Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Visiting the Great Southwest

HAPPY 2016!!!! 

Did you all have a fantastic 2015? I remember around this time last year I made a few goals and my goals were to travel more, be more carefree, live and see the world as I am able.

I think I am quite proud of the fact that i did indeed do those things, whether planned or sporadic, i got outside and saw as much of the world as I could while balancing a full time job and other responsibilities. I think there was a getaway at least once a month, whether to staycation in a beach town in Monterey or a planned getaway to Vancouver BC, something was always in the works. I am so glad to have had that experience, and I feel even more grateful than I did a year ago. 

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page"

A trip to the Southwest of America was always one on my list. I mean, living so close by, why not?
It took a little planning, some research and voila! I have to admit that after Thanksgiving sales prompted me because a lot of airlines were also lowering their holiday fares. 

Our first stop was to get to our home base destination, which was Las Vegas. It's a nice driving distance between the Southernmost point of Utah and the Arizona/NV border. It made a lot of sense to us and we got to revel in the food delights that Vegas has to offer. We stayed in Vegas for two nights, gorging ourselves on more post-Christmas gluttony. It was awesome.

rare bit of quiet before NYE. 
This was a little eery, i have to admit.

Bryce Canyon - Utah - this was one of the most picturesque places I got to see on the trip. 
The snow was peppered perfectly onto the red canyons, and the sunlight illuminated the soveryblue clouds in the sky. Breathtaking, contrasting gorgeous colors all around.
Peering out on one side of the canyon, I could not imagine anything bigger than this. How this is all natural, formed by the earth so many million years ago. It's hard to formulate any coherent thoughts when the beauty of this surrounds you. Everything is nothing. Meaningless.
All our problems in the city is minuscule to the size of these vast never-ending canyons. 

Zion National Park - Utah - it seems more and more to me that Utah is home to so many beautiful mountain peaks and hidden gems that naturists and city folk alike can enjoy. The Virgin River pictured here was so gorgeous in contrast to the green trees and the beautiful mountain backdrop. It is a definite refreshing view compared to California's dry lands. It was literally like a dream to see so much of this beauty untouched by man. The air was crisp and fresh, the morning dew chilly, and seeing as far as the eye can see all I saw was a kaleidoscope of greens and blues and reds and pale winter whites. 

I maybe was a little too excited but how can you not be? I grew up in Los Angeles, work in the Bay Area. It's hard not to appreciate all this when you have nothing like this on the daily. 
It was about 13 degrees. SO COLD. All worth it though! We did not hike too much but took in the scenery and captured as much prettiness as our cameras allowed. Most of my photos were taken on my nx500 Samsung camera and my iPhone.

Another gorgeous peak driving from Utah to the border of Arizona/NV. This was en route to Antelope Canyon. 

First glimpse of the Upper Antelope Canyons. The sheer surrealness of this is utterly fascinating. The colors were red and swirly, then eerie quiet on the inside. Everything about this was endlessly amazing. I think i could stare at it for hours upon hours. It really was magical. 

Lower Antelope Canyon - where it really matters! 
The colors are even more stunning in here. This is where you get to go inside the canyon. There were staircases built inside for us to get up and down in. Breathtaking. I was so mesmerized and completely lost in its beauty.

I really enjoyed visiting the Lower part of AC much more than the upper. I felt that the lower part had much more excitement and it was also much less crowded. If 

Grand Canyon - Arizona 
One of the 7 wonders of the Natural World. 
Pictured below here is the entrance from the South Rim of the Canyon. 
I remember when I was a little girl coming here with my parents and being completely taken away by the sheer volume of size. Looking down was dizzying for my small frame, and I remembered it being one of the most amazing experiences ever. To be here, alive and to see such a sight.

Now as a grown up, most of that has not changed. Looking at it from my perspective now, i see what I saw then - a glimmer of hope for the future. Why? 
While it has nothing to do with urban planning, politics or wars - seeing this, this massive space of mountains and canyons, makes me feel like there is nothing more essential than this. This exists. In our world today. Everything will be okay.

Being able to witness this, all of it, during the short 5 day trip to the American Southwest was spectacular and eye opening. It was almost like a spiritual experience being able to immerse myself in that world - the world of mountains and canyons and nature. 

Because of my yoga practice and striving to fulfill my travel curiosities, this was nearly a perfect getaway to zone out of the city and be one with nature.
I recommend anyone to come here and breathe in the fresh air, see the colors that nature has made and immerse yourself in this picturesque frame of mind. There is nothing more enlightening to start 2016 than with a clear mind, a happy soul and memories of this crisp clean life.

1 comment:

Brian J. said...

Nice! I did a similar trip this past summer... HOT in the summer!