Well, our grand plan of waking up early and hitting the road before the main road between Zion and Bryce closed "fail"ed (Jimmy Jr's favorite word this summer.) I woke up in time to get us out the door, but read online that we MUST DO the shuttle bus tour of Zion. Since we will likely never be back here again, I decided we MUST DO it.
We had a great breakfast and got on (and off and on and off) the shuttle. Round trip it was about an hour, and definitely worth it. Cars are not allowed in the canyon past the Lodge, so we had not been back into the canyon…just to the Emerald Pools that are .6 miles from the Lodge. To go all the way inside the canyon was beautiful! We took one short hike to the Weeping Wall, where water comes right out the side of the rocks. Otherwise, we just took pictures. There were so many pictures of rocks that I tried to cut them down. One can only look at so many rock pictures before they get bored. ;-)
After the shuttle tour, we started out for Bryce Canyon. We had to go around the long way since we missed the road cut-off, and I am guessing it added a couple of hours to the drive. That's okay, because it was a gorgeous, painless ride anyway. We arrived at Ruby's Campground outside the entrance to Bryce sometime around 3. Plenty of time to see some sites, go for a swim in the campground pool, or….do laundry!!! Clark begged off of doing anything at all, especially seeing any more canyons. He had his fill for the moment. Jimmy didn't want to go swimming. So, the kids and big Jimmy went down to a lake that was nearby and I did laundry. Very exciting.
The highlight of the kids' day was the fact that I found slingshots for everyone at the little souvenir shop across the street. They have spent many hours practicing shooting pebbles and have declared the following: Jimmy = Sniper, Clark = Shotgunner, Nona = Mortarer, Elise = Rapid Firer. While they shot bottles, big Jimmy prepared a gourmet feast of hot dogs, mixed veggies and potato chips. The kids said it was one of the best meals they've had. We followed it up with s'mores by the campfire. Doesn't get any better than that!
We settled in for bed, and all was good, we were snuggly in our sleeping bags waiting for the 36 degree weather when a cow started mooing. Incessantly. I'm not exaggerating. Damn thing kept me awake most of the night. I forgot my earplugs and I am SOOOO sorry. Of course big Jimmy didn't hear a thing!!! Neither did the boys. The girls and I were kept awake. I was wishing I had a gun, or at the very least some good ammo for the slingshots.