Bryce Canyon

This year the annual Smith Family Reunion was held in Bryce Canyon, UT.  I was antsy all week; I was so excited!  We left Saturday morning June 22nd a little after 6:00AM.  It was an eight hour drive and Jed was a champ.  He napped, read books, and played with his toy cars the entire trip down.  He is an amazing traveler!  We were the first to arrive just after 2:00PM.  The rest of the family would be trickling in all evening long.  So instead of waiting around, we hiked right in!  

Family picture on the rim

View of Bryce from Sunrise Point

Armed with sunscreen and water, we set off on our first adventure: a three mile hike down into the canyon through the beautiful red rocks.  Between being very pregnant and the high elevation (need. more. oxygen.), our hike was pretty slow.  But I did it!  And it was definitely worth the workout. 

How embarrassing!  I was a fashion disaster: tennis shoes and a dress.  But I really didn't care.  Comfort totally trumps style with a basketball sized stomach, especially on a long car trip. 

I love this picture.  Jed worships his dad.

Jed did a little hiking himself too.  He enjoyed sitting in the dirt and collecting rocks in his pockets.  Look at that dirty bum!

The Queen's Garden and our crazy child

Admiring some canyon Hoodoos

Bron is a stud.  He carried thirty pounds back up the canyon!

Jed made my heart stop.  He has no fear!  There were several times I thought he was going to go careening off the edge of the canyon cliff.  Luckily, Bron man-handled Jed into safety.

The Allen Family
Jed loved having other little boys to play with

That evening, it seemed like the entire family gathered in my grandparents' room.  My grandparents are starting to show their age.  It makes me a little sad.  Grandma is still as spry as ever, but Grandpa is suffering from dementia.  He was a dean and a brilliant professor at BYU, but now, can hardly recall the right words to express himself in a conversation.  I know it's frustrating for him, but we all love him regardless!  Amazingly, he still remembers all of us--even his great-grandsons!  He gets a kick out of Jed because he and Jed share a favorite thing to do: read.

 Grandma and Grandpa Smith watching their great-grandsons play.

The next morning, most of the entire family set off on a short hike to Mossy Cave and a little waterfall.  My family moves like a herd of snails.  It's a miracle we made it there before noon!  But it was a fun short hike.  We finished it by cooling our feet in the water and hanging out in the shade.  (And we took lots of pictures too.)

My sister, Lauren, and Carter

Luke and Grady

The hiking gang

Family Picture!
I. am. huge.  But I am posting it anyway because this is how life really is!

The Thompson Family

Bron and Jed
My little brothers: Michael and Ryan

Bron's artistic work.  He took this picture.  I think he has a great eye!

That was the last real hike I went on.  Bron took on some more challenging and thrilling hikes with other family members while Jed and I basked in the pool in the afternoons.  Having a weightless tummy in the water felt heavenly!  Jed adapted to the water like a little fish.

As an extended family, we saw most of the important look-out sights, talked and laughed in the shade, had a girl party one night, and of course, got together each evening to stuff our faces with delicious food.  Now that most of us cousins are grown with families of our own, our reunions seemed to have mellowed.  But it's still worthwhile to get together.  I love seeing my cousins and hanging out.  It's fun!

Making memories since childhood
Necia, Me, Rachel

The canyon and its unique beauty is definitely something else!

Thanks for a memorable family reunion, Bryce Canyon!

On the trip home, we stopped at a big dairy that Bron does some work with.  I got to see a carousel parlor in action!  It was pretty cool.  Just before we arrived, however, I was feeling puny and Jed was whining in the backseat.  Suddenly, he threw up EVERYTHING!  I gagged.  But we got Jed cleaned up and comfortable again.  By then we both felt fine.  Jed was his regular happy self again.  I think the milk in our hotel fridge went sour.  Gross.


  1. Great pics! It was great seeing you. You were a pregnant hiking pro! I think my favorite part was just hanging out on the last full day in the park.

  2. Jessie! It looks like you had so much fun! Will and Jed sound so much alike! We definitely need to get them together one of these days!

  3. GORGEOUS pictures!! I really need to make it a point to get to Bryce canyon asap!
    And you are super woman! 8 hour car rides plus hiking? I seriously look up to you!

  4. Jessie, You are a SUPERWOMAN!!! I can't believe you did all that hiking AND an 8 hour car ride while pregnant!!! You are AMAZING! You are also an AMAZING photographer!

  5. I love your prego dress. It's awesome!!!

  6. Beautiful capture of dawn and breathtaking rock formations in fabulous colours!

    Photos of Bryce Canyon


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