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I took a mini-vacation the week after Labor Day to Southern Utah. It was everything a vacation should be and I came home brimming with ideas about how to share the experience. But shortly after I returned, I got caught up in the everyday rush of life, and the enthusiasm waned and the time slipped by and the exciting blog post didn’t get written. However this vacation changed my life.
I took hundreds of photos and have only shared those taken at Zion Canyon National Park. Am I that undisciplined?
No, it is that I do not have the words to adequately express what a wonderful time it was. Since I couldn’t find the words, I kept postponing posting my pictures. Okay, there it is—my true confession—my feeling of literary inadequacy. So instead, I will just share a few thoughts.
I went on this road trip with my friend from college, Jan. We are perfectly compatible vacationing together, no ego tug of war or any type of issues. She makes me laugh, and laugh a lot I did for four days. I completely forgot about all the worries of everyday life, and just enjoyed the beauty around me. The biggest stress we had was making sure we didn’t hit a deer driving at night, or getting to the right place at the right time to catch the sunrise and sunset.
This is how it changed my life: I need more vacations. Vacations where you leave town, see something new, click your camera as much as “you” want and laugh a lot. I enjoyed the time off so much, I realized this had been missing in my life, to the extent that after much contemplation, crunching the numbers and planning, I put in my papers to retire from one of my jobs. This is saying quite a bit from a self-confessed workaholic.
But back to Southern Utah: I shared our time at Zion at in my last blog. We left Zion at the end of our long day of “hiking the narrows” and traveled east on Highway 9 and then north on Hwy 89 toward Bryce Canyon National Park. It is one of the most beautiful stretches of highways with red rocks, canyons, hoodoos and tunnels I have ever seen. We arrived at our motel room in the dark but all we cared about was a quick dinner and a warm bed, ready to check out Bryce Canyon the next day. We drove into the national park from the north, following Hwy 63 . “Bryce Canyon, famous for its worldly unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called “hoodoos.” (from http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm)
We went all the way without stopping to the farthest southern point. There we began our photographic tour of the rim of the canyon. At each viewpoint we stood among pine trees and walked along the rim looking to the west and the north, sometimes as far as the Grand Canyon, at the beautiful landscape and limestone formations.
The following slide show is of the photos along all our stops of the rim. (just a small selection of the hundreds taken) Next I will post the photos taken in the Bryce amphitheater, and finally our eight-hour hike down into the amphitheater as we walked among the hoodoos.