Note: Please click on the picture for all the photos from this trip.
This is the picture that summarizes, in my opinion,
the State of Utah - or at least what I have seen of it.
This is taken in Arches National Park, in Moab.
It’s the morning of July 4th, 2009, and I am sitting in Aa.’s truck (I know, my boyfriend has an honest to God Dodge truck – don’t ask! This is another story altogether!), sleepy and hungry, waiting for him to come out of the Jeep rental place in
We are renting a Jeep Wrangler for the day, to cruise along the Colorado river, in the
And I finally wake up from a dream! A dream that has lasted, evidently, for the past 24 hours that I have spent in
The Arches National Park is a monument of nature like I have never seen. They rise in the middle of the desert, long after you thought that you left the mountains behind. Its vastness and tallness are overwhelming. I am not sure I will even attempt to describe what I felt, because words don’t do it justice. And pictures, I am not sure, don’t either. I had seen plenty of pictures of the “red rocks of
I have loved deserts always. I have loved them for their simplicity, and simple gorgeousness! For their stoicism. If they can handle 50+ degree drops in temperature daily, and years and years of drought, they can handle anything. I have always been fascinated by deserts, because they have so much quiet but exuberant life bottled up in them: every cave, and every sand mount, you know that it hides ants, or lizards, or snakes, or birds, even. And then, there are the junipers. And the “bonsai” trees. Just a simple, delicate reminder that life can grow.
Pretty much anywhere. With stubbornness!
Our visit into the desert continued after Aa. managed to rent the Jeep, a fiery red Wrangler, and source of Aa.’s permanent grin that day, into the
The Arches are perched up high, it seems, but for the Canyon, you go down below. Down below the life line, I thought, because the further and deeper we went into the deserted Canyon, the hotter, lonelier, quieter it got. I think my heart started skipping beats at mile 10 or so into the drive ( I think we had more like 20 miles to go that day, on paved roads, and dirt roads alike), and at mile 15 I begged to turn around. In 103 degrees, I felt ZERO oxygen going into my body! I was hotter than hot, breathless with a heart that was about to pop out of my chest looking for air. I love the desert, but that was my test to see if I could live in it. No, I can not!
And for all those folks who dream of the “dry heat” of the West when living in
We turned around, but not before we got closer to this rock formation that reminded me of The Pyramids of Egypt! The silence was deafening. Not a soul was around. Not a bird. Not a bug. Just silence, and red rocks. Black, yellow, white, and red and brown rocks. With “The Pyramid” in front of me, I thought I traveled to the end of the world. Just like in Arches, I felt small, and lonely. Felt like God has left me, and the world, in search for a lusher place.
The day after we came back from the desert, we headed to Sundance. And boy, did we fall into the other extreme! As much as
The brunch in the Resort’s Foundry Grill was amazing. Nothing short of high class and posh, yet relaxed and welcoming. The food was varied and ranged from eggs Benedict to beef Stroganoff, and carved turkey and grilled salmon. My favorite was the ribs and potato dish with bbq sauce and mango (I think) chutney – oh, out of this world – I thought!
Everything was done to perfection, and dining on the stone and wood patio with the wind and the water giving us a live performance was just heaven!
The Grill is housed in a beautiful and large log cabin, which complements the wild surroundings, and lives quietly amongst the pine trees and along the trout filled waterfalled river outside. If in Moab you were afraid to speak, not to disturb the silence of it all, and you could hear a pin drop, in Sundance, you were afraid to speak, not to interrupt the intricate dialogue of all elements amongst each other that morning: the roaring stream, the birds, the bees, the wind in the aspen trees, the deep, long whisper of the wind among the pine trees, the waterfalls in the distance.
If the desert was a splendor of reds and yellows and browns, Sundance was a warm chat of blues and greens, between the sky and the pastures and woods. The chairlift allowed us to get a better view of the valley, the peaks, and all the million dollar homes in between - done with very much taste, I might add.
If The Grill had known and familiar but cooked with a twist dishes, The Log Haven had all gourmet, sophisticated, one of a kind mixes. The delicious, Iron chef-like dishes, the waterfall backdrop on the patio, the tall pines, and the log cabin feel were a beautiful ending to a beautiful day and amazing journey. We enjoyed the food, a cold drink and watching our very unique waitress explain our dishes with her hands. I hate desserts, but she explained the crème brule in such a way to the adjacent table, I had to have it, and it was some of the best kind I have ever had – just don’t tell my mom! It was … an experience all in its own.
I also loved the Provo Area, with its cozy, small town feel, and the beautiful trails and roads (that I hope to go back and explore on foot more) at American Fork Canyon! Just a secluded, very wild and well preserved natureland.
There was such explosion of life, and color, and surprise at every corner, that I never stopped being wowed. I even forgot about buying souvenirs, and I just kept shooting pictures of every corner, and every street, and every peak! I did not want to miss one shade of the sky, or of the land or of the air! Now, I keep telling myself that this trip and my pictures will be my souvenirs. There were moments during this journey, I felt like mountains, and rocks, and rivers were not wanting me to go. I felt a relationship to it all, that I have missed for a while now.
Although heavily biased by my state of mind, and by the beauty and awe of nature, that I so love, it was most likely one of the most beautiful and unexpected trips of my life – probably. The evidence is largely circumstantial.