Utah: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon.
It is possible to have the adventure of a lifetime without purchasing a plane ticket or buss pass, all you need is a trusty vehicle. In this case my vehicle of choice was my mom’s old mini van, Bessie. Glamorous, I know, but since when is a roadtrip about glitz and glamour.
Things to think about when taking a road trip…
- Who WON’T get on my nerves after an extended period of time and sleep deprivation
- What car can travel the distance and hold the whole crew
- How far is too far of a drive
- What is one thing I want to cross off my bucket list
For me, I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. My friends and I not only saw the Grand Canyon, we paid Zion National Park a visit. Wow, this place was BEAUTIFUL! The 19-hour car ride was…as long as it sounds but with good friends and a working radio it is completely manageable.
The first day we hiked to Observation Point, one of the highest peaks to this massive canyon. Along the way we explored coves and creeks, rocks and caves. I think Zion is one of the least talked about natural beauties of the World. Seriously, if you appreciate nature and hiking this place is worth the drive. The colors were breathtaking, but have a look for yourself.
(These photos have not been edited or retouched)
We decided to save money by sticking to the four main food groups
- Continental breakfast
- Halo Oranges
- Beef Jerky
The second day we hiked the famous trail, The Narrows. A very Narrow canyon with water anywhere from knee-deep to, oh crap I can’t stand. Before embarking on this journey we rented neoprene “insulated” suits. The water temperature was bone chilling cold so the suit was a necessity to survival. I think we looked like we stepped right out of Star Trek.
This was one of those scenic routes that you don’t even know what to take pictures of because EVERYTHING is picture worthy. That night we camped in the Southern Campgrounds of Zion National Park. The bad news, it felt like a neighborhood of tents and definitely lacked the, “I’m roughing it in the wilderness, if we die no one will know,” feeling. None-the-less, once the sun sank behind the canyon we felt secluded. The next morning we awoke with the sun. Bacon, eggs and toasted bagels over the campfire with cream cheese we took from the hotel, mmm breakfast was served!
Our third and final day we made a mandatory stop back at the hotel to wash off the river and campfire smoke. We put on our last change of clothes and headed to Bryce Canyon, about two hours northeast of Zion.
Yes, a river is the “natural cause” of a canyon, but there is no way a river would run rapid and form something as breathtaking, as perfect and as intricate as this canyon. I think that river was choreographed by He who controls waves. I just imagine God swirling his finger in a bucket of water and as the ripples spread away from his finger, everything touched is formed to perfection. Breathe in the cold, fresh air overlooking the snowy trails of red chiseled rocks that make up Bryce Canyon.
There is something about submerging myself in beauty that allows me to see. I can then see how small I am and how big my God is. I can see how doubt-filled and petty my prayer requests seem compared to the work of His Mighty hands. There is something about traveling, stepping out of my comfortable life into an adventure that could be epic or an epic fail that ignites my spirit. It prompts my heart to search itself, explore the motives that are built there, and destroy those that corrupt the temple inside me. Gazing out onto this beautiful, natural wonder I begin to create an unspoken plea…
Jesus make my heart as beautiful as this canyon. If he can take a river and refine a canyon, He can take the waters of baptism and resurrect a new creation equally as beautiful. One to marvel at, one that stops passing people in their tracks because there is a work of God that simply can not go ignored. Lord would you leave your fingerprint on my heart.