One of my favorite movies has a line in it, "What is a yute?" And if you are a movie buff, you might have already guessed the line is from My Cousin Vinny. And what this line has to do with anything is that out here in Utah, I kept seeing the word Ute. I had no idea what it was, and I had to look it up. It is actually the Native American tribe of the area. They are the indigenous people of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. And why I decided to title this blog post about them is because, in the past month I have discovered what an amazing place the Ute call home.
In the past couple weeks I have been able to do some short little adventures. Two of them being to national parks in the southern part of the state. My first solo adventure was to Zion National Park. I don't know how to explain it other than a magic. I first drove down to St. George to do some climbing. It was my first off road adventure, and I really got to test out my four wheel drive. I arrived in Moe's Valley to do some pretty awesome bouldering. I had only climbed on granite before, and for those who don't climb, let's just say granite is rough on the fingers. In Moe's the rocks are sandstone, and boy did it make a difference! My fingers could climb and climb without getting so cut up.
After a couple hours of bouldering, I drove north about an hour to camp in Zion National Park. I stayed in the South Campground, and I would highly recommend camping there. If camping is not your thing there is a lodge and various hotels close to the park. But for just $20 you can be surrounded by majestic red rock, aspen trees, and deer. It wasn't cold for being November, but the wind was extremely strong. I had planned on doing the famous Angel's Landing hike, but it was closed that morning for maintenance. I could have done the just as famous Narrows hike, but I didn't have water gear with me. I decided on doing the Emerald Pools hikes. I could not get enough. It is just awe inspiring and magical. I wasn't mad that I would have to return to do the other two hikes. I will most likely return sometime in the winter, as I want it to still be dry season and without the crowds. The park is the 5th most popular national park, and gets very busy during the summer. From Salt Lake City it was about a 4 hour drive, so nothing too bad. My trip was very short, but totally worth it. It amped me up for more mini road trips.
I ended up driving down to Moab this past weekend. I put my bike on the back of my car, and we were off to adventure heaven. I ended up getting to my campsite pretty late, and really couldn't see where I was. When I woke up the next morning, I was happily surprised. The campsite I had chosen, Granstaff Campground, was right on the Colorado River surrounded by that red rock I love so much. There were still some golden leaves on the Aspens, and it just made for the best morning. The campsite was clean, safe and there are trails all around. If you are big into mountain biking like me, "The Whole Enchilada" isn't too far from the campground. There were other people who had their kayaks to take on the Colorado. I however, ended up going into town for some breakfast before I chose my day of adventure.
Moab is a place to LOVE. It has that desert and small town charm all wrapped into one. Lately I have been in love with deserts. I don't know if it is because I am in a solitary state of mind and heart, or in my Jesus year. I was sad I would only be spending half the day in the area. But, I couldn't let that stop me from doing my best at having a great time. I ended up driving to Arches National Park to do two quick hikes. I did the Park Avenue hike and the Delicate Arch hike. Both were amazingly beautiful. The climax of the Delicate Arch hike is pretty spectacular. There is something beautiful about barren land, just being surrounded by rock. Like I said, I am in love with deserts lately.
After my hikes I decided to go hit the famous Moab bike trails. I did not do "The Whole Enchilada" as I am still getting used to my new bike, but I am not counting it out in 2018. I rode on the rim of a canyon, which was pretty amazing because I do still have fear of heights and falling. I did it though. I think it is quite funny how we usually are capable of more than we think. This also comes to play with our time as well.
These trips were not long, not expensive, and took relatively little planning. But they gave me so much joy and energy. It reminded me that WE can make time for things, if we just try. No need to waste any of it. I have a feeling the Utes also knew this. I am so lucky to be able to explore their home.