Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pinkstons Don't Really Take on Bryce Canyon at All

As predicted in my previous blog post, that final evening in Zion, we went on another hike. Starting out at 5:28p.m. (really though, I often remember exact times and I'm sorry if that weirds you out, but I was asked to keep a record of our vacation goings-on, so you're going to have to be tough), we figured that we should experience some cool of the evening goodness. Plot twist: it was probably the hottest hike we'd been on up to that point. 

After the hike, in a similar fashion to after every hike I ever hike ever, I deeply desired a smoothie, and this time, I even got my family on board, so we had SMOOTHIES FOR DINNER. I love smoothies for dinner. Or for lunch, or breakfast, or snacky-poos, or just for funsies. Mine was mango and it was giant and it actually tasted just like almost ripe mangoes and it was perfect and I'm so sorry I can't share but I ate it all. 

The next morning, I awoke after a great night of sleep to learn that I was in the minority for having had such. Jack had vomited way more than anyone ever should have to and was unable to keep down food for the rest of the morning. It seems the invincible super boy of excess energy was taken down by a brutal bug of sorts. We should have known something was wrong when the last evening sported no rainbow for us. Our fate had changed, and not in the romantic, Brave the Disney movie, Irish-accented "If you had the chance to change yer fate, would ya?" kind of way.

That morning, the Pinkston girls enjoyed one last Zion-y hike, and it was one of our favorites. Canyon Overlook had mountain sheep to observe, lovely views to take in, and paths to accidentally lose track of and then find again. 

You also may want to note that at this point, all Pinkstons are wearing coordinating outfits, drawing from the blue and orange color families, in hopes, however feeble, that a snapshot could emerge that would free us from an awful, forced, pale photoshoot in Fishers at the end of November in a scramble to let all of the family friends we've ever had see us at the ugliest time of the year.

Moving right along, we drove through the park and for a couple of hours to Bryce Canyon National Park. The town on the edge of the park was smaller and less cute than the one outside of Zion. It sported a unified Western theme. As Jack wasn't feeling the best, we drove through and saw the sights of Bryce, but didn't venture on any hikes. We did, however, drag the sickling out of the car for a couple of optimistic snapshots.

We then drove the rest of the way to Torre, Utah, right outside of Canyon Reef National Park where we would spend the night, which is where you'll find us in our next post.


Monday, July 29, 2013

The Pinkstons Take on Zion National Park

Yesterday morning, we headed out to Zion National Park. Though we received mixed messages about the moderate/strenuousness of our first hike, we attacked "Hidden Canyon" trail full force. Jack, particularly, was forceful, attempting to follow to path while spending as little time actually on it as possible. The majority of our hike was beautifully shaded. The most frightening of areas was less frightening than anticipated, which was totally fine by me. When we reached the top, we were still uncertain about where exactly the canyon was, so I suppose it was very well hidden. Venturing past the end of the trail, past the sign saying that scrambling would be required, we made it to a small stone arch. 'Twas a fun mini adventure.

Now, I realize that Utah may not be at the very tip top of everyone's "Too See" list. In fact, a lot of people I know have opted to go to Europe this summer, as silly as that may sound. I used to be a bit jealous, but now, upon seeing how many Europeans are hiking around Zion National Park, I pity all you travelors in Europe. It must be terribly lonely there with all of the natives hiking in national parks in the Southwest of the United States. 

In addition to Hidden Canyon, we "hiked" Weeping Rock. It took an approximate 15-20 minutes round trip, I think the rock was weeping because it wasn't as cool as so many of the other rocks. It needs a confidence boost, but I wasn't going to be the one to stick around and provide it. I had other things to see.

We went to hike to the Lower, Middle, and Upper Emerald pools. These could have been more aptly named the Lower, Middle, and Upper Brown Ponds. However, that would have been less enticing. If you haven't recently, Google Zion National Park. Now imagine all of the pictures in person, but all of the water as chocolate milk colored. That's what I've experienced. It is really lovely. Lots of sandstone and rainbows two nights in a row!

Today, heeding warnings of potential flash floods and opting not to hike in the river, we decided to hike to the iconic Angel's Landing. This hike was to be 4 hours, and we were uncertain as to if we would continue to the peak or hike to the highest spot that was not terrifying. Many of the landmarks in the park are named with reference to the Mormon faith. This peak appeared to its namer as a place that angels would land in the presence of another landmark named the Great White Throne. I think that this logic is ridiculous. If you could fly, why would you land somewhere where you had to hike for a couple of hours to get down? Unless, of course, the angels were just landing briefly and didn't want to stop anywhere for food or anything, which sounds highly unlikely to me. 

We decided, with much wavering, to not do the final part of the climb. We chose life. On a grosser note, Joely embarrassed the whole family and all of nature with the biggest, slowest, middle-of-the-pathest snot rocket ever to bless Zion National Park.

After the long hike, we lunched at a cafe that specialized in BBQ and crepes. It is in the beginning stages of inspiring my up and coming burger and donut shop. Now, Jack is bursting with weird amount of energy and wanting to run on a treadmill before another hike. 

Love and sweat,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rainbows and Baby Animals and Other Cute Occurrences

Howdy folks. I know it's been awhile, but I've come crawling back, as I always do. My parents have requested that I document our family vacation.

This morning, we departed from Indy and landed in Las Vegas. Along the way, I re-realized my calling, as I do most times I fly, to write for Sky Mall magazine. Really, it is great. I believe I could do an awesome job of getting genuinely excited about sketchy products that no one needs but everyone secretly wants. I would also have a lot of fun with naming things in entire sentences.

Once in Vegas, we, along with everyone in the city besides the two people who had an early lunch and the one gal who decided brunch was enough to hold her over until dinner, dined at In-N-Out Burgers. It was well worth the crowd, the wait, and the looking up of the Bible verses on the bottom of the food wrappings. Afterwards, we drove through the city a bit. It was very festive, but as it was not cute, it is not the focus of this post.

After a bit of a road trip, a near run in with the Walmart Distribution Center, a terrifying glimpse into an ostrich farm, and one too many ancient tunes, we arrived in Springdale, Utah. I don't know about you and your experiences, but this is my first time in Utah, and, especially considering the rocky road here, I am shocked by the sheer adorableness that has confronted us. 

After checking into our precious hotel, it started drizzling outside. This drizzle produced, just to the left of where I am now sitting, a lovely, full, brilliant rainbow bending gracefully over a mountain. The drizzle swiftly ceased and we walked off in search of new horizons, a reason to stretch our legs, and dinner. Before long, we crossed paths with two babychild deer. They were even cuter than the rainbow. These critters are at the stage of life when their ears are double the size of the rest of them. It truly is darling on them, but I sincerely hope that this same stage of development has never befallen you. We snapped a few photographs and watched them eat. I know not if this is a rule amongst all deer or simply the one I observed, but this youngster chews like a camel. A tiny, adorable, spotted, humpless camel.

We walked on and everything is adorable. The ridiculousness of it all hit me when I observed that even the Shell gas station is adorable. There is hiking gear for sale everywhere and there are ice cream and candy shops, probably the kind that like to be spelled with a s-h-o-p-p-e, if you ask me. The outdoor gear, the prevalence of art, and the presence of veggie specials even at the most carnivorous appearing restaurant, add a hint of hippie to the atmosphere. 

My sister is teaching me to do the camp thing where you create a rhythm with cups, so look forward to my shining career in a collegiate a cappella group soon. (That was a pop culture reference to the movie Pitch Perfect, for all of you who needed a hint.) 

Tomorrow we will take on Zion National Park, and I will probably have more adventuresome tales to tell you. Until then, rest well, live in the cuteness, and hope we don't melt out here.