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National Parks are good for the Soul

Is this St. Louis summer hot enough for you? How many times have you heard “stay cool?” With all the moving going on this summer I hope many of you are finding time to also enjoy the season too! We are excited to share our family journey visiting some really awesome parts of America! It was unbelievably hot and full of adventure! MANY thanks our hardworking staff to keep STL Rent A Box moving along in St. Louis!!!

 

I’m just going to give you the highlight reel and I highly encourage you to travel West and see these amazing sights for yourself. These photos are just a mere one dimensional perspective…being there to FEEL the air and SEE the light, the colors, and experience the grandiosity of nature is beyond all the words and photos. You have to just EXPERIENCE it with your own eyes and body.

 

A huge thank you to the United States Government and the Every Kid in the Park Program  Our 4th grader was lucky to be a part of this program which gave our family free access to all the National Parks! Always make sure you do your research before your adventures! Plan your hikes and parks ahead of time to maximize your time. You don’t want to miss anything.

 

Our first stop was Zion National Park.  We immediately fell in a trance for the massive formations, views everywhere, water, rock, and greenery; it was spectacular! The shuttle service was great and so was all the water stations! When planning hikes, always bring refillable water bottles, breathable clothing, and good hiking boots!

 

Grand Canyon North Rim was layers and layers and miles and miles of unbelievable views! We viewed the Canyon from all angles from sunrise to sunset and saw more stars in the sky we thought was possible! The National Park Systems offers a rich history along with guided Ranger programs and Junior Ranger programs too. Our kids always partake in these programs and we always learn more about the parks we visit!

 

Horseshoe Bend was stunning! It was an exceptionally rewarding hike because it was crazy hot, very windy and sandy. The path is a wide incline. Like all other tough hikes, the view is absolutely terrifying but amazing all at once!  The Colorado River runs through it in shades of blue and green.  To get the best possible photos you need a selfie stick!

 

Lower Antelope Canyon no doubt is what dreams are made of! I have never seen the four of us explore anything and be so impressed for so long. We were speechless. I can’t even truly describe in words…except to say the physical walls were designed by flash flooding in the canyon over time and it does still experience flash floods. I have to leave the rest to your imagination; it’s fascinating. You must reserve a tour and I highly recommend Kens Tours, the earliest in the day the better!

 

We are huge fans of long stretches of roads and seeing every inch of America. Traveling across the West is perfect for roadside fun and we were so excited to see Monument Valley!

 

Arches National Park was seriously a geological masterpiece.  Make sure when visiting National Parks to plan ahead! Check for any construction, closures, and bring lots of snacks and hydration!

 

Canyonlands National Park is a vast landscape of ironic delicate solid features formed over millions of years. It’s quiet, peaceful, and makes you feel so small! It’s important to remember when in the National Parks and many places out West that cell service is nill. Keep in mind that when there is no service that is when you are making your ‘best connections’!

 

Grand Tetons National Park greeted us with wildflowers, water, greenery, and cooler crisp weather! After experiencing the desert landscape for days it was a shock to see snow top mountains! Although it’s fun to see wildlife in the parks, remember they are wild and it’s their land too!

 

Yellowstone National Park is a paradox mix of loud and peaceful busy and slow, where Earth is changing in constant form and yet is also the same for years…there is so much here its overwhelming to take in all at once. From sunrise to sunset we observed wildlife, waterfalls, flora, fauna, and thermal features, and still cannot believe this all exists all in one place! Pack your patience and take the Yellowstone Pledge!

 

Chatting with fellow travelers is a favorite thing to do! You meet the most genuine people in places you like the most because you already have something special in common. Lucky for us, we learned from a new friend about a special place called Chico Hot Springs Resort  and after 10 days of hike – drive – eat – sleep – repeat, we desperately needed some relaxation!  We spent a half day there and treated ourselves to the hot mineral pools and made some awesome memories at this historic resort dating back to the 1800s! Chico for life!

 

We ended our amazing loop in the fabulous city of Las Vegas a little change of pace in nature but still always exciting with lots to see and tingle all the senses! Expect nothing and experience it all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge shout out to the BOSS of our family who is our amazing adventure planner, keeps us all organized and on schedule! Seriously, the 3 of us were just along for this ride and we adore and appreciate him for bringing us to all these wonderful places in America!  We would be more than thrilled to chat if you want to plan a trip out West! This is a tiny snippet of our big adventure! This was our second time visiting Yellowstone and some surrounding areas. It’s definitely family friendly, with a huge variety of activities for all ages and different levels or types of people. Our National Park System is quite amazing and have it ALL for those of you who are interested in anything involving outdoors!

Happy summer & cheers!

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