the second day in the park was probably the best, as that's how adventures usually go-- it's the unexpected things that you remember the most! according to our map, we were going on a 4 mile hike up one canyon and down the next, but in reality it was actually an 8 mile hike with a bit more altitude gain than we were expecting... right! it made for a long day, especially considering that we needed to go up and over to get from one canyon to the next, but it was well worth it. phil said he felt like he was back to his instructor days, as carrying isa with water, food, and layers is just about as heavy as a NOLS pack. ugh. lucky for me, sylvi is about ten pounds lighter, though the carrier is not quite as cushy as the backpack! we decided that if we plan on hiking that far on the next trip, we will be borrowing a second backpack!
all of that aside, it was a really amazing hike. isa had a blast looking for scat (we saw bear poop) and learning new plants. after a nice nap, sylvi was mainly along for the ride and would chatter about this and that when she wasn't snoozing. luckily we still made good time and were back in camp by just after lunch, so we took it easy and lounged around for the rest of the day. that night turned out to be the coldest (27F), but even so, we all fell asleep fast and slept hard!