Monday, April 18, 2011

Red Rock Country

Gathering my travel bags on Monday morning it became apparent that the start of my vacation was going to take a little bit of work. I was heading to Salt Lake City to pick up my mom at the airport for our vacation in Southern Utah. The road north and west had been plowed and they had begun working on the road south.  My personal truck was still parked at the South Entrance. The snow removal crew had plowed about 1.5 miles from Grant Village towards the South Entrance and a snowmobile had been left right at that change over. Evidently, it was going to take a little bit of coordination to get to my truck!     

Loading my things into my work truck, Shane drove me to the junction where the snowmobile was parked. Together we removed my suitcase and cooler from the work vehicle and loaded them onto the snowmobile. Using my park radio I called the artillery of heavy equipment that lie ahead me and informed them that I would be passing them on a snowmobile in just a few minutes. Using the nice snow ramp that was made for me I transitioned from the plowed road and was zapped back into Yellowstone's winter wonderland. As I whizzed through the wet snow I realized that this would be my last snowmobile ride for the season. 

Arriving at the South Entrance Gate, I removed all my items from the snowmobile and loaded them into my truck. Soon I was on the road heading south, free at last,  from my snow bound winter life. 

A few days later I would find myself surrounded by red rocks and T-shirt weather. Settling down in Moab, Utah for a few days my mom and I visited Canyonlands, Arches & Mesa Verde National Parks. A never ending array of red monoliths emerged from the ground all around us, while the bright sun left my cheeks pink each evening. Combined with an unlimited supply of bananas, strawberries, milk and salad I was quite the happy camper!   

Departing Moab, our journey would bring us through Capitol Reef NP via Scenic Hwy 12. Ascending through canyons and cliffs the landscape was a never ending view of the wonders in nature. After a perilous drive through the narrow hair pin turns of Hwy 12, we found the most amazing little cafe called Kiva Koffee. Basking in the view we dined on fresh salad, raspberry lemonade and iced mocha's. Our entertainment came in the form of two red tailed hawks that rode the air currents in a perfect display of the artistry of nature. Later that evening, we watched the almost full moon rise above Bryce Canyon and  it was hard to believe that some people in this country would actually say "What's in Utah?"

Kiva Koffee - Hwy 12

With only a few more vacation days remaining, it was time to slow down the pace and no better place to do so than in Springdale, Utah! Arriving at the hotel, we immediately decided to enjoy the 74'F weather by sitting next to the pool which was surrounded by both red rock and lush vegetation. Next we hopped on the free Zion Canyon Shuttle which will take you where ever you want to go. With an assortment of eclectic cafes and shops  and possibilities were endless. We finally decided on a nice little restaurant called Thai Sapa. But the true beauty of Springdale lies in the fact that within 5 minutes one can be in breathtaking Zion National Park. Zion is a place like no other. During an evening walk along the river I looked up to find that I was surrounded by geologic giants. These sandstone wonders have humbly been here long before man arrived and were a small reminder of how grand Earth is. 

Places like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Yellowstone were set aside to preserve this grandeur and beauty. They were set aside so that the American people would ALWAYS have a place where they can free their mind and soul; where they can walk among giants and be humbled. How befitting that our vacation should occur during National Park Week- a time when people all across the country are enjoying their National Parks, freeing themselves of the hustle and bustle of city life; taking refuge in nature's cathedrals.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you and your mom are having a great time. How does it feel being in sun, sand and red rocks instead of snow up to your eyeballs? Keep up the good work!!