I love America's National Parks. I would love to visit every single one of them if I could. In particular, there are several in the Northwest I'd like to visit. So far, though, my absolute hands-down favorite has been Zion, Utah. Paul and I went there pre-kids as part of a whirlwind driving-camping trip that included the Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and Death Valley.
Had I known how incredibly awesome Zion is, we'd have spent more time there.
Red rock, everywhere. The desert has a particular smell to it. The smell of dry heat, of red rock, of sand and shrubs.
One of the biggest highlights of Zion was going to see the petroglyphs. No lie - I have probably 20 pictures of the petroglyphs. I just love them!
This one shows some horned goats or antelopes, with hunters behind them.
And this one shows jumping men, squiglys, spirals, and other symbols
They actually keep the petroglyphs out of common knowledge as much as possible in Zion. They aren't advertised. When you go there, you won't see much about them. They don't want idiots harming them. We were lucky enough to know about the petroglyphs before our trip, so that we could track them down.
I love the exotic flowers and cacti that you find in the desert as well. I have a lot of cactus pictures!
While in Zion, we had to pick and choose our hikes since we weren't there long. We did a short hike up to Weeping Rock.
And then of course we hiked parts of The Narrows, a river bed surrounded by red canyon walls.
As hot as it would get during the days, the nights would be cool. We camped in the National park, our campsite on a sheet of hard, baked red clay. When we lay down for the night the tent was stuffy, but it didn't take long for the winds to pick up and cool things off. The wind blew all night long, and as a result I slept so deeply.
My hope is that one day we can return. And this time spend more time there. They actually have a marathon in this region of Utah, known to be a Boston Qualifier for the fact that it is all downhill. That sounds like it'd be really tough on the quads - but I bet the scenery would make up for it!