Zion and Bryce

It’s Sunday morning, so I sleep in a bit. After all, you don’t need to see the sunrise every morning. When it’s becoming light outside I get up and get dressed. I get a cappuccino at McDonalds before I hit the road. I like camping near the big yellow M. They provide all you need: food, coffee, a restroom and internet. Well rested I started driving again. It’s about half an hour to Zion National Park. Just as the previous days there is no one at the entrance. My tip if you’re traveling on a budget: go to the National Parks before eight in the morning and there is a big chance you can enter for free.

While driving in Zion I listen to the music of my favorite movie, Elizabethtown. The songs are about death and life, just as the movie, and it makes me thankful to be alive. Traveling alone is such a great way to help you think about life and yourself. If you’ve never done it, I strongly recommend you’d go on a trip yourself. Even if it’s just a long weekend by yourself, it’ll be a great experience. And then watch that movie, you’ll recognize the experience of the main character. Laughing, crying, feeling frustrated and happy. Traveling is life.

I park in the middle of Zion, have breakfast and start walking. There is a shuttle bus to the hike called Angels Landing, but I choose to walk for about an hour instead. It’s a nice and easy walk by the river. I’m all alone and I love it. From time to time some shuttle busses pass me by and one time I see a deer jumping by the river. I continue listening to the music and really enjoy this walk. This is complete freedom. I walk my own road, have nowhere to go and enjoy every step I take.

Entering Zion National Park
Me at Zion National Park
Start of Angels Landing Hike
Zion National Park (2)
Waterfall in Zion National Park
Hiking through a canyon in Zion National Park
Zion National Park (1)
Valley in Zion National Park
Canyon in Zion National Park

After about an hour of walking I arrive at the point where the hike starts. The hike is marked as difficult and I can soon see why. The path gets pretty steep and finally turns into rock climbing. I leave my music on. In he beginning I’m a bit worried that it might annoy people, but I actually get a lot of positive comments. Everyone is visibly having a challenging time with this hike and the music makes it a lot easier. One lady even starts dancing to the music and another guy sings along with it. After about 2,5 hours I make it to the top. There are lot of people here, so I climb all the way to the edge to enjoy the view by myself. I sit down for about twenty minutes, the view is amazing. The view is a great reward for the challenging hike.

Hiking in Zion National Park (2)
The steep hike at Angels Landing
I made it to Angels Landing
Combining two hikes
Crowded at the top of Angels Landing
View from the top at Angels Landing
Start of Angels Landing Hike
Almost at the top of Angels Landing
Me at the top of Angels Landing

While climbing up I saw a few people running down. I love the idea of trail running and also want to learn it. Despite having hiking boots on, I decide to also run down. The challenge is to not to go too fast so you stay in control. In about half an hour I’m down at the start of the hike. This time I take the shuttle, because I’ve had enough exercise for today. At the bus stop I meet some people from Belgium. It’s nice to speak my own language for a moment. We exchange travel stories and then each go our own way again. I drive to the visitor center to get a souvenir. The park is crowded with people by now, so again I’m glad I went early in the morning. The plan is now to drive to Bryce Canyon National Park, not too far from here. I hope it won’t be too busy there.

View from the hike at Angels Landing
Navajo Trail at Bryce National Park
Bryce National Park
Me at the top of Angels Landing (2)
Navajo Trail at Bryce National Park (2)
Bryce National Park (2)
Driving to Bryce National Park
Valley in Bryce National Park
Me at Bryce National Park

After about two hours driving I arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s not too crowded and the recommended hike is quite easy compared to the hike in Zion this morning. Even though I’m still a bit tired when I’m back at the car, I can feel that I did a lot of walking, hiking and running today. The rest of the park I see by driving the scenic route and at the end of the afternoon I leave the park again. I didn’t plan to drive a lot today, but since I still have a few hours before it gets dark I try to get as close to the Grand Canyon as possible, so there will be less driving to do tomorrow.

Just after sunset I arrive at the North side of the canyon to find out that this side is still closed for the winter. I remember of last time that I found the south side more impressive anyway, so that’s where I’ll be going tomorrow. I have dinner at the restaurant by the north side and go to my car to sleep. There is no Wi-Fi here, so I can’t post my blog of yesterday. I’m thinking that I should have posted it when I was at McDonalds this morning, but then again I’m on vacation so this can wait a day. I hope you still enjoy reading about my journey, in any case I enjoy writing about it and taking all the pictures. I’ve been traveling for almost a week now and have seen a lot already. I’m also excited for what is more to come.

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