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The Husband and I took a trip out West to visit 5 national parks, 4 in Utah and one in Colorado.   This was the first time for me in that part of the country and boy is it beautiful.  And vast.  And way less populated than where I live.  One day we drove for miles and miles and miles and there was nothing around.   Nothing!   No rest stops, no stores, no towns and worst of all, no cell service.   It gave me the creeps a little bit.

Our first (and my favorite) National Park was Bryce Canyon in Utah.   The erosion of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called “hoodoos”.

But the native peoples have a better story.  The evil people of their time were frozen and made into hoodoos.  I like that story better.    You can sorta see people frozen in the hoodoos, looking at you.   Watching you.   Making sure you stay on the paths and don’t fall to your deaths when you accidentally take a wrong step and fall off a cliff into the abyss below.

We did a lot of hikes while on vacation (we hiked, but we did not camp) and our first hike was the Navajo Trail which begins at Sunset Point and travels down into the main amphitheater. This is one of the more popular trails and extra caution was advised due to the fact that more rocks fall on this trail than any other trail in the park! A major rock slide occurred in 2006, and subsequent rockslides occurred in 2010 and 2011. YIKES.  The total distance is 1.3 miles which doesn’t seem bad if you’re walking on flat sidewalks and at sea-level.  Both of which we were not doing.   Add in an elevation change of 550 feet both down into the canyon and then back up and you’ve got yourself a pretty good workout. But it was amazing and beautiful and breathtaking and most interesting of all…there were more French and German tourists here (and the other 4 National Parks) than I’ve ever seen in my life.   They sure like hiking the outdoors.  When they’re not smoking. (The French, that is.)   What’s up with that?

Next stop:  Zion National Park and Kolob Canyons!

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