He was tired (obvi!), took a quick shower and went to sleep. I took the girls down to the buffet breakfast (included) while the boys were asleep. They were all still out when we went back up, so we tried to be quiet and lay down for a bit. When S&B woke up, I took them down for breakfast, and gave the girls a few jobs to do while we were gone. Then I took all four swimming and we had a good time.
Packed up the car and headed out to the finish line to collect Jers' drop bags. They had a monitor at the road head, because they only wanted shuttles (this time vans) to go through. The boy let us through, yay. Unfortunately, one of the bags hadn't made it back yet, even though it should have.
We were going to be one our way home at that point, but not anymore. We went out to lunch at the Pines, then Jeremy passed out in the van while I drove to a spot I had written down directions for the previous day in case I had time to check it out. I drove part way, and then realized the dirt road I'd be driving on for miles and miles was going to be way bumpier than would be a good idea for sleeping Jeremy & Blake. So I turned around and decided to check out a fish hatchery I had seen a sign for on the way.
Why a fish hatchery you ask? My grandparents in PA took us to one when we were kids, and we thought it was cool. I have found memories of that.
After the turn, the sign said 2 miles down the road. Before two miles, there was a fork, with no designation as to which way we should go. We went right. Wrong choice. Made our way back to the other way, and met this:
Sad day. Jeremy had woken up at this point and was like, where are we and what are we doing, lol. I told him they should have had "not open to the public" under the fish hatchery sign on the highway, and he pointed out that it didn't have an "open to the public" sign, so maybe it was assumed. Anyone else have experience with fish hatcheries? I only have that one in PA I have knowledge from.
We went back to the finish line, only this time the boy wouldn't let us through even though we explained the situation, and at that time a shuttle appeared and he said we could get on that. I parked the van super fast and jumped on. Got to the finish line a mile away, found the bag (major score, because I made a gamble coming back two hours before they thought the bags from that aid station would arrive), ran back to the 15 passenger shuttle--only to find it packed and people waiting. Ugh.
I decided to walk instead of wait, and started off.
The journey was through a brushy land. My throat and eyes yearned for moisture. How did you make it through 84 miles I would later ask Jeremy. He said he was good about keeping ice in his bandana around his neck and also in his hat. Respect. I was thinking if this had been my walkabout in Australia, it would have been short. I would have found myself fast.
Returned to the van victorious, and we were on our way!
This time our scenic detour was through Zion, and it was AMAZING. I totally recommend driving through. Something really cool is that it costs $30 to drive through (totally worth it), but we didn't have to pay since Hayley had her 4th grade National Park pass through the end of August with, score!
These pics through our dirty van window don't do the place justice at all, you have to see in person. It's amazing.
The wait line for the big tunnel. We had already gone through a short tunnel--this one is way long, and they only let one way go at a time. After going through, we understood why--there are several windows cut into the tunnel side, which look out to a grand view. People would stop, even though we weren't supposed to. I can understand how traffic would get even more backed up if the other side was trying to stop and see through as well.
(One such window. They were all a little different.)
Stayed in Mesquite, NV, that evening--can't recommend the Holiday Inn Express there enough! It was our favorite of the four hotels we stayed in on this trip. Staff was great, pool and spa were great, beds were great, breakfast was great.