A site about our home, doing it yourself, science in schools, and the ramblings of a girl who appreciates a joy in her life.

Saturday, July 19

National Parks Road Trip-Part 2 The looooooong middle!

All you can eat pancakes
So Erik and I went on this crazy big road trip the moment that school it was out. It was fast, every moment was packed and a lot of fun. In http://www.homelifescience.com/2014/07/national-parks-road-trip-part-1.html  I posted some pictures of the first part of our trip,  but there was so much more left to the trip. This middle part of the trip was great, but it was so long and hot. There was a ton of driving to get through Arizona.

 In the last post, I showed some pictures of Mesa Verde. That was my favorite park of the whole trip. We woke up to all you can eat pancakes in the morning before our 9am hike down to Cliff Palace. After Cliff Palace, we booked it over to the Balcony House and hiked out there too. It was fantastic.
The Famous Cliff Palace

Heading out on the hike.

In Balcony House

After Mesa Verde we left the park at 12:30pm and drove all the way to the Grand Canyon. It was a long hot drive, but  was worth it to get to see the sunset over the grand canyon. It was actually nice too, because there were not so many people there. 
We only to go to our campground that night at 11pm! We were so tired and it was pitch black, but by now we know how to change out the stuff in the car and go to sleep.
The next morning we woke up and ran down to Williams Arizona. This was such a cute town! It was on Route 66 so they had a lot of great stuff around the town. I suggest going to the visitors center and then one of the 50's themed diners.



We drove out from Williams and headed to the Great Hoover Dam. It was terribly hot so it was all we could do to walk out across the bridge and look down at the Dam. We drove down to the Dam proper but it was $10 to park! We were too cheap so we pulled off looked at it, tried not to get hit by other drives and then drove to Las Vegas!


Now on to part 3! Getting close to the end here..........

Tuesday, July 15

National Parks Road Trip-Part 1

So the second that school was out, we left on a crazy 4000 miles, 8 days, 8 parks, 8 states road trip! Thats how we Neill's do a road trip! Last year we purchased a National Parks Annual Pass and we thought it would be a blast to fit in a few new national parks before it expired at the end of June.
All set in the car and ready to go
For this trip we took our little 2001 Honda CRV. To make the trip nice and smooth, we actually camped in the car itself. We put down the back seats and laid down thick camping pads. It actually makes quite a nice bed (if a little short for my 6ft husband). We cover the bed with sheets and then put the camping equipment on top of it. We can fit all of our clothes into two bags. We take one cooler, one large tupperware for tools, and one small tupperware for warm food. We pack light so that its easy to move from place to place, and also so that the food and stuff can fit into bear lockers. :)

Our first night was at the Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho. We rolled in kinda late Sunday night. The campground was really empty with just a few people. It was a nice campground with clean bathrooms.

The Sand dune view from our campsite

Sunset at the campground





























Our next stop was to head through Utah and go see Arches and Canyonlands. We stayed at the Archview Resort. The staff were nice, but it was hard to sleep with the campground so close to the highway. We drove through Arches on Monday night and got watch an amazing sunset. We also got to go through Double Arch on a short hike at dusk. It was a nice moment. It was so quite and calm.
The next morning we got up early and went drove up to Delicate Arch. We had to see the big Utah Arch! Afterwards we drove over to Canyonlands. It was a really nice park. Our favorite part was a short hike up to Mesa Arch. It had amazing views. It was funny, when we came home, I noticed that our generic screen saver was actually the view from that arch!
Archview Resort

Delicate Arch

After Arches and Canyonland, we headed over to Colorado to see Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We also got to see Erik's Grandma and Aunt too. The Black Canyon was stunning. It was really deep and had the neatest geology. It was a great place to visit, but it only took us two nights.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Can you see the dragons in the rock wall?




















After Colorado, we headed down to Mesa Verde, which was my favorite park of this whole trip. It was such a neat place, I wish that we had planned to spend more time there. One the night we got there, we got stuck up at the Visitor's Center on Chapin Mesa. There was a medical emergency that meant we could not drive away. It was a great opportunity though for us to eat dinner while the sunset over Spruce Tree House. It was a beautiful place steeped in history.


There is so much more to our trip and I will post it soon!