Salt Lake City & Zion National Park – Photos Just Don’t Do Utah Justice

I visited Utah for one reason – to see a college friend and meet her baby boy. I had waltzed through Salt Lake City a decade ago on a cross-country road trip as a college junior. My memories of Utah were hazy – the vivid colors of the Flaming Gorge, a quick walk around Temple Square, a massive mural of John Stockton’s mug when he still played for the Utah Jazz, and the endless expanse of blinding white salt as we drove west out of Salt Lake City. Since then I’d hardly given Utah a thought.

All this time, I was missing out. I discovered a state rich in mountain landscapes and begging to be explored.

I arrived in Salt Lake City in the midst of a spring snowstorm, the heavy wet snow clinging to freshly blooming cherry trees and sprigs of bright green leaves budding out. Tulips and hyacinth slumbered in a blanket of white as everything dripped around me. It was beautiful. The city itself surprised me – this is the most ethnically and religiously diverse part of Utah. Sure, I took a gander through the heart of the Mormon Church at Temple Square, but I also chatted with die-hard soccer fans (home to MLS team Real Salt Lake), joined the business crowd lining up for Korean BBQ at Food Truck Thursday, and stood beneath the atrium of the most breath-taking modern library I’ve ever seen.

For a world-away day trip, I joined my friend Tiff for the drive out to Antelope Island, a wind-swept expanse of endless mountain views and grazing bison set within the Great Salt Lake. Further south await a cluster of underrated national parks, the most famous of which is probably Zion National Park. It’s a canyon of scintillating colors, soaring geology, and easy day hikes, best done anytime outside of National Park Week. Which was our mistake. The crowds wouldn’t have been so bad except for the family hiking with their boombox blasting Top 40 Hits.

Exactly why I visit National Parks, to hike to a soundtrack of Beyoncé, not the birds or rushing river. So take it from me, definitely visit Zion National Park, but avoid National Park Week in April when the parks are free.

To views my photo slide show, click on the link: Salt Lake City & Zion National Park, Utah

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
This entry was posted in America by Public Transit, National Parks, Outdoor Activities, Utah and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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