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Zion national park and Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is approximately 8 hours from SLC, so it felt like a crime to not visit one of nature’s wonders when it is at arm’s reach. And it was all the more enticing when the 8-hour drive offered the potential to hit other tourist attractions. A perfect opportunity to break our trip into chunks and gather a range of experiences. We decided to hit the Zion national park on our onward journey and Lake Powell on our way back.

The Zion Canyon is formed by the Virgin river. It is a downsized version of the Grand Canyon. We hit the park just before sunset so the rustic canyon was extremely picturesque. We hopped on to the shuttle that took us on a scenic drive, and walked along one of the easier trails at the base of the canyon. On our way back, I overheard a fellow traveller comment, “Oh you should go to the Grand Canyon, you will stop breathing. Makes you realize that there is something or someone more powerful than humans.” Seemed like our plan was validated by someone’s first hand experience!

The drive from Zion to Grand Canyon was eventful. The canyon is in the middle of nowhere with no lights, no exits whatsoever. To add to that one of the highways was closed with no clear detour signs and we had to literally come to a screeching halt to take an about turn. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there were mice, bunnies and moose going about their nightly activities on, ahem, what was suppose to be a highway. Poor da, who was driving with a very sleepy and unhelpful navigator, yours truly. By hook or crook, we reached our hotel, tired and exhausted.

We checked out nice and early the following morning and headed to the canyon. The Grand Canyon is divided into north and south rim. The north rim is closed until May, so our visit was confined to the south rim.

The Grand Canyon is truly grand in every sense of the term. The vastness, the depth, the timelessness, the reddish tan…so surreal although it is as real as only reality can be. You stand there, tinier than the tiniest speck, humbled and in awe of the pyramid structure. There is only one way to be at the Grand Canyon – To. Just. Be. All of life’s quandaries melt away as you take in the sights and marvel at the delicate dance between the forces of nature that defined and continues to define the canyon. The canyon was formed over a span of several years, one flash flood at a time, by the Colorado river. Rocks that are several million years old being carved out and eroded by water, slowly but steadily. Imagine that!

As we stopped at several overlooks to get a different perspective of the canyon from different vantage points, I felt an immense sense of responsibility to do my bit to maintain the fragile balance in the environment and to treat it with care and sanctity.

The one thing that I wish we had done was check out the canyon at sunset and sunrise. The day was hot, so the sun stole some of the thunder from the canyon. A note for next time. As planned, we stopped for a few minutes at lake Powell and the Glen canyon which mesmerized at sunset with their breathtaking views. Even time stood still those few minutes.

All in all a memorable trip.

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