Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bryce Canyon

After Zion National Park, we drove to Bryce Canyon which is also located in Utah. We started driving in the afternoon and arrived in the evening, so we could we could hike early the next day.  We stayed the night in an RV park at the bottom of Bryce Canyon Nation Park. The RV park had an indoor pool. When we came, we quickly changed and got ready to go swimming.  The pool was very warm and we swam a little bit before it closed at 10:00pm. 

Near the entrance of the park
The next morning we drove to the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park. When we exited the RV, we realized right away that it was very cold. We had to wear warm clothes like pants, hats, and a big jacket. The sun was out, and there were no clouds, but it was pretty windy.  When we approached the Canyon, the view was amazing.  Bryce Canyon looked like huge red sand castles.  These rock formations are called Hoodoos.  Hoodoo means to cast a spell. The mountains were formed 10 million years ago and then ancient rivers formed the Hoodoos through erosion.   

Bryce Canyon was very different from the other 2 parks that we were previously. The Grand Canyon was much bigger than Bryce Canyon. For example, in Grand Canyon, we only hiked to a ridge, but in Bryce Canyon, we hiked all the way down. However, in both parks, you are standing on to and looking down the canyon. Zion National Park, we were standing at the bottom of the canyon looking up. Zion was also very green and had a river running through it.

Storm clouds are starting to appear
 At Bryce National park, we started our hike at Sunset point and did a Queens/Navajo combination loop which was about 3 and a half miles. This trail takes you all the way down to the bottom of the canyon and then you walk on the canyon floor and return up a different way.  On the way down, we were hiking we saw numerous trees that were growing sideways off of the canyon walls. There were also many holes that we could climb right into, and hide into. There was one section with three holes that we all climbed into.  When we reached the bottom of the canyon, we stopped for lunch. On the bottom of the canyon, there was a mini forest.  On the bottom we noticed that hikers had stacked small rocks on each other, to make them look like hoodoos. There were even some on the trees. Some of the stacks were larger than others. While we were walking and taking photos, we didn’t notice as the dark clouds were coming in. One of the hikers warned us that it is supposed to rain, hail, or snow.  Once we heard that, we started hurrying up. We didn’t want to get caught in the storm because we didn’t have the right clothes. Right when we got to our RV it started snowing. We were so happy that we made it!  
Bottom of the Canyon

After our hike, we decided to drive to see some of the points inside the car. One of our stops had a flat part that looked like an alligator. Can you see it on the photo below? Since it was going to snow, we decided to move on to our next stop, Death Valley.

Have you ever gotten caught in the rain or snow?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lake Powell

We left the Grand Canyon, and drove up North on highway 89 towards Glen Canyon Recreation Park, which has Lake Powell.  On the way, we passed by the Navaho Indian Reservation.  The mountains that we passed by were multi colored mountains and below were flat prairie type land. Near the mountains there were small houses that were very far apart. The homes were small and looked like they were poor.  We also saw many animals’ cows, mules, horses, and buffalo roaming the land. 


Soon we approached Lake Powell.  Lake Powell was formed by the Glen Canyon Dam and named in honor of Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell, who led an expedition in wooden boats down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1869. The Glen Canyon Dam is 710 feet above the Colorado River, and was completed in 1966. The lake took 17 years to fill and was completely full by 1980. The lake is 186 miles long and provides water, storage, and power for the southwestern United States. 

When we came to Lake Powell, it was around 5:00pm and very warm outside. The water looked very clear, and there were a couple fish and ducks swimming in the lake.  We couldn’t wait to try the water after driving in the car for a couple of hours.  We quickly got ready and ran to the river for a swim. The water was freezing, but we still had a good time.   We then continued our trip by driving to our next stop, Zion National Park

Playing in the water

Have you ever swam in a Lake? Was it also cold?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon

After a long drive, we finally made it to the Grand Canyon.   First, we were very eager to get out of the car after driving for two days.  When we first started walking I was amazed by how enormous and beautiful the Grand Canyon was because we came in the afternoon. We spent the first few hours walking around the rim, and looking at the gorgeous view. We went to a couple different points around the rim to get different views. The Grand Canyon is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. It is a canyon that is 217 miles long, 18 miles wide and approximately one mile down. The canyon was formed by the Colorado River. You can see a small part of the Colorado River in the background of one of the photos. 


Along part of the trail, there were these ancient [very old] rocks marking the time line of the creation of the Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon is between 3-6 million years old, but the oldest rocks are almost 2 billion years old. The oldest rock that they had on display was 1,840 million years old.  

After walking about 3 miles, our parent’s rewarded us with ice cream at the village. Once we were done eating and resting, we took a tram to a famous point to view the sunset. This was where we saw the Whole Grand Canyon and even saw a very small part of the Colorado River. There is 277 miles of the Colorado River that runs through the Grand Canyon.  We also saw many Turkey Vultures that were in groups all looking for their next delicious meal. At around 7 P.M, we saw the sun fall behind the Grand Canyon, and soon it got dark and very cold. Then we ran back to the shuttle that took us to the R.V. We have a busy day planned for tomorrow. We were going to hike down to a ridge near the bottom of the Grand Canyon. 

What was your favorite vacation like?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Traveling by RV

Today we left Southern California to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is approximately a 600 mile drive and will take us 12 hours. We are making this trip in an RV.  RV stands for recreational vehicle which is basically a house that stands on wheels. We are in a RV that is 32 feet.  It is big enough for all seven of us to live and sleep in. We each took sleeping bags instead of bedding.  The RV also has an electric generator so we can have light and plug in all our appliances like refrigerator, oven, and tea kettle, as well as our computers.   My dad’s cell phone gives us internet access.  Under the bed there is an area that holds 80 gallons of water.  This gives us water for the sink, bathroom, and shower.

We brought the RV a day before our trip to our home so that we can fill it with all the things we need for our trip. My dad bought numerous supplies such as food, water, plates and utensils for eating and cooking.  We also took things to do like books, math, sewing, and flash cards for music theory.  Each person packed one bag of clothes and of course a camera to take photos.

Making a rug
One thing that surprised me the most is that it is pretty bumpy to ride in an RV. As soon as we started to drive everything that wasn't tied down started to fall and move around. After a while, we got used to it and it wasn't so bad. 

Have you every gone on a long road trip? 


Playing in the bedroom

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sound of Music

On my sister Miriam birthday, we watched The Sound Of Music. We liked the movie so much that we decided to learn to play some of the songs. The movie was about the Von Trapp family, a captain and his 7 children. When their mom died, the dad became very strict.  They needed a governess to take care of the children, and the convent sent Maria to help the family. Maria started teaching the children about music and how to sing. They learned to sing so well that they even performed in front of the whole city. 

After their mom died, they no longer sang or had music in the home. Maria brought music into their house and even got their dad to play his guitar that he hasn't played in many years. The first song that he played and sang was Edelweiss. Edelweiss is a white flower found in the Alps.

My little sister Hannah and  I have been practicing a song called Edelweiss.  I play it on the violin and Hannah plays it on the piano.  First, My older sister Miriam and I played it together while Hannah listened. A couple weeks later she wanted to play it also, and my mom taught it to her. I loved playing it with her.

I am also going to play My Favorite Things with my sister Miriam. In the movie, there was a thunderstorm and all the children got scared. Maria taught them My Favorite Things to get them into a better mood. She told them to think of good things and then they won't feel so bad. 

Here is Hannah and I playing Edelweiss and Miriam and I playing My Favorite Things.

Have you seen this movie?

Have you heard these songs?