Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Temple Square

Temple Square contains 20+ buildings documenting the Mormon religion.
We spent time with countless missionaries from almost every country on the globe. They were giving tours and manning stations in every building - prepared to share the history and culture and, of course, their faith.

We heard endless praises for Brigham Young and all his good works. We saw statues of John the Baptist with Joseph Smith and Peter, James, and John with Joseph Smith. We tasted delicious rolls made in the Lion House Pantry.
Our kids wrestled with questions of Truth and were able to articulate with promoting how God's Word shows us that the work of salvation is DONE. 

Utah state Capitol

This morning, we visited the Utah state capital. Actually, I had some things to sort out for the trailer pick up tomorrow, so I ran around Salt Lake City taking care of some things while Scott and the kids took a tour of the Capitol building. I did catch the last 15 minutes. But that was after negotiating with 4 different banks (and a lot of man time on hold) to figure out how to get money out of our bank account and to the trailer people (Thank you Utah First Credit Union!) - all of which just took a lot of time. 

The kids impressed the tour guide by translating the Latin declaration Vox Populi in the assembly room. In fact, when I got there, are three oldest came to me separately to tell me that she said, "Nobody has ever been able to translate that before. You guys are really smart." (Thanks Classical Conversations!)

They also wanted to tell me about the glass that was used on the second floor that you could see through from the first floor. Apparently, the glass was ordered from Singapore, which was very exciting since we have a connection with that country. I took this picture from below of the rest of the family making fun shadows on the glass.
After the capitol tour, we had lunch in a pretty grassy area next to the capitol, then headed down to Temple Square. But not before... finding a notary (thank you UPS store) AND providing the proper documentation for the notary - which I forgot in the car more than a mile away! (Thanks Scott!!!) I used to be on top of things like this, but somehow living out of a car, cramps my organizational skills. (: So thankful my husband is willing to cheerfully pick up my slack!

Monday, May 30, 2016

A reprieve from tenting

Well, now I'm feeling reprieve. But today has been long and somewhat difficult. Sometimes when you fly by the seat of your pants, and don't plan ahead where you're going to spend the night, life can get a little challenging.
So far on our trip, we have been tent camping on either BLM land or US Forest Service land or National Park land. We have been doing what they call "dispersed camping" which is where you basically drive off the road on some dirt path and set up your tent at least 200 yards from any road or water source. The fun part is that you are on your own in nature and it's free! The hard part is finding the sites because there is no general map or directions that can lead you to these places. 
Since we are now in Salt Lake City, there is less open land to camp on. So today we found ourselves without a campground. We were planning to go camp on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake until I read a review on RV Park reviews that said, "Believe the park's website when it states 'the biting gnats have hatched'! We gambled, thinking the gnats would not be so bad, however, they were bad even with head nets on!"
I called to verify if the biting gnats, which come every year from April-June, were currently there, and was told they were, but they "weren't too bad". Since our family has no head nets, we decided not to risk it this time around. 
I was super bummed not to have a place to stay and not to be able to see the Great Salt Lake because it was getting late and we were out of options and since we had planned to stay in a hotel the next night to clean up before picking up the trailer, we started looking at hotels for tonight. 
Scott graciously took us to a small portion of the Great Salt Lake where people were fishing. We got out a blanket sat down and started looking for places to stay. Scott found an RV park that did not allow tent camping but had cabins. 
So tonight we are not tent camping. We are staying in a cute little cabin.
And our accommodations came with a lot of fun bonuses! Note the beautiful pool the kids are swimming in 
AND the clean laundry room where we were able to wash clothes for the first time in six days 

AND the full kitchen that Scott made dinner in 
AND the games provided!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What are those Grubbs up to now?!

A little explanation

Many of you know, some of you don't, the Grubb family is on a trip. 
Our plan is for the trip to last anywhere from three weeks to 16 months.
After searching for a trailer for a few months in Southern California, we finally found one to purchase in Utah. Our initial trip is scheduled to be five weeks long. 
We had planned to head north to Washington over to Yellowstone and south through Utah's national parks before coming home. This was going to be our test run. And it still is. 
But because we found the trailer in Utah, we are doing the test run backwards. 
We hope to pick up our trailer this Wednesday. And use the next four weeks to figure out if life in a trailer could work for us.
Our initial days are being spent tent camping in and around Utah's national parks. 
You can follow our adventures here on our blog. If you want to, you can even have the posts delivered directly to your email by subscribing at the top right-hand corner of the web version of the blog. 

Hickman Bridge and Petroglyphs

Hike then rest at the river


Chimney Rock Trail, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Sy found this near our campsite this morning.
Hiking in Capitol Reef...
View from the top (almost). Our car is just below middle right of the photo. 
This is Chimney Rock. 

Cactus in bloom 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Utah - Dixie National Forest

Kik took the "finish the raisins" (so we can throw the container out) challenge
Petrified wood and rock shop
Wood is petrified while buried without oxygen and minerals replace the wood over time. The color of the petrified wood is determined by the minerals which it is made of.
Running free in a landscape that is more familiar because it's much more like Yosemite with big rocks
Unfortunately, I did not have a helicopter to get an accurate picture. The road we traveled on was on the spine between two very deep canyons!
we found an art gallery while waiting for pizza! The kids had fun playing one of the art pieces was a Mississippi fretless guitar made from a cigarbox and played with a cylinder of glass on your ring finger. The rest of the gallery was pretty typical with paintings drawings and photography - all of Utah, of course.
And here's the view all around our campsite tonight.
Jo found a lizard and when he put it on Sy's green shirt it changed color!
Campfire time

Utah - Bryce Canyon and Dixie National Forest

Words cannot express the beauty our Creator has bestowed upon this place. 


Natural Bridge
Deer snacking beside the road

Our campsiteview
Kik was so proud of this fire. He lead all the kids in retrieving Stones to create a ring, gathering wood, and arranging it properly with kindling on the bottom and larger wood on the top. Then he let it… And it was wonderful. 

Utah - Zion and Red Canyon

We had planned on sleeping in a cheap hotel in Vegas for the night. But with all the car sickness we'd experienced, and knowing that the drive in the morning would be twisting and turning from through Arizona and on to St. George, Utah, we decided to go ahead and push on so that when Sy woke up he didn't have to do winding roads. 
We ended up setting up the tent on BLM land just outside Zion National Park. 
In the morning we noticed that while we set up in a nice spot, directly across the road was a huge field of nice spots. Oh well! That's what happens when you tent camp Grubb-style and set up your tent in the middle of the night!

This photo of where we ate breakfast does not come close to portraying the true beauty of this scene. I'd love to come back during the afternoon to have different light!
We only spent a short bit of time in Zion seeing the north part that we hadn't seen last time we came. Since we have already seen the southern part of Zion, we headed straight to Red Canyon. Although, I must say, when we saw Zion the first time, we declared it the most beautiful place on earth and it's hard to skip it this time.
Road school! Journaling where we go, what we see and what we like.
Arch in Red Canyon