Zion National Park, Utah


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My favorite time of morning is just when the sun touches the horizon and all is still. Night has faded and it's a new day full of promise and adventure. I consider myself lucky - I'm the kinda person that wakes up in the morning and feels great. Luck is at my side and I can conquer all. This morning was no different. The birds were singin', the jeep® was hummin' and I was on my way to one of the most amazing places in the nation.

I didn't fully understand how essential it was that I took this trip in my jeep® until we entered Zion National Park. The top to the was down and the windows off. I casually looked up only to see a 2000 foot wall of red rock surrounding me. A rush of serenity came over me as all of the stress in my body escaped and I instantly felt grounded. I thought to myself, this is what life is all about.

We drove to the camp sites, picked a nice one with a view of a huge red wall and sent up camp. I made myself some lunch and took in the incredibleness of the area. I imagined what the Anasazi must have felt when they roamed these lands. Did they feel the same rush of awesomeness when they looked across the horizon? Gidget was having a blast. She chased a squirrel up a tree and stood guard for a bit.

After lunch and the varmint torment, we set off for a hike. Zion just completed a trail that dogs were allowed on - kudos to them!! It was suprisingly quiet while we strolled through the park. I tried to get Gidget to pose for a few pictures, but she was more interested in the creatures scurrying in the bushes. I snapped away anyway trying to capture the beauty of the area. To my dismay, none of the pictures I took at zion came out. I had a similar situation happen to me at Arches National Park a few years back. I was very disappointed when i got my pictures back from the developer, but i figure it's a good excuse to go back!

We turned a corner on the trail to find about 30 deer grazing in a field. Miss I-own-this-park-now had to greet our new friends with a multitude of barks. I thought for sure she would scare away the deer, but instead they became extremely interested in her. I quickly tried to remember if deer were aggressive or dangerous - more then half of them headed our way. I quieted the barking machine and watched the deer approach. The were graceful and cautious as they approached. I kept a short distance from them and continued our hike.

Back at camp Gidget checked her tree - the squirrel had safely fled. We jumped in the jeep® and toured the rest of the park. I sat in a couple of ranger talks and looked into a hike in the narrows I'd like to take another time. It's a 16 mile hike that goes through a water-sculptured gorge of sandstone arches. It sounds pretty amazing. I could have easily spent the whole week in zion, but I had a wedding to attend. Next stop - Bryce National Park.

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