Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Zooming Around Zion [National Park]

Zion has always been a place I've wanted to visit, but wasn't necessarily at the top of my bucket list. Having gone now.... that statement has certainly changed. It's definitely at the top of my list now! I thought St. George was breathtaking. Zion made the views around St. George look quaint. And to think all of this is in our own backyard, no ocean's to cross. Just a quick plane ride to see some seriously impressive works of nature. The entire experience was like walking through a painting. Or a really awesome Western Movie film set. 

With so many ways to view the impressive scenery, we chose my parents favorite IM tradition - a convertible. It started by accident at IM Florida 2017, and is one they have happily relived at every race where they have rented a vehicle. 

Into the convertible we all hopped, and off to Zion we zoomed!

The views getting there were well worth the trip in themselves.

Yeah, that's where we're going.

What a butte!

Upon arrival into Zion you have a couple of options:
1. Hop on the bus to go visit the most popular areas of the park.
2. Drive up to the East Entrance of the park, for some self guided hiking.

Being people who enjoy immersing ourselves in nature more than we enjoy miming cattle plodding along a trail, we opted for version #2. Granted, when we go back (I do mean when, not if), we will take at least one day or two to stay within the park to be able to get to all the most popular areas of the park bright and early before the tourist crowds descend. Being that we got to the park after the tourist crowd had descended, we decided to go for a little hike of our own.

Off we sped, soaking in all the butte-y that surrounded us. Yes, that should be my last geology joke. But no promises.

The drive to where we were going is quite stunning, and it kept getting more and more breath taking as we went. 

With a quick stop at a look out area, before a tourist bus rolled in and all the tourists rolled out, we gathered our bearings, and discussed which trail to hike. Thankfully, we stumbled across some legitimate hikers that dubiously recommended East Rim Trail to Observation Point Trail. I assume the dubiousness was due to our lack of any actual hiking attire or gear. Clad with nothing but what you would go for a relaxing stroll in, and a backpack full of peanut butter sandwiches we set out on what turned out to be less than a relaxing stroll.

Off we went.

Where the Wild Things roam.

You never know what might be lurking. Like photobombing parents.

And forcing Joe into being my subject for photos.

A family that hikes together, stays together. And honestly, after a race it was much needed and appreciated. 

Seriously, how could you not love this place?

The higher we hiked, the more awe-mazing the views became.

Until we found the perfect spot for our makeshift picnic.

The perfect way to celebrate getting this one to another World Championship!

Love being able to share these experiences with these crazies. 

Until next time Zion!

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