travel

HEADING HOME: 3 STOPS ALONG THE WAY

It’s that time again, my wonderful readers!

Today’s blog post is going to focus on travel, as some of you really enjoy these sorts of posts from me. As some of you know, my dad and I made the drive from California to Tennessee recently, and we had the incredible chance to stop at a few places that must be highlighted. These three destinations are places you should definitely check out if you can.


1. BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK — SOUTHERN UTAH, USA

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Thirty minutes outside Bryce. Incredible! (Hutch, Utah // April 2019)

Bryce Canyon National Park is incredible, and it was our favorite stop on the trip. Located four hours northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, Bryce Canyon is famous for its red, orange, and white hoodoos. What the heck is a hoodoo, you may ask? A hoodoo a thin pillar of rock that protrudes upward. Hoodoos are formed through frost weathering and stream erosion. So Bryce Canyon is a sort of misnomer, as the national park is not a canyon at all.

Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the USA, in my opinion, and the people are super friendly too. While Bryce is a sort of famous national park, it is not as well-known due to its close proximity to Zion National Park. Therefore, if you want a beautiful, less-crowded alternative to Zion, Bryce is definitely your choice!

And a picture is worth a thousand words in this case. For sure.

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Bryce Canyon National Park (April 2019)

2. ARCHES NATIONAL PARK — EASTERN UTAH

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Arches National Park (April 2019)

While I had very high hopes for Arches, it was honestly not what I was expecting. About two hours from Grand Junction, Colorado, and four hours from Bryce, Arches is another testament to how beautiful the United States is. However, my dad and I thought we’d see arches at every turn in this park, and we saw very few. So if you go, just understand that you will see some gorgeous vistas, but the arches are few and far between.

There was a wonderful spring storm that came out of nowhere while we were hiking, and that was a fun moment, because we had to choose whether or not to keep hiking or die in the rain. (We chose the safety of my car, naturally.)

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The first arch we saw at Arches National Park (April 2019)

3. PIKES PEAK — THE ROCKIES, COLORADO

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The view at Pikes Peak’s summit (April 2019)

 

Pikes Peak is a staple of my dad’s childhood, and we were both super excited to visit! About thirty minutes from Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is America’s Mountain, and anybody can see why. The mountain stands at 14,115 feet and is the inspiration of the famous song “America the Beautiful.”

Today Pikes Peak is known for its nineteen mile road that reaches the summit. This incredible engineering feat allows anyone who can handle the altitude to travel up the fourteener in the comfort of one’s own car. (Of course, you must be careful with who’s driving your car, as my dad got quite nervous with the drive to the top. There are few guardrails, so beware if you have issues with height.) This road is perfect to observe dramatic cliff faces, snowy mountainsides, and other humans as they try not to freak out going up and down the mountain.

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I love this picture because my dad looks like Bigfoot (Pikes Peak // April 2019)

One thing to consider is altitude sickness. As we drove up, my dad and I were both keenly aware of the possibility of hypoxia, which is the lack of oxygen in the blood due to thin air. Pilots sometimes suffer hypoxia without supplemental oxygen, and so my dad and I were quizzing each other on possible symptoms (such as headaches, blue lips and fingernails, drowsiness, etc). There was no doubt that at the summit we were both somewhat delirious, and we barely stayed five minutes.

However, the drive down was incredible, and pictures don’t do the view justice. The big takeaway for the both of us, though, was that there is nothing like a good gulp of fresh air (and not at the top of a mountain).

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Narrow mountain roads, no guardrails (Pikes Peak // April 2019)

WOO.

Our thousand and a half mile journey was one for the books. Though we loved our trip and having the chance to see these great places, there is nothing like home, and that’s the biggest thing to remember. When we have the opportunity to visit new places, we cannot forget the places that came before, as we are all blessed with hometowns and home bases.

Think of your own home, and remember to treasure it as much as you can. We are never certain how long we will have on our one-of-a-kind planet. ❀

Until next time,

-K.

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