Hello there…and if you were wondering where I’d gone…just know that I didn’t fall off the face of the earth…nor did I fall off a cliff, although we were hiking along many during vacation. My husband and I took nearly 2 weeks and flew to Salt Lake City and then traveled through the national parks down there. It was FABULOUS and we loved every minute of it…despite the fact that it wasn’t a “resting” vacation…it was just as wonderful! And, we got more exercise during this time that probably any other time in our lives…we were on the go every day, all day long…and it felt great…even the tired feet and sun-burnt lips (yes, that was me…used chap-stick, just didn’t have spf in it the first couple of days…I quickly learned!!)…all well worth it! If you have never been to any of these parks, we HIGHLY recommend it…they are amazing…actually, visiting any of our national parks is a real treat…we have so much to offer in our own country and really, not that far away…check them out!
Our first stop was Arches National Park…which was wonderful and awe-inspiring! The arches were truly amazing and we loved our time there…well, maybe not all our time there as we were staying in a motel (Days Inn) that was AWFUL…and when I say AWFUL…I mean it…the good news, no bed bugs, but outside of that, it didn’t have a positive thing about it…and unfortunately, every place in Moab (the town we stayed in) was booked full while we were there…ugh…but we survived and that made each place there after even more enjoyable!!
Above, the Courthouse Towers in the morning sun and below the Landscape Arch late in the afternoon…so much to see there!
Next up was Canyonlands, a smaller and less busy park…it was as beautiful as the first and here we took our longest, toughest hike! We hiked a canyon which sounded pretty easy, but after over 4 hours and 6+ miles…hiking down into and then UP and out and back around…we were exhausted, but sort of surprised that we’d made it and were still standing…and after a few more bottles of water and some food, we were ready to go again! That same day we also visited Dead Horse State Park, which is between Arches and Canyonland…and that is where the Green River merges into the Colorado River…very pretty and we were there for sunset, though not a ton of color…it was still beautiful!
The photo above shows a section of rock (slickrock…that really isn’t slick!) that we actually climbed up…and then down…yikes, what were we thinking?!?
Dead Horse State Park at sunset
From there we headed to Capitol Reef…again, a smaller park and not quite as busy (we liked the “quieter” parks…as the bigger ones had TONS of tourists…and I mean “non” American tourists!! We were truly a minority at the larger parks!). We stayed in a town called Torrey…VERY small and not much there, but the motel was wonderful (another Days Inn) and we had dinner our second night at the most wonderful place, everything was spectacular about it…and as we left, there was a glorious sunset (no camera…or I guess I should say, just the little one!).
Petroglyphs that were carved on the rock cliffs…totally amazing!
Next, we were on to Bryce National Park which has the rock spirals and woodoos…which are incredible…you look down on them and it’s unbelievable that they’ve actually formed these just from nature….truly unbelievable! We also took another good hike here, down into the canyon, so we could get a different perspective on them, looking up…that was a wonderful hike…not as tough as the one from Canyonlands, but still a longer and more strenuous one.
From there we headed West, with some quick stops at Cedar Breaks, Kolob Canyon (north end of Zion NP) and Grafton (a ghost town)…before arriving in Springdale where we spent our last few days and explored Zion National Park. Again…a truly amazing park. It has tall canyon walls and cliffs that are incredible…and we even saw a couple of people climbing one…and evidently, they had been working on it for two days when we saw them…WOW…can’t EVEN imagine that! Zion was the only park where we couldn’t drive to the stops ourselves, they have a wonderful shuttle system that is great and really was a nice way to talk with others visiting the park, either while on the shuttle or waiting for one.
Fabulous fall colors from the Cedar Break area!
From Grafton ghost town, just outside of the entrance to Zion NP
Above, the moon above a cliff in Zion…and below, the Virgin River….looking up the canyon narrows
Back at home…and as with any vacation, there is the usual to catch up on…laundry, mail, house and I have some work that didn’t get done before I left, so have that on my plate as well! Of course, one of the nicer things about coming home…sleeping in your own bed….ahhhhh, that felt so nice last night…after four different motels in the past two weeks, coming home to ours was a real treat!! Today…my first day back, I had a “Mimi day” which is one of my most favorite of the week…when I watch our granddaughter…she’s truly a blessing in our lives and I’m blessed to be able to have her a couple of days a week. Mind you, I don’t get much work done on those days, but who cares…time with family and those you love is more valuable than any work time…at least in my opinion!
I hope this finds you all doing well…enjoying fall and hopefully, some nice fall weather! I do love the fall, the colors, the crisp cool mornings and the smell of dew in the evenings…and as my husband likes to remind me…it’s time to start cooking some “cold weather” meals…like soups, stews, casseroles, etc…so bring on fall!!