Friday, August 11, 2017

Bryce Canyon National Park: Day 1

The Whitneys and we decided to visit Bryce Canyon for the weekend. For both of us, it is the last available weekend before school starts for the kids. We've vacationed together for the past three years, and the kids always have a lot of fun.

Although we planned the trip a while back, we weren't able to reserve a campsite at the park. There are only a few RV and group sites that are reservable, the greatest majority were open on a first come, first serve basis.

To ensure we were going to be able to get a site Claudia and I left my house close to 4:30 am in her van with the 5 youngest kids. That was the most we could fit in the vehicle. The two older girls stayed with their dads and drove out later that afternoon.

The ride there was the most quiet one I've had in a long time. The kids loade up in the van and slept the greatest majority of the way there. It was pure bliss.

Once we arrived at the park, we drove around to find a site. We had our pick of locations and decided to set up our tents at the North Campground, closest to the visitor center.

I was so proud of Claudia and I for getting both our tents and the canopy all up by ourselves. While we were working the kids played in the dirt or left to explore the campground.

After camp was up we went to the Visitor Center to pick up the Jr Ranger packets. There they were able to see a cooler part of the surface of the sun through a telescope set up by one of the rangers.

With several hours to go until Todd and the gang arrived, we decided to take the kids on an hike to Mossy cave and waterfall.

Andrew loved the hydration pack, and kept drinking from it. I don't have to worry about him getting dehydrated.

The waterfall was fun to see, and the kids got to play in the stream for a few minutes, until Andrew lost his temper and we had to leave so other people could enjoy the waterfall aswell.

It is a good thing that he loves his hiking pack. Once he was riding on it he was happy again, so we were able to continue on to see the mossy cave. It wasn't very impressive, so I didn't take the time to snap any pictures of it.

After our hike we drove back towards the visitor center. By that point, Andrew had fallen asleep in the van so Claudia took the older five inside to watch a video in the theater.

On our way out, Zoey fell from a two foot wall and landed hard on her arm, breaking her wrist. Fortunately, the bone did not break through the skin, and we were right outside the visitor center.  A ranger EMT was there assisting her within minutes.

I went back and forth between watching the kids in the car, and taking care of Zoey and her twin Zaylee so that Claudia could fill out the necessary paperwork for the ambulance and hospital.

We weren't sure how bad the break was, but the arm did not look very pretty. Zoey was so brave through out the whole ordeal. She was in pain, and did cry, which I would totally expect from an eight year old. But she also got over it pretty quickly and helped her sister Zaylee feel better.

The EMT did not have any pain medication appropriate for a child, so Zoey had to wait to get to the hospital before getting some relief.

In the meantime, Jordan was not far from Bryce Canyon, so he rode the rest of the way, helped unpack his gear, got his girls ready for bed and then left to join Claudia and Zoey at the hospital.

I found out later that the local ER doctor was able to partially reset the bone that evening. She was sent back in a sling and a stabilizing bracket. They were all back by midnight.

That night was rough for us also. Andrew had the hardest time sleeping because of the new surroundings and because of his cold, which had turned into asma. We were still up at midnight when the Whitneys got back to camp, and were up several other times during the night.