Oh! As I was driving into Zion NP I saw what I thought was a herd of cows. I didn’t pay much attention, even though there were a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road (a sure indicator something cool, like wildlife, is present). However, on my way back out I realized IT’S A HERD OF BISON! I parked a ways away because there were so many cars and I wasn’t sure how close I could get, and as I was walking up I noticed this pile of bison shit, FRESH bison shit, on THIS SIDE of the fence! Not sure how that happened. Anyway, here are the bison.
p.s. I just looked up bison vs. buffalo because I remember Liz saying, “bison poo” when we were at Yellowstone, and she knows way more about wildlife than I do (I’m not a creature person, really). I originally called these buffalo when I wrote this, so I’ve learned something today!
Just a reminder, in case you forgot: you are not alone. Also, you are loved :-)
Another piece of wisdom from the tour guide at Bryce Canyon – this is a Quaking Aspen, the state tree of Utah. They are often mistaken for Birch Trees since they have almost white bark and their leaves are similar. They are stunning. Cool fact – they have shared root systems, and because of that the Guinness Book of World Records declared them the largest land creatures!
One thing I find particularly interesting about these trees, and which I tried to capture in a number of pictures but I’m not sure if I the pictures I got make it as obvious as it seemed while driving – the lower level of the leaves seem to go in a straight line, no matter how tall the trees are. Some of the trees might be much taller than the others, but their bottom line of leaves almost always seems to be at the same height. Maybe trees of the same kind are always like that and it’s just more noticeable about these since their bright color makes them stand out among the other trees.
This part of the drive was simply breathtaking. I can’t explain just how stunning these yellow trees were. There is just something about contrast that really gets me. The way I felt when I was looking at these trees is inexplicable. It was like I could breathe in a way I’ve never breathed before. So clearly. Almost like sighing, only much better. It was like a relief to see these trees!
The canyon comes into view…
I asked someone to take a picture of me eating my lunch next to the Grand Canyon so that next Monday, when I’m eating my lunch, I can reminisce about where I was eating lunch last Monday!
I was not able to go down this stairway. My thighs were like, “No f-ing way Barb!” When I get afraid of heights, which is often but not always, I can feel the adrenaline in my thighs which tells me “NOPE! Not gonna do it!”
This place is called the Grand Canyon Lodge. Can you imagine staying there? Sitting there having a cup of coffee in the morning, looking out over that?? AMAZING!!
These are pictures from the drive out of the North Rim area (which is the same route I took in, more on that later…). I wanted to get a picture of these Quaking Aspens with the orange leaves to show that not all of them are yellow (though most are). They’re called “quaking” because of the way their leaves quake in the breeze.
I headed toward Williams, Az. where the Williams-Grand Canyon KOA is, which was 4.5 hours away from the North Rim! I did not plan this day well! When I looked at the map to the night before to decide where I'd go and where I'd stay, I was thinking about distance as the crow flies, not as the human drives. I calculated the drive from the campground I was at to the one I wanted to go to, then decided to go to the North Rim because it looked like it was on the way. NOPE! I didn’t realize until I was at the North Rim and googled my next campground location (which was the only place I could find a reservation in the Grand Canyon area, btw) that is was 4.5 hours away! That meant I couldn’t stay too long at the North Rim or I wouldn’t get there before dark, which I always prefer to do.
I took a lot of pictures of the drive because I really wanted to remember what it was like. And if you’ve never been out west you really have no idea what it’s like to drive for miles and miles and hours and hours with all that wide open space, and all those amazing mountains and rock formations and big sky with beautiful clouds. (I’m starting to feel like I need some new superlatives to use). Be sure to look at the sky in these pictures, not just the land. Sometimes I forgot why I took a particular picture, then I look at the sky or the horizon and I remember - oh, that was so beautiful! Or that was like nothing I've ever seen before.
I just love having mountains on the horizon. Its even cooler when they’re shrouded in clouds.
When I got to Williams, which has a big stretch of Historic Route 66 type stuff on it, I went to a restaurant for dinner and then walked around a bit. I’ve seen a TON (actually, probably way more than a ton!) of silver jewelry, and especially with turquoise, but these are definitely the largest pieces of stone I have seen in my life!!
And this was the sunset as I came back to the truck.
And then a little while later as I approached the campground.
Barb Nangle is the founder of Higher Power Coaching and Consulting, an entrepreneur and an eternal optimist. She loves motivating others to become better and better versions of themselves, just as she has become better and better versions of herself.