Zion, Vegas, and Life on the Road.

UPDATE: This post is obviously old and just never published . . . Whoops. //face palm// But enjoy anyway! 🙂

I’m currently sitting in the stillness and dark at 9:45pm, and my family has been asleep for almost two hours. We are camping in the Walmart parking lot in Barstow, CA after a two hour drive from Las Vegas. Vegas baby! We had so much fun! But first a bit about Zion.

You guys, I think this is my favourite park so far! We stayed about 15 minutes outside of the park at an awesome campground called Zion River Resort. The park itself is set up so well, with shuttles taking you to each trailhead. I was a little skeptical at first because I thought that would limit what we wanted to do, but it worked out so well, and it made the drives so much more peaceful than having to fight traffic constantly. Especially with the volume of people that were coming through, it would have been a nightmare on the small roads. We spent two nights there, and almost two days hiking. The first day we hiked through the Emerald Pools and Kenyata Trail in the morning, which was fun, but just ok. The falls weren’t gushing so they weren’t that impressive, and the trail was more like a light walk rather than a hike. In the afternoon we hiked The Narrows, which we loved! Most of the hike took you up the middle of the river with a cliff rising up form either side. It was gorgeous! We hiked farther than we thought we would, both saying “Maybe just 10 minutes more before we head back?” It was beautiful around every turn! The next day we hiked up to Scout’s Overlook, which is the first 2 miles of the Angel’s Landing trail. It was basically several sets of switchbacks up the mountain to an overlook which was breathtaking! We decided not to hike out onto Angel’s Landing,because it was a half-mile of climbing on a narrow path with a cliff on either side while you hold onto chains and climb. It sounds awesome to me, but not so much when you have squirmy kids strapped to your back. Besides, it was at a crowded point of the day, and because the up and down hikers have to share use of the chains, someone said it would be an hour wait to get to the end. I don’t think me or the kids would’ve had patience for that! And we were satisfied with out amazing view from where we were. I would love to come back someday with the whole extended family and go on a massive caping hiking trip! Family, start planning now. 🙂

Then, LAS VEGAS! Matt found an incredible place to dry camp in a parking lot right off the strip for $12 a night. Yes $12 A NIGHT. How insane is that?! We were right behind Harrah’s and The Linq casinos, a great central spot to go either way on the strip. We also used Harrah’s pool (& showers!) a few times which was such a nice treat in the heat! All of us had a bit of a shock though, coming from middle of nowhere to intense flashing lights and music at all hours of every day! We ate some amazing food (chicken and waffle sandwich at Bruxie’s is incredible you guys!), stood outside the arena while the Golden Knights played Game 1 in the NHL playoffs, and Mabel (&Matt) won a giant stuffed tiger at Circus Circus. The strip is just amazing to walk up and down and see everything that is going on, because there is always something going on! After going there a few years ago for an anniversary trip, I wan’t sure if I would ever bring kids with me if we went again. This time around, I felt like there were so many more kids out, and it was so much cleaner and less trashy/sketchy than it was last time! Maybe the passed some new laws or maybe it was the Lord protecting us (or both?) but I definitely felt ok with both the girls out. After a few nights though, we were very ready to leave the hustle and bustle and get back to real life. Neither of us are really city people, so while it’s nice to see the craziness of it all sometimes, we much rather escaping to some peace and openness.

So that’s where we are headed. Maybe not peace, but not overstimulated 24/7 either. We are halfway to Menifee, CA to see family before heading to San Diego for a while. We are looking forward to slowing our pace a bit. We have been changing places so often while in the desert, eager to hike, see friends, hike, and hike more! But once on the coast we are hoping to just enjoy and have some leisure days, digging toes in the sand and not having every day planned out.

Tomorrow is May 1st, meaning we will have our one month anniversary of being on the road tomorrow! It’s been so weird. It’s felt like we just started, but also that we have been traveling so much longer than that! It’s been good, hard, frustrating, joyful, abundant, tiring, draining, adventuresome, and worth it. There have been moments of “Oh sweet Lord, what are we doing here and can we please go home now?” and moments of “This is my favourite and I never want to stop traveling or seeing new places!” It’s funny how as humans we swing back and forth so vastly in our emotions, ya? I am homesick for stability, a place that doesn’t exist for us right now. And not even stability in the way that we think of it; not like security with jobs and money (silly adult things-haha) but stable in the going forward with our plans, calling, vision, and lives. Who are we as a family and what are we called to? Sweet; let’s figure that out and do that 100%. We are figuring that out right now and what that looks like for us in this upcoming season of life. I tend to get super eager super quick and want to dive at the first feeling, without looking completely into what I am diving into. So this time is an amazing adventure and privilege to see new things, as well as time to purposefully be figuring out what do next.

For me, next is bed. The wind is whipping outside our door and shaking the trailer something fierce, so hopefully sleep won’t be too hard to find. Night. xo

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