Friday, May 17, 2013

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde

.....So continuing from the previous post---we get to the town by Mesa Verde and since we have decided to not get a hotel we sleep in the truck (it is about 3 am when we stop).  About 8 am rolls around and we wake up.  We have slept in the walmart parking lot.  When we get out of the truck a few employees are outside smoking.  I am sure they think we are homeless as we get our kids out of the truck to go in to the bathroom and get breakfast.  I felt a little embarrassed by the whole thing too.

Also I think I am getting old because I hurt for the next week after that! 

We get to Mesa Verde early morning and hit the visitor center. 

This is a statue called "the storyteller"
I really liked it. 

There are two ruins you can go to--this one has places you can touch the rock (not many), and go into  a Kiva, the other one isn't as interactive, but it has a cool rope latter---
I remember climbing it when I was young--

They had two story buildings

A neat little bridge

The CCC came in (in the 30's and 40's) and built steps and a trail so that people can hike all around the park. My grandpa was a member of the CCC in Utah--that is how he met my grandma.  Anywho....

Sedona liked how the rocks had cool formations from the water run off. 
Who would have guessed that behind this hill is a whole civilization waiting to be explored.

These neat little indents and crevices were everywhere.

Even in the bottom of rocks--
(Pun Intended!--hard to tell but that is Pepper bottom peeking through the hole in the rock)

These are some rock carvings   They are very old and according to experts they tell of the migrations of the people who lived in this area.

Lucas throwing some gang signs--Wheeler was such a good boy, but after 3 days in a carrier he was getting a little sick of it. 

Trees grown out of the rocks all over in this area.
We went on the normal trail and then found out about the 'long' trail --- so of course we took it.  Hours later we arrive back at the rangers station.  

The trail is pretty hidden.  When we were on the main trail we had passed the long trail and hadn't even seen it.  

My kids are amazing hikers!  They hiked for hours with few complaints!

While visiting the Ranger Station they filled out a Jr. ranger program booklet and became official Jr. Rangers.

They were given a badge and sworn to help protect the earth.  It was actually really neat I thought. 
Wish we could have done it at the Grand Canyon too--not sure if Sedona has that program or not. 

This is the largest of the ruins.  You have to pay about $3 a person to go in and have an assigned time to enter.  We decided not to do it because we didn't know what our schedule was like--I am glad we didn't cause our hike took all day.

Lucas wants to come back some day and do it--since it is about 4 hours or so from our house I bet we will. 

In the "village" we visited you could go into a Kiva and see what it was like.  It was small and lighter then I thought it would be. 

The hike we took had some close squeezes---Wheeler had fallen asleep so his head was sticking out, but Lucas didn't hit it once!  

Sedona, Arizona

Our oldest daughter is named Sedona, so we HAD to go to Sedona.
In fact when Lucas and I were hear about 10 years ago we found out that 
Sedona is named after a woman--She and her husband owned a fruit orchard in the 
area and when the post master asked what they would name the town
Sedona's husband said "Schebley Station"  The postmaster said "No."
so they named it Sedona --after his wife
Sedona Larsen Schebley.
This is the statue of her outside the Public Library in town. 

(that is where the name Schebley Hill comes from-for those of who who travel there)
We both really liked the name and it stuff with when we had a daughter 4 years later we named her Sedona.

We wanted to do a few more things, but time just didn't permit.  
After arriving (about 2 hours later then expected because of the hotel mix up--you will read about it at the first part of the Grand Canyon post)  we  went and hiked Devils Bridge.
I think that is what it is called.  Really pretty easy hike and a cool feature at the end. 

While hiking to the top this guy with his daughter (about 11) come hiking past us---she clearly needs a break and the dad is not about to stop.
So we see them at the top and I take some pictures for them and he takes some pictures of us---only to discover he didn't take a single picture---I have no idea what he was pushing, but we had no pictures....So me and the girls went back out to take a picture--

You can't tell how high up we are at these angle---

So we hiked to the bottom---

We were at the top of this in the last two pictures---I am really surprised they having blocked this off yet!  I am sure it will be one day.  

Sedona wanted to climb this rock and did, it scared Pepper, but she wanted to climb it too.
She was shaking from fear and , but she climb it!  
We were so proud of her!

The next day we decided to hike Cathedral rock.  We were super lucky/blessed because the parking lot was tiny and a car pulled out right as we pulled in!

The traditional start of hike family picture---too bad I stood right in front of Wheeler!

Just a cool shot

People were really impressed with Lucas hiking up with Wheeler.  This Looks a lot harder and scarier then it really is. 

This looks like Mesa Verde--maybe I got them mixed up.  We ended up wearing the same clothes for a few days--yuck I know, but we did wear clean Pj's to bed!  So some of the pictures got mixed up. 

You can't really tell in this picture, but there are about 5 trails that meet up here-To the left and right are hiking/biking trails, and then there are 3 other hiking trails straight forward. 

Since so much of this we steep Pepper scooted on her bottom down the mountain--she really did't want me to take this picture, but I snuck it in! 

This hike has a lot of climbing, but it isn't really that hard--
it really is pretty and I am glad we did it. 

The top of Schebley Hill

 Leaving Sedona during sunset is so pretty.  This is taken on Schebley Hill 

This lake was a pretty little thing we passed heading towards Grand Canyon. 

Grand Canyon

I forgot to say that when we were on our way to Sedona I had booked a hotel online.  It said that we were 1 mile from the Sedona Library (downtown).  So we pull up to the address and we are 50 miles from Sedona!  Lucas calls the reservation place and the first guy checks his computer--YEP there is a flaw--so while it shows you are booking a hotel in Sedona, you are actually not.  
He has to transfer the call to a manager.  
The manager is a jerk and won't refund the money--Finally after the manager calls the hotel manger (while Lucas sits there and watches) and get permission from to refund the money.
Finally we are on our way--  to Sedona.  

(I did the Sedona pictures in another Blog Post)

We left Sedona later that night and headed it to Grand Canyon.  The truck has been having a few problems with shifting so we stop at a place on the way to stay the night.  Lucas, being the master mechanic that he is, fixes the problem the next morning in the hotel parking lot and away we go!

Lucas had no clue how huge the Grand Canyon is, and thought we would see it all in a few hours--well a whole day later and we were worn out!  

When you first arrive you park at this huge parking lot and walk to the visitors center.  They have a whole bunch of buses you can take to different locations, a educational video, and guides to help you.

We decided to walk and take the "trail" around.  The trail is a pavement that walks you around the rim of the Grand Canyon.

We were going to catch another bus, but somehow got on a different trail and miles later we found were we wanted to be.  We did a LOT of walking this day.

We found the trail that takes you down into the canyon, but by the time we started  it was late and we didn't even make it very far.

Since Lucas carried Wheeler the whole time, Lucas wanted Wheeler to carry him for a while.
  Wheeler didn't agree!

Giving some hugs to Sedona while taking a break!

It really is an amazing thing to see!

All of our family pictures in the last year have been of us hiking.

A small cave through the mountain you have to go through to go down into the canyon. 

While we had dinner in a food court (which I am so glad we did because we thought we would just grab something on the way out---keep reading)  we met a really neat group of people.  I want to say it was four families with lots of kids (older).  Come to find out they were LDS and we starting talking to them....if anyone knows Bryan Campbell of Globe Arizona--tell his wife that my facebook page is amy m. whitaker-larson. ( I forgot the 'm' when I told her).  '

We left Grand Canyon around 9:00--I think that is when they "close" the Grand Canyon, and we were going to just drive to the next town and find a hotel.  Around 9:15 we get pulled over cause the cop can't see our temp. licence plate, which is clearly in the window.  He was mostly polite and lets us go about 15 minutes later after checking Lucas's drivers licence.

So it is late, we are tired and by the time we find a town that has a hotel we (mostly Lucas) decide that it is crazy to spend much for a hotel room we won't even use for 8 hours, plus the kids are already asleep) so we just go ahead and drive to Mesa Verde......

To be Continued!

Monster Truck Show!

We were able to go to Arizona and enjoy some time down there--

It was a great vacation!

For us anyway---Lucas ended up doing mechanic work most of the time


BUT he was able to do SOME fun things---

Like Bug o Rama ---which he has been wanting to do for years!
Thanks Lyman for going with him!


He went to a Monster Truck Show with 
Uncle Micah and R, Uncle Steve, and Pepper.

The kids in front of the Ice Cream Truck

Sedona didn't want to go---so Pepper and Lucas had a fun night night out. 

Pepper has a Toy of this Monster Truck. The driver is a woman.

Gotta get a picture in front of this!

It was loud--and late--
But the coolest part was they had


A huge 40 foot car eating dinosaur that sets cars on fires and then eats them or crushes them!
We have video on that on our camera, but not our phone--sorry everyone for making you miss that--but you youtube it and see all sorts of fun videos!


I don't have pictures--but we went swimming a lot.  
We stayed about a week with Aunt Marinda and Uncle Steve and went swimming every day!  We also got to go when we stayed with Grandma Zola!

We also were able to see Stephanie, Jim, and Jamie--so fun! The girls were complaining and Jamie (about age 5) tells me  "I can handle this-You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"
So helpful!  Stephanie babysat for us (for way longer then she thought she was going to!) 
while we went out to eat with an old Missionary friend of Lucas's.
This wife was amazing!   I thought they were such a cute couple!  We had a lot of fun that night

I kept checking the computer because while we were there I was having interviews and finally choose where in Korea I would be working!  

Not sure this picture of Uncle Steve got on the computer---but there you go!