at Angel's Landing. When, you think about how many thousands and thousands of people visit the park each year, that's a small number. But, when you think about the fact that David + Ruth = 2...19 seems like a pretty big number. And it's said that most of the people fell because they were goofing off and David and I are safe hikers, but still. We're gonna think about it. ALSO...heh heh...I found another hike that takes you to a higher vantage point of the SAME VIEW. BOOYAH! Take that, Angel's Landing creeptastic height.
Later that day, we'll do a hike to see the Watchman peak.
Tuesday, we're hiking to Observation Point. That's the place you can see the same view as Angel's Landing plus some. It'll be the most strenuous hike we do. It's only eight miles, but it's straight up one way. I can't remember how much elevation you gain, but it's like a million feet.
In the middle of the picture on the right side, you'll see a "fin" with a peak at the end. That's Angel's Landing. The '"fin" is the last half mile of the trail. It doesn't look so high from way up here....hmmm...
Later that afternoon, we'll visit Weeping Rock.
Wednesday, we're headed northeast to Bryce Canyon for the day. We're going to do a three mile hike and then a six hour horseback ride through the canyon. SOOOOO EXCITED about that.
Thursday is going to be super awesome. We're hiking the Zion Narrows. It's a water hike and since it'll be a tad chilly, we've rented some wet suits and water shoes to help us in our endeavor.
Friday is Hidden Canyon.
Later that afternoon, we'll hike to all three Emerald Pools. I have yet to find pictures with actual pools, so I'm not sure where that comes in. But, people say it's beautiful and has great views, so we're going.
We'll be hitting up some local restaurants I've found...Café Soleil, Oscar's Café, Spotted Dog, The Mean Bean Coffee House, Zion Pizza & Noodle Company (I could eat all of that right now), and one night, we're having dinner at the Red Rock Grille at Zion Lodge. Zion Lodge is the only lodging inside the park itself. We're staying right outside the main entrance in a house called Flannigan's Villa. I think we have a view of the Watchman from the bedroom and we're right near all the Springdale stuff, so I think it's a good location.
We'll be driving back to Las Vegas Saturday and flying home! It's funny because Sara and Bryan will actually be in Vegas the same time we are. Sara's got a medical conference. We were going to try to work out breakfast, but it's. so. early. I love you Sayray and Bry Bry. (But not enough to get up at 3 a.m. to get there in time to eat, return the car, and catch our flight.) Hugs!
Anyways. We're so very excited. I always look forward to vacations, of course, but this one in particular. We haven't done something out West yet together and these are places we've never been before. David's been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and said it was amazing.
Just in case, we've got our will all written up and the girls' upbringing and education would be taken care of. Y'all just make sure they go to a good school (not Tennessee [wink]). My siblings would get all of my computer and camera stuff. And I leave to you, my beloved readers, all of my blog posts.
I'll be tweeting throughout the trip (when we have signal). You can see the feed and view pictures by clicking on the links in the tweets. Or you can go directly to twitter.com and search for bogueandweejer. It's a public page, so you don't have to have a Twitter account. I'll see you guys the week after next!
Oh, also, I don't own any of these pictures. They were all "borrowed" from websites. Some professional, some just vacationers like myself. If you happened upon my humble blog and saw that I used your picture...please don't be mad. I used it because it's awesome! And thank you. And I don't sell anything on here.