Friday, June 9, 2017



It's hard for me to describe how beautiful Zion and the Grand Canyon are, and how much I enjoyed our first real road trip. I was nervous the entire week before we left and actually wanted to back out. I wouldn't classify myself as an outdoors person, more like an outdoors person in training. I love nature and the feeling of getting out on the open road, but up until now, I had been all talk and no action. Maybe Nate realized I needed a push and planned this trip. Well it worked! Within minutes of leaving our house in the middle of the night, I left all of my worries behind and entered in with a completely open mind. 

These are just little snippets from the trip. I wanted to capture what I saw and write about it for you but I didn't want the post to be too long. I hope you enjoy!

Zion

I was most excited and most unsure about Zion National Park. It looked unbelievable in pictures, but I couldn't imagine what it would be like in person and if it would live up to its name. It does. If you ever get the chance to go, do it. 

I really didn't think I would be able to complete any of the hikes, but we went to the visitor's center and researched the various levels of difficulty within each marked trail. I learned a few things about myself while at Zion. 
1) I can do things I didn't think I was capable of. I can control my negative thoughts and push myself by using positive affirmations. I didn't think I could keep up on walking such far distances, or going up steep inclines. Physically it's hard, but mentally it's even harder if I'm doubting my abilities. 
2) Nate doesn't let fear decide his experiences. He's afraid of heights, but he did extremely well and didn't complain once. We weren't brave enough to conquer angels landing, but now it's a goal that we have set out to do in the future. 
3) We as humans are small. I mean tiny specks. And I'm not an overly religious person, but places like this really put things in perspective. They make it possible for me to believe in a higher power. 

The first night we stayed on a campground called Watchman. This was our view.



Riverside Walk which leads to the narrows



The Virgin River


Zion is majestic not only in its scope, but also in the inspiration it gives to others. I could tell I wasn't the only person in awe of these canyons. Everyone looked almost starstruck, speechless. I think if you go you'll see what I mean. Otherwise, nothing I write here can do it justice.




The Grand Canyon

After the magic that was Zion, The Grand Canyon seemed like an afterthought. Or at least, that's what I was foolish enough to believe until we saw it in all its Grand Canyon glory. This place is even more majestic and even more spiritual for me than Zion. Every ledge I stepped, I got this tingly sensation going up my legs and for a second, I thought maybe I was the one afraid of heights. We originally planned on seeing the south rim of the canyon, but after reading reviews online, we decided to do the north rim instead.
1) The views are out of this world.
2) I meditated at one point.
3) Then proceeded to get a beer at the top of the observatory.




My travel partner for life


We camped in our jeep outside the north rim among trees and wild animals. I heard something rattle in the middle of the night and had trouble sleeping after that but I would do it again in a heartbeat.


My tips for venturing out on the open road:
Do your research on places you want to visit before you leave. But, keep an open mind and don't over-plan. The point should be freedom :)
Baby wipes will be your best friend.
Bring great music.
Take more videos than photos.
Use items that multi-task so you don't pack unnecessary things.

My tips for Zion & Grand Canyon:
Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and snacks.
Water shoes are a must if going through the narrows. The water is cold, so layers are a good idea too. 
Check way in advance if you want to secure a campsite. If not, you can do what we did for two nights - park on BLM land and create your own camp!

 Nate and I have much more camping and hiking adventures to explore and I'm grateful I have found something I really love doing aside from blogging. If you need to clear the mind, a road trip is the perfect solution. 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! You can even email me if you'd like. Have a great weekend 😊

8 comments:

  1. These photos are just beautiful!! I went to both of these places as a child and definitely want to go back as an adult and take my own kids. So glad you had a great experience and didn't let your fears control you!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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    1. So many people have mentioned to me that they went as kids but want to go as adults! I think you guys would all enjoy it :)

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  2. looks gorgeous. i was going to ask about the water level in the narrows...man, i really want to do it, but i don't want to bring one more pair of shoes! did you attempt angels landing at all? i know you said you didn't do it, but i was wondering if you could go the super tricky point and not actually ascend it, but i could just take a pic of it, lol. love that you camped in your jeep, that's awesome. we leave today!
    b

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    1. We went a bit into the narrows but were not prepared so we turned back. The rocks are slippery so I would rent a pair of proper shoes that you can get at one of the rental shops. I did see some people in sandals no less! And a tank top. But the water is super cold (like 45 degrees) so I think layers are best. And no, we didn't even get off the shuttle that takes you to angels landing although I hear it's paved part of the way. I'm sure if that's a must for you, then try it! Then at least you tried! Have a great time and I hope you'll do a post on it as well so we can compare experiences :)

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  3. Sounds like you had a truly wonderful experience, and I'm glad that you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and were rewarded. I'm not much for camping. I did it a great deal locally when I was a girl scout and just felt like I wouldn't miss it if I never slept in a tent again.
    http://www.iamchiconthecheap.com/

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    1. lol I was never in Girl Scouts but I know friends who were and they don't like camping or hiking either. I don't like sleeping in a tent, but our jeep with an air mattress isn't too bad :)

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  4. It sounds like such an amazing getaway - and like one that brings you two even closer together! I don't consider myself much of a nature lover (I love city breaks) but I think there is a type of peace you only get from nature - so maybe I should go out of my comfort zone!

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  5. The photos are gorgeous! I am probably an outdoors person in training too LOL.

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