Into the National Parks of Utah, USA

“We find ourselves back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure that we wind up exactly where we belong.”

Arches National Park

Our eyes drank in a fine overview of a series of arch and rock formations jutting into a sky of unfurling clouds, on entering the park from highway 191.

The Petrified Dunes appeared among the cushionets of shrubs; named for the process of sand dune-hardening-into-stone, while nearby, in the strobe of the sun stood Balanced Rock, in perfect equilibrium.

A short walk from there lay the striking Double Arch, North & South, its surrounding landscape impressing upon our minds.

The sighting of the ‘Spectacles’, ‘The Windows’, a visual treat of a myriad hues of burnt oranges, was followed by a captivating view of Turret Arch.

Utah’s Grand County is home to the iconic Delicate Arch, a natural, freestanding formation of sandstone. Stunning!

We crossed the moderately strenuous trailhead in the warm dusk, and neared this ineffaceable creation to watch the melodramtic sun sink and silhouette the arch.

Zion National Park

The road along state highway 89 towards Springdale, driving southwest, was like poetry in motion, a picturesque way through meandering rivers and the Big Rock Candy mountains.

Riding the heliographic Mt. Carmel Byway, we encountered hillocks whittled into rocks of iron ore, mostly eroded by time.

Lush! was what came to mind when we hiked the path cutting across the tumbling river, leading towards the upper reaches of Emerald Pool.

An oasis in the aridness, a secret alcove of sorts.

We ambled upstream the Virgin River, along the swampy Temple of Sinawava trail, 2.5 miles in length. A kaleidoscope of colours ensued.

The lilting melody of fall leaves and gushing waters entranced us as we approached the Narrows, a deep gorge encompassed by walls of sandstone several feet in height.

Last stop, The Great White Throne – a startling white mountain of Navajo sandstone gleaming in the light, and leaving us enthralled.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Spires from the ravine came into our vista as we drove along Utah’s All American Road into the expansive reaches of the national park.

The scenic drive lined with Ponderosa pine trees circled the rim of the amphitheatre as we drifted past its viewpoints, the alluring
Natural Bridge, Agua Canyon overlooking the rocks and the north-facing Rainbow Point among a few.

Simply put, the vibrant, red-orange-brown hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon was a photogenic, inexhaustive panorama. We were overwhelmed by this marvellous phenomenon.

Witnessing monoliths in various sizes and stages of weathering and erosion was like living in different eras simultaneously.

This vertiginous, gooseflesh-inducing hike (we chose the Queen’s Garden route) satiated our need, for a lifetime, to be in direct contact with the Earth.

“A heart filled with love is like a phoenix that no cage can imprison.”

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