So I woke up this morning with all these plans of stuff to get done today and somehow I am just now getting to the whole "sit down and write about Day 2." That said, I somehow found time to work out today and for anyone who knows me, that's an accomplishment. Mostly because I hate working out. And yes, I said hate. I know it's a strong not so nice word, but seriously, it's on my least favorites list. Hiking, biking, tennis- all down for that because it feels like I'm playing. You tell me to "workout for my health" and my eyes glaze over. Which then makes me think of glazed doughnuts and curse the fact there isn't a Krispy Kreme anywhere close. All of that is precisely is why "working out" pretty much means biking in place while watching Orange is the New Black. It's the only way I can trick myself into actually getting it done.
And now you're probably all "why are you talking about working out so much?" to which I reply "because my stories are crazy long and in no way linear." But before I loose you... on to day two of our Utah's National Parks road trip. (If you missed day one, here you go.)
We woke up relatively early and checked the weather. Didn't look so hot. See, J. really wanted to do the Narrows hike (me, well not so much. I get claustrophobic and the though of being in a water filled slot canyon wasn't exactly the most appealing, but it was his birthday so I was going to try.) The thing with the Narrows hike though is YOU SHOULD NEVER DO IT IF IT MIGHT RAIN. The park constantly warns you with signs, recordings, even a large "hey, you. Flash flooding is pretty much going to happen today so how's about you stay out of here" signs at the entrance. But here was my husband, really wanting to do it, and I figured if I had to die some way, well, I'd prefer it be in a beautiful place with my favorite person. Luckily I didn't marry a man who likes to put me in harms way so he vetoed it in favor of driving through Kolob Canyon. (Granted, given we could only do one of them if we wanted to see anything else that day, and he's already hiked the Narrows and had never seen Kolob, the choice seemed pretty clear to me.)
Most people never go to Kolob because you have to drive out of the park and down the highway like 15-20 miles, before you even hit the road. But oh my goodness it's so worth it. By far some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever witnessed. And since we went around 8 in the morning, we were completely by ourselves (though, it didn't seem like it was EVER busy, so you could probably go whenever. I personally think the sunlight on the canyons is prettiest in the morning though.)
After Kolob, we drove back down to the park and hopped on the shuttle again. It was too late by then to do the whole Narrows hike that J. was planning (and the sky was pretty much completely grey) but he still wanted to show me the hike in (it's a really pretty super short hike to the mouth of the canyon/river where the real hike begins.) Very happy he did, because it really was beautiful. It was super crowded though and that kind of took away some of the majesty. (Side note here. DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS. If it seems like I'm yelling, that's because I am. I understand it's cool to feel like Cinderella or Snow White when a little chipmunk or squirrel runs up to you and eats from your hand, but it's not only dangerous- they'll attack if they feel threatened- but you're killing their ability to survive in the woods. So please. Don't feed them. Stepping off my soapbox now.)
After we saw all that, we rode back down to the Visitor's Center where our car was parked - just in time for the skies to open up. Talk about being happy we weren't in a flash flood area anymore. Since it was already raining, we figured we'd go ahead and drive towards Bryce Canyon National Park and find a campsite. (Which thanks to my cell phone working for a moment, was pretty easy to do in a nearby National Forest area.) We set up camp, paid the fee, and then hopped back into the car heading towards Bryce.
To be honest, J. warned me of this, but Bryce isn't a place I'd recommend staying for an extended amount of time. There are a lot of day hikes you can do, you should definitely drive the main road and stop at all the view points/walk out over the canyons and see the hoodoos, etc, but if you don't have a ton of time, don't stress. You can see it all in just a few hours. (If you want to hike more, then of course, allow for more time. )
We pretty much saw everything we wanted by sunset, but figured we'd stop by on the way back out and do a couple hikes. Of course, that was before we got back to camp and endured a crazy thunderstorm/torrential downpour and ended up just calling it a night and going to bed. J. was a little stressed out given the terrible weather - he was worried I wasn't going to have a good time/the tent would leak/etc. but all worked out. We stayed dry, our new sleeping bags were super warm, and I sleep really well when it rains so aside from a few times waking up to what sounded like God clapping outside of our tent (seriously, the thunder was crazy loud) I woke up the next morning refreshed and ready for day 3. J. on the other hand? Well, let's just say he was very happy we awoke to sunshine and had coffee on hand.