Sunday, August 17, 2014

That Time I Went on a Sister's Camping Trip and didn't Blog About it Until a Year Later

My sis and I are going on another camping trip together, only this time we get to stay in a cabin. I guess it's not really camping if you're in a cabin, but I'm not going to turn my nose up at  flush toilets and showers and an actual bed to sleep in.

Our husbands are being dragged along in case we need them for something going, but will likely stay in the cabin and watch T.V. while sis and I hike and get all outdoorsy. Which is fine because hiking isn't much fun when your companion keeps referring to it as "The Death March."

It occurred to me recently that I never told you about last year's Sister Camping Trip we took to Zion. It was just me and my sis.That was the trip right after I fractured my spine (which I didn't know I did or I probably wouldn't have gone hiking) and when I got back it was really painful to sit at my computer and write so I didn't blog for a while.

Anyhoo, thought I'd catch you up and tell you about it today. I made a few notes while on the trip, so that I would remember everything to blog about...but damned if I can't read half of them! Note to self: Put notes in my phone next time.

We left on a Friday afternoon, right after I got off work. That morning, I bent down to tie my shoe and felt this weird shifting feeling in my back, like a collapsing, and this sharp pain that went from my chest through to my back. It was the weirdest thing and I almost went to urgent care over it, but I didn't want anything to interfere with our trip. I had some back pain the rest of the day, but it was bearable, so I figured I would see the doc when I got back.

I picked up my sis and we started loading her stuff in my truck. The bickering started immediately over where we should put the ice chest:

Sis: Let's put it in last.
Me: No, let's put it in first because we're just going to leave it in the truck anyway. That way we can get all our stuff out without taking the ice chest out.
Sis: You're too bossy. I'm putting it in last.
Me: You brought too much stuff.
Sis: Well you're going to ask to use all my stuff, so good thing I'm bringing it.
Me: When do I use your stuff?
Sis: You always use my stuff.
Me: Whatever. I forgot chapstick. Did you bring chapstick?

We finally got loaded and on the road. It was less than 3 hours away to Zion and we got there before dark.

We stayed in Springdale, a quaint little town outside of Zion National Park that we've been to many times before. It's a juxtaposition of cowboys, vegans, Christians, and New Agers, all united by their love of nature. You hear a dozen different languages and accents around you everywhere you go and everyone is exuberant from their day's adventures in the Park.

Springdale Utah (I didn't have a good pic, so snagged this here)

We wanted to save money so decided to pitch tent a tent at an RV/tent park, and eat our meals in town to simplify things. We didn't want to mess with bringing a bunch of food and cooking gear for just the two of us.

Apparently, before dinner, sis and I had a conversation about "the new fat." It must have been noteworthy, because...well...I made a note of it. No specifics, just a note that says "Before Oscars, our convo about "the new fat."

What the hell was I talking about? Now, a year later, I have absolutely no idea. I do remember we ate at Oscar's Cafe though. It's a unique little place where we dined on pesto quesadillas with pistachios and ice cold Coronas.

Oscar's Cafe in Springdale, Utah (Snagged from their website)
That night we drank wine by our campfire and listened to the sounds of the crickets and the Virgin river.

Then I was introduced to the Pee Can. 

My sister has a coffee can - a regular, 1 lb size coffee can - that she keeps in her tent at night to pee in. Since we were sharing a tent, I had the pleasure of waking up to the sound of rushing water that WAS NOT the Virgin river. It was coming from my very un-virgin sister.

She justifies this tactic by telling me she puts the can outside the tent after she pees in it. But I don't care where the can is AFTER she pees in it, I care that it's right up by my head WHILE she's peeing in it. What about the splash factor? I mean it's a tiny little can, for crying out loud!

So the next morning, I go out to the truck to get the camp stove and coffee pot to make our morning coffee. I grab the can of coffee off the table.

It sloshes.

Coffee grounds don't slosh.


After more bickering about the Pee Can and eventually agreeing to disagree, we ate our leftover quesadillas for breakfast and headed into Zion Park for a hike.

My back was still hurting, so we did an easy hike called the Watchman's Trail. The sun was on us the whole time, so we stopped and rested often. We saw one of these on the way up:

Remember the three stooges? Larry sees a toupee and says, "Ooooh, a tarantula!" I can't help it. I say it to myself everytime I see one (tarantulas, not toupees), which fortunately isn't often. On both counts.

We also saw scenes like this:

And this:

Then we had some of these and hiked back down:

Here we are at the end of the hike:

Not long after that, we were doing this:

Resting felt good, but it was too warm in the tent to nap, so we decided to put our chairs in the river and sit and read. We walked down the slope to the riverbank with chairs, books, and wine spritzers in hand and plopped our chairs in a shady spot in the water.

This looks like a good spot.

Don't let my sister's coffee mug fool you. It's a wine spritzer.

Ahhhh. Delicious wine spritzer, cool water, good book, great view...what more could you ask?

How about for the sun to stop moving? I had to reposition my chair about 6 times because I kept losing my shade. My sister was getting annoyed:

Me: I'm hot.
Sis: Again?
Me: I'm in the sun.
Sis: Well, move then.
Me: I just moved.
Sis: Then get in the water.
Me: I'll just splash some on me.
Sis: You do that.
Me: I can't wait till you go through menopause.
Sis: I won't be as bad as you.
Me: Yes you will.
Sis: I could never be as bad as you.
Me: I'm making note of those words to taunt you with later.
Sis: I know you are.

We watched this little guy for a while:

"Quite your bickering and throw me some of your trail mix, you plump menopausal psychos!"

After a few hours of bickering relaxing in the water, we got ready for dinner. We ate on the patio of a little restaurant called The Spotted Dog. We had fish and a bottle of wine (can't remember what kind of either one) and both were fantastic.

Spotted Dog Cafe. Springdale, Utah. (Photo from their website)
The town of Springdale is lovely in the evening:

We walked to a nearby ice cream shop then back to our camp for a shower (Hallelujah, our campground had showers!) and another evening by the fire. Due to the hiking and walking around town, my fractured back hurt horribly that night, but was better the next morning after I was up and around a bit.

For Sunday's festivities, we decided to take a drive instead of another hike. We drove a Scenic route called Kolob Canyon Road. It was a gorgeous drive:

One of the views from Kolob Canyon Road in Utah

Don't the clouds look magnificent?
The drive reminded me of a quote from The Lord Of The Rings:

Kolob Canyon Road, Utah
At the end of the drive was a lake, where we ate lunch and stayed for a while:

Isn't this just the prettiest spot?

Those clouds again. They make everything so dramatic looking.

Then of course, the Pee Can had to make another appearance. We were sitting on the back of my Tahoe eating lunch and my sister says she has to pee.

Sis: I have to pee.
Me: Me too. Let's find a bathroom.
Sis: They're probly real dirty. I have my Pee Can.
Me: Seriously? You brought your Pee Can?
Sis: Yeah, I didn't know if there would be bathrooms.
Me: Why don't we look for a bathroom first?
Sis: No, I like my can.
Me: You like your can.
Sis: Yes, I'm going in the back seat to pee.
Me: Great. I'll just sit here and finish my lunch while you pee 5 feet away from me.
Sis: (While peeing) Are you going to put this in your blog?
Me: Hell yes.

That night we ate at the Zion Pizza and Noodle Co. Another restaurant with a fun atmosphere and great food. At first we sat at a table way in the back where it was stifling hot. There were other diners all around us that didn't seem to have a problem with the heat, but after 10 minutes, I couldn't handle it. I told my sister we had to move because it was just too hot. She rolled her eyes at me, but helped me pick up our drinks and silverware and move to another table in the front where there was more airflow.

Can you believe I got the eyeroll?

I seriously cannot wait until she goes through menopause.

After dinner we took the shuttle into Zion to see it at dusk. We rode around the whole loop, enjoying the scenery and wildlife. It was a good time to see deer. Unfortunately, I didn't get very good pictures but it was lovely. 

Back at camp, we had another evening drinking wine by the campfire. We resolved to lose weight, take better care of our health, and hike the narrows next year. The narrows is a stream that runs through Zion and you are basically hiking in the water and over rocks. It's supposed to be moderately strenuous, but a gorgeous view.

It may have been the wine talking.

I have this scribble in my Zion trip notes that I can't read and have no idea what it means:

Sorry it's sideways. I loaded it the right way, flipped it, reloaded it, and it just stays sideways. Anyway, it apparently was some thought I had the morning we drove home. It looks to be something about coffee. Oh well, couldn't have been too profound. Again... next time the notes go into my phone. Also, I won't wait a year to write about it so maybe I'll remember.

Despite my fractured back, my sis and I had a great time. Despite the bickering, we resolved (probably over wine) that we would do a Sister's Trip at least once a year. This year it's a cabin in Brianhead and next year it's the Grand Canyon.

I'm sure the Pee Can will come along too.

Hotly yours,



AiringMyLaundry said...

Pretty pictures! Love the scenery.

Ick about the pee can though. And the spiders. *Shudders*

Suburban Correspondent said...

Oh, I'd LOVE to take the kids to Zion! I don't know whether or not we would survive the drive, though.

Mrs4444 said...

Funny. I smiled all the way through this. Sounds like a great time, except for your back issue, of course

My New Happy said...

Love this! My sister is 5 years younger than me, and I'm just starting menopause, so we will probably be having the exact same conversations. I don't think she has a pee can though :).

pass the hone said...

Love your post! Such great memories with your family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, too. I saw this on The SITS Sharefest.

kayerj said...

That was a fun post. We've been to Zion a few times. My kids and their dad hiked Angel's landing this year. I stayed with the little ones. I hope your back has improved. Thanks for stopping by today kelley at the road goes ever ever on