It was one of those Dad-planned-the-trip vacations, so naturally, mom, my sister, and I were rather dreading it. When we crossed from Arizona into Utah, already we hated the jump from ninety degrees Fahrenheit to one hudred and fourteen degrees, and it was four in the afternoon. We finally found the cheap hotel we would be staying at for a couple of days, and quickly packed everything and ate at the restaurant aross the street. There wasn't much in variety, but it seemed to make sense and filled us up. After catching some sleep, we got up early and drove over to the famous national park, Zion.
The first day was dedicated to some small hiking-huge for my mom, who has back problems. One thing notable is that they're a Green park, so you park at the front and ride on a bus that runs on Eco-fuel or something like that. So, all four of us got on said Eco-bus and rode down to the most distant point to walk in the park-but the easiest to walk-the river walk. Kids everywhere were a,used by the water, while adults took in the splendor. We had several other places to visit, so we bid our farewell to the area. Next was a rock at the top of a hill that had water droplets thousands of years old surfacing for the first time in millennia, and it provided for beautiful pictures posed with water and shade. We ate at the little historic lodge-expensive, but it's a national park- and then began a rather strenuous hike to see the Emerald Pools. My mom and I spotted a deer drinking water from the Virgin River as our ascension began. It was a good thing we had brought Camelbaks, otherwise we would have been truly parched with thirst. It took us about an hour to reach the first of the pools. The first were rather unimpressive, but the waterfall created by the pools directly above salvaged some beauty out of it. The second pools were rather fun, as many people were playing in them, and tadpoles were about in the pools. Since we were there, and had time to kill, we descide to escalate to the top Emerald Pools. Though extremely tiring, the view of the top pools was magnificient. Many people were swimming in them as a reward for making the strenuous climb, but since we weren't in swimwear, and my mom frowns upon us swimming in our regular clothes, we just posed on one of the huge rocks as best as we could for our Christmas picture. We got some well-deserved rest at the cheap hotel-aside from my sister hogging the bed.
Day two was about visiting the north side of Zion. There was lots of nature and beautiful views, but my sister seems to get attacked by nature when visiting national parks, so it was amusing to see her trip over tree branches and scream, "Nature's attacking me!" My dad decided to stand on a ledge and get pictures of the view. My mom, who is mostly mocked by us for nearly falling to her death in Carlsbad Caverns by leaning over the railing, decided to join my dad. My sister, when she wasn't getting attacked by nature, took pictures of my dad pretending to fall, and my mom, who we jokingly but honestly said that she was far from pretending to fall. Then began the most painful hike on our trip... the trip to the Double Arch. It began quite beautifully with a little creek, and the heat wasn't too bad. As we trudged on, though, the heat, the diminishing supply of water, and the constant crossing of rocks and eventually dull scenery got us truly irritated. In some of our pictures by burnt houses along the way, none of us are smiling. We finally made it to the site where the double arches are supposed to be, but to me, only one of them counted as an arch-and it looked like a bridge. After regaining energy, we pretty much ran the way back, starined by the pretty pointless hiking. At least the Mexican food was excellent.
Day three-finally, a new park. We got up early, and drove through part of Zion to get up to Bryce Canyon. We had scheduled mule riding-something we wanted to try at the Grand Canyon, but had no time to do. I found a pretty bracelet as we walked towards the mule pen. I'm used to riding horses, but mules seem to have a mind of their own, being donkey-horse hybrids. Nonetheless, riding the mules was a pleasant experience. We got in our car and stopped at every stop to take pictures and enjoy the view. My mom and sister complained about hiking, so we did not hike. We needed to get to our hotel by a certain time, so we left the park and went to its little subdivision, the Mossy Cave. My mom and sister wandered to the river, and my dad and I went to check out the actual cave. It was rather self-descriptive, and not much else was to be done there, so we decided to explore the river. Of course, crossing a raging river that drops into a waterfall is not exactly a safe idea, even with a huge log to help, but we did it anyway. My dad and I climbed to one natural window in a rock, and my sister got a picture of us up there. My dad and sister decided to check out the rest of the river, and I walked along the waterfall, getting pictures of it. A lady took my picture for me, and then we left to Moab, Utah. Moab is just outside of Arches, and the hotel was a thousand times better than the one back near Zion, so we were relieved. We ate gelato after dinner, saw a couple of rainbows, and got our rest.
On day four, my dad wanted to visit another national park, but my mom and sister kept shouting that they needed a break, so we spent all that day relaxing. An incident with my sister trying to pull me into the pool repeatedly led to her having a black eye, courtesy of my anger.
On the fifth day, we went to Arches National Park. The park's name is pretty self-explanatory: thousands of arches formed by nature are collected in this region. Our first stop was to hike up to the legendary Delicate Arch-that arch you see on Utah license plates. With a steep ascension point in which you have to hold on a railing to keep form slipping, strong winds, rain, and sand, it was almost a burden to go see the arch. We finally saw it, and we were relieved it wasn't as bad as the Double Arch incident. Of course, my mom said, "Oh, let's go out and touch it!" There's a huge hole right next to it, and she was almost getting blown aay as it is, so my dad just sighed and pulled her away.
Wow, I am making my mom to be a crazy person. It's nearly accurate! The weather got better, quickly. And hotter. We saw some micro-bacteria that takes centuries to grow but seconds to destroy, and began our trip to the Landscape Arch. Viewing it, my sister, dad, and I split off from my mom to go see a true double arch, called the "Big O Arch." We posed in front of several arches along the way, and got to see a rattlesnake slither in front of us. For me, everything was fine until we had to cross some rocks. They're pretty high up, and I have a horrible fear of heights. I eventually got over there, and we made it to the "Big O Arch." We relaxed on a rock for a bit, taking pictures of the mentioned arch and a distant but viewable rock, the Dark Angel. We trekked our way back and found mom. We visited Skyline Arch-it gets its name from seeing the sky through the arch at certain angles. Next on our arch list was Sandy Arch, which my mom and ister seemed happy to pose in front of-those beach addicts. We went to go see Balancing Rock-a gigantic boulder just barely balancing on a small pillar- and drove past a region called The Windows. Having seen everything within our time and budget limit, we headed back to the hotel.
Our last stop was the Four Corners. While my mom, sister, and dad posed in the typical on all fours pose, I posed with my hands in a diagonal direction, and my legs in the other diagonal direction.
I clearly am different.
While extremely peaceful, as the Mormons who named Zion would agree, it was strenuous. I reccommend it for anyone with enough energy, patience and money who wants to see some of America's natural beauty. Though you will barely believe you are in Utah, let alone America, with all those gorgeous landscapes.
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