I knew this time was going to come. I knew that I was only in Vegas for two years. I just didn't realize it was going to fly by so quickly. I didn't know how much I was going to love my job. And, I didn't know how many amazing friends I would meet along the way. Today was really hard. Ok, really, the last few days have been really hard, to the point that I feel dehydrated from all of the crying.
So, not only am I moving to DC, I'm currently doing so by way of road trip with my car full of my belongings, my mom, and my dog (is that a country song? probably). To ease the pain of moving from so many people that I love dearly, and to ease the pain of driving 2000 miles, we're making a few stops along the way.
After an extremely teary farewell on Sunday night and a tear-filled morning, I left Vegas. Monday was a short driving day (3 hours) to reach our first stop: Zion National Park. (If I'm being honest, I wanted to cry the whole drive, but my mom did a good job keeping me distracted in the car)
My mom had actually never been to Zion, which is just criminal, so I decided this was something that I needed to correct pronto! We first dropped Maggie off at Doggey Dude Ranch outside the park and headed to the Zion Visitor Center, where we parked our car and boarded the Zion shuttle toward the trailheads. Because we're a couple of ambitious girls, we decided we'd conquer a few miles of the Zion Narrows from the Bottom Up.
|Blue Skies, Narrow Canyon, Perfect Day (minus the puffiness under my eyes from all the crying)|
|Knee deep water in calm water? no problem|
|Knee deep water with a current? I think she was glad she had those poles|
As we hiked back through the canyon to the trailhead, we found that river crossings had almost become second nature and we moved at a much greater rate of speed than we did on our way in.
Although this was not the most challenging of hikes that I've done, it was truly spectacular. This is a great hike for hikers with modest skills (I would NOT do this without the trekking poles, they were so helpful for walking on the uneven rocks below the water's surface). You can hike back as far as you'd like, but I highly recommend spending at least 2 hours hiking back to the more narrow portions of the canyon. During this portion, I continuously thought to myself "I never thought I'd be in a place like this."
|How could you be anything but at peace in a place like this?|
Thanks to the wondrous Zion Narrows, my sadness from leaving Vegas vanished for fleeting moments throughout the day. At the same time, hiking the Narrows made me even more sad to be leaving an area of this country where natural marvels like this are basically in your backyard. I certainly plan to come back when I have a permit to do the more technical Top Down route, a 21-mile route that starts in the back of the canyon and hikes one-way to the mouth at the end of the River Walk Trail (where my mom and I started this time around).
Once we finished our time in the Narrows, we boarded the Zion shuttle back to the Visitor Center. Once we got to my car, we drove the 40 minutes to our cabin at Zion Ponderosa Ranch. We were starving!!
|Bighorns on the side of the road in Zion National Park. I was so hungry, I alms wanted to stop and have a meal with these guys. I opted to wait and have a bacon cheeseburger at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch restaurant.|
We checked in to our adorable Cabin Suite at Zion Ponderosa Ranch, ate dinner, spent some time on the free wifi (so happy to have wifi!) and went to bed. Tuesday is an EARLY morning with a lot of exciting plans!!