12 Hour Car Ride to Utah!
This may be a little dramatic, but please enjoy nonetheless!
Hour 1: The sun is nowhere to be found, the Earth seems to have stopped, what ungodly journey have we set out upon?
Hour 3: Having finally seen the sun peak over the horizon hope begins to fill the car, a sense of purpose as we cross the Sierra's like so many so long ago. Enthusiasm begins to take hold.
Hour 5: Desert. Nothing but long stretches of desert, the cool remembrances of the Sierra's providing only a hint of hope. Our initial enthusiasm beings to dawdle.
Hour 7: We believe we have passed the midway point, however, time has begun to have no meaning, we now count time by the mirages we see in the distance.
Hour 10: We have begun to see signs of familiar places, Zion, Duck Creek, Cedar City, even Bryce. These names appear to bring smiles from our coachmen, but I have long since distrusted their sadistic ways.
Hour 12: After hope had all but faded, we arrived, not with a bang but with a creaking, legs and elbows cracking under the fresh air, slowly uplifting our waning spirits. We had arrived, it was now time to take UTAH!
This was a major step for both of us. Not only was she spending time with my family, but she was spending time with my family on what had historically always been a family only affair, vacation. I was certainly nervous, not that she wouldn't get along with them, but by the mere fact of the 27 yr old tradition being changed in any way. I was worried for nothing.
Zion was definitely the larger of the two National Parks. A variety of trails leading up to the canyon rim to get unbelievable views of the valley floor below. We ended up doing one hike at the canyon end where it spread out before us. Later we trekked up to the mouth of the canyon where the walls closed in around us leading to spectacular overhead shots.
The true test a person's will was the Angel's Landing hike. A grueling 5-mile hike including a 5-ft wide land passage with hundred foot shear cliffs on either side. Somehow, my Mom, my sister and Chrissy were all able to make it to the very top of the rest.
Even as I write this I continue to hear different stories from this trail. Especially, between how my Sister, Mom and Girlfriend all bonded. Each story I hear reminds me how truly lucky I am to have Chrissy in my life. She is truly one of a kind. For the next trip to Zion, I'll have to be sure I don't tear my ACL so that I too can do the Angel's Landing hike.
Bryce National Park was unlike any other national park I had been to. It's strange rock formations and atmosphere gave it a very unique feeling.
We were able to see much of the views Bryce had to offer thanks to the dutiful mules and horses that carried us on our way.
- Porky (Brian's Mule): As his name suggests, Porky spent most of his time with his head down picking at the grass along the trail, even occasionally stepping off the side to grab a bite.
- Hammer (Steve's Horse): Despite his name, this horse had never heard of 'dropping the hammer'. Hammer happily brought up the rear, fortunately for Porky because whenever he got to close he would try to take a bite out of Porky's butt!
- Yellowjacket (Kari's Horse): The stinkiest horse ever to ride through Bryce canyon!
- Keystone (Laura's Mule): Seemed to have drank to much of his namesake the night before.
- Miss Bonnie (Chrissy's Mule): The sweetest horse out of the bunch, much like its rider!
I began the week with trepidation, how would prolonged exposure to my family be? I don't know why I was worried, she got along splendidly, was just her honest and loving self. She made jokes, played games, failed to catch ping pong balls and even spent the day with my family while I was cooped up at the house. I have never met somehow like her, and each day she surprised me, I look forward to many future vacations. I begun the week with apprehension, but I ended wishing she could've stayed longer, her presence was missed the last few days.