Wednesday, July 1, 2009

National Parks Tour- part 2

Time for Part 2 of my National Parks adventure! The first place we visited was, of course, the Grand Canyon. And boy, was it grand! Ok, perhaps I am being a bit cliche but it really was. For those of you who have never been- shame on you! We had such a wonderful time there and stayed at the Mather Campground which was really quite pleasant. The odd thing was that there seemed to be more foreigners visiting here than Americans! But maybe that's because the Grand Canyon is listed as one of the seven wonders of the world. Or something like that.

Anyway, we got to hike to the bottom (ok, just 3 miles down) of the Grand Canyon two times! First we tackled the Brigh Angel Trail, which would have been more enjoyable had we not been yo-yoing so many families the whole time. The South Kaibab Trail, however, was more deserted and we got to spend plenty of quality time with the squirrels of the GC. I was rightfully fearful of these little animals due to the rabies they are known to carry and the aggressive attitude they posess if you try to feed them. So, remember to keep your distance from them if you venture down! Show nature some respect and leave Charlie alone!!

I know, his cute face wins a lot of people over. The important thing to remember is the hospital bills you are likely to incur if he bites you!

The next park we visited was my favorite of all America's National Parks (so far): Zion. Its named that for a reason:

Anyone thinking of "The Land Before Time"? That's what I felt the entire time I was hiking Angel's Landing Trail. It was storming in the distance all throughout our hike, and you could almost hear those rocks roaring. The dark clouds made them look like a land of volcanoes and dinosaurs. At least to me. But I'm from the East, so it's to be expected. Here's a look at what the trail looked like:

Yes, that is the edge of the cliff. Yes, that is a 1500 foot drop. Yes, we had to pull ourselves up with chains. It really was the scariest moment of my life. Talk about extreme hiking! I'll never complain again!

The next stop was Capitol Reef National Park. I loved this park, because it really felt like a desert to me. But a wild one! I never thought I would fall in love with deserts, but it happened. There is much more than cactus and sand. In fact, I think we saw the most wildlife in this park! But thank goodness, no mountain lions, which are known to roam there.

OOPS! I forgot we actually went to Capitol Reef AFTER Bryce Canyon. But Bryce was just a drive through, due to time constraints. Still, we did get some awesome views and even ran into a couple we met from the Grand Canyon! Small world eh?

Stay tuned for more!

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