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A trip to Bryce Canyon

25 June 2013
Our big news for the month of June is that my wonderful little brother, Tony, has returned from his 2 year mission to Paraguay. We are so proud of him for serving. He is a great young man and we are excited to have him home with us again. His homecoming at the airport was the first one I have ever attended and made me look forward to the day when my other brother, Daniel, arrives home from his mission in Australia.

My favorite picture from the airport is this one. Sparrow just couldn't wait to get to uncle Tony. My dad had to pull Sparrow away so Tony and my mom could have a little time to themselves.


Last week, Sparrow and I went with my mom and Tony to Bryce Canyon for a few days. It was right before a final for me, and I didn't do as well on the final as I'd hoped, but it was great to spend the time with my brother and get reacquainted with him.


Bryce is a beautiful place. It's filled with formations of rocks called "hoodoos" which are quite the sight to behold. Sparrow loves the hoodoos. We visited Bryce Canyon two years ago and it was one of his favorite words for 6 months. Drove Hawk and me crazy with Sparrow hoodooing all over the place.


One of the first things we did upon arrival was go ATVing. My mom had Tony drive, seeing as he's used to crazy driving from being in Paraguay. (Ha ha. But seriously. My dad has lived in this country for 22 years and he still drives like he's in Mexico.)


Sparrow was so cute. He was so excited to go on the ATV and even more excited to be with his uncle Tony. He has missed his uncle and kept saying "I love you Tony!" and playing with him the whole time we were there. Even though Tony left when Sparrow was only 3, it's clear Sparrow remembered him (I was worried he might not.)


On the trail, with Tony behind the wheel, Sparrow and I sat in the back of the ATV like this:


My shirt used to be white...



We went to a rodeo while down south. It was Sparrow's first time at a rodeo and he loved it. I enjoyed it too - I've always loved horses and there were some beautiful ones there. The bull riding was scary. One cowboy was kicked in the arm by his bull and almost trampled on the head. Yikes.


We did some hiking, of course. Last time we were in Bryce, it was 6 weeks post major abdominal surgery for me. My mom had us do this same trail, which is about 3.5 miles and at the end it is extremely steep. While we were in the bottom of the canyon, it started thundering and lightning-ing. My mom chose that moment to inform me that Bryce is #1 in Utah for lightning strike deaths. We RAN through that canyon with Sparrow riding on my mom's back the whole way. It was painful for everyone.

This time was much nicer. The trail was still difficult, but we survived and Sparrow handled it so well. We had a couple of people comment on what a good hiker he was. (The secret is bribing him with cookies.)


My mom tried to channel her inner mountain goat.


When it was time to leave, Sparrow was sad.


But we'll visit Bryce Canyon again soon. Hawk still hasn't been there, and it's one of those places that you should definitely try and visit. (If you're already out here, that is. I can't see making a special trip just to visit Bryce Canyon.)

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