The first day of spring break got off to a rough start. We were hoping to spend the 3 days with cousins hiking around southern Utah. Unfortunately, the other Brooks Family’s van broke down in Hatch. After a couple of hours of figuring out what to do, they decided to tow their van back to Highland. As a result, we were flying solo for our planned adventures.

It is worth noting that we stayed in The Thunderbird Lodge in Mount Carmel Junction (the east and less-visited side of Zion National Park). This place has sentimental value for Melissa since it was the gathering place for many Keith Family Reunions. It is gaining more immediate value in that we stayed there last year when we hiked Calf Creek Falls and the Virgin River Narrows. We have also grown an affinity for The Golden Hills Cafe, located across from the highway from our hotel. It is a dive, but we’ve grown to love that dive. The food is affordable and portion sizes are ample. The diner at the hotel boasts ho-made pies (yes, they play up the fact that a “ho” is supposedly making your pie), but their prices are high and the food is marginal. Enough about lodging and dining.

Despite the wind, we decided to hit the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Hannah has memories of going there when she was little, but it was the first time for the rest of the kids. The novelty of the dunes were fun for the younger kids and nostalgic for Melissa and Hannah. The kids had fun running, jumping, digging and rolling around the dunes. Overall, it was a good time.