day four; zion national park and bryce canyon national park.
as we've mentioned before, when we travel we prefer having no plan at all. this trip was initially going to be a trek up to to northern california but we soon felt the desire to explore more of the southwest. the red rocks were calling our name.
we made return visits to a few parks in arizona, but utah was was what we really wanted to explore. when we got back into austin i called my grandmother to tell her about the parks we recently visited and also discuss my urge to make my way up to the northeast to visit family. “you fly, you fly by the seat of your pants!” she said to me. i laughed at the truth in her words. other than a date that we wanted to be home by and a general area we wanted to wander through, most of this trip was decided while we were on the road.
zion national park was not in our minds while driving across the arizona/utah border, but as soon as we saw a sign that read “zion national park…….40miles” we found ourselves headed that direction. it was a good last minute decision to say the least! shortly after entering the park we were greeted by long horned sheep stepping along the horizontal fissures of the checkerboard mesa.
we made our way through the massive park and embarked on a few of the hiking trails including upper emerald pool. as the park began to overcrowd in the weekend sun we found solitude walking along the virgin river, offering both a place to cool off and sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.
the road out of zion led us to original destination for the day, bryce canyon.
we spent the evening hours exploring the rim of the canyon overlooking the endless sea of hoodoos before retiring to our tent in the dixie national forest.