Adventures in Utah

From the top_ The Subway; Zion National Park, Utah;

Where did all the mountains go?! Yeah, yeah… I know. Glaciated Ohio has never contained the ear-popping elevations of our western states. And “straighten (ing) your shoulders” just won’t pull you from under 1000 feet to an elevation that will support ponderosa pines and aspens. No geologic changes here. It’s just me, making some mental adjustments to my internal panoramic viewfinder.

This past week, I basically braked for trailheads, wildlife, scenic views and the (very) occasional gas station (with bonus points for decent restroom facilities). I kind of liked flying across ranchland, over mountains and through canyons in our rental car as we navigated from park to park. Every mile traveled revealed yet another surprise and spectacular scenery.

Sunset at

Utah was quite the adventure for the kids and me. We climbed enormous boulders, swam through rivers, inched up waterfalls, explored slot canyons and fended off menacing road cows (don’t ask)… We encountered a park fire, two hail storms and temperatures ranging from 50 -111 degrees Fahrenheit. We scanned cliffs for petroglyphs and pictographs, wandered through hoo doos and, technically, made a couple of wrong turns (although I maintain that if you have a map, it’s just an alignment issue) during our 1500 mile adventure through southern Utah.

And yes, I took a few pictures…

I’ll be sharing photos, hikes and stories from Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef National Parks, Grand Staircase- Escalante National Memorial, and Boulder Mountain, Brian Head and Cedar Breaks, Utah in the next few weeks.

22 Comments to Adventures in Utah

  1. “although I maintain that if you have a map, it’s just an alignment issue”.

    That is a great line.

    I’ll have to use it on my wife the next time I get us lost.

  2. dcr

    Okay, we don’t have mountains but, at least in Southwest Ohio, we have sweltering heat. It’s easy to imagine yourself sweating someplace tropical instead of your own backyard. I think lots of people do that. It explains why they panic in the winter when there’s snow–they act like it’s something they’ve never seen before in their lives.

    Well, it’s because they spent the summer imagining they were somewhere else, and were completely unprepared for reality when it froze off the tips of their noses!

  3. So many beautiful things where you are!

  4. Heather

    Please do. No credit necessary as we both know this to be a basic truth, right?

  5. Heather

    Lightbulb! It all makes sense!
    Could it also have something to do with being designated “the Midwest?” Maybe we have “middle-child” syndrome. -Certain that all the interesting extreme stuff will happen in our sibling states… not here (because THEY have mountains and oceans…!).

  6. Heather

    It took my breath away time and again. Southern Utah was a thrilling and lovely playground for us last week!

  7. Dear Heather,

    Waiting for more photos of your magic Utah tour.

    As a travel bloger, I love your angle of this travel blog, always with your own view as the other blog you have.

    Nice to meet you online.

    And I will travel here often.:)

  8. The outdoors is always so much fun. I hope to see more pictures of your trips soon.

  9. Liane Schmidt

    Such a nice blog with beautiful pictures!

    Best wishes.


    -Liane Schmidt.

  10. Heather

    I’ve got some great ones! We did some slot canyon hikes that were unbelievable… “The Narrows” and the “Subway” were definitely highlights of the trip.
    I’ve been enjoying reading about your travels through France!

  11. Sounds like a good time. I’ll bet even the wrong turns revealed some spectacular views.

  12. Heather

    Thanks Edson,
    I run the trails in my area to death! It’s such a rush to hike or run somewhere completely unknown.
    And to have the luxury of photography time…!

  13. Heather

    Thank you Liane!
    It wasn’t hard to get some great stuff in Utah. There’s some excellent subject matter in all that lovely geology!

  14. Heather

    Hi Delmer,
    Absolutely true (but what “wrong turn?!” I meant to do that!!)…

  15. This sounds like a fantastic trip. Okay, I got to ask: What’s up with the road cows? Your photos are spectacular. They remind me of what a beautiful country we have and the many treasures we have right in our own back yard. Did you make any “alignment adjustments” while you were driving through Vegas?

  16. wonderful landscape!

  17. Heather

    “Road cows” are what we took to calling the burly open-range critters that wandered at will! In Ohio, we pen our farm critters. In Utah, they roam. With attitude.
    The only “alignment adjustments” I had to do in Vegas involved redirecting my kids’ eyes as we made our way through that rather “adult” airport!

  18. Heather

    Thanks Islander! Can’t go wrong taking photos in Utah’s National Parks!

  19. Sounds like lots of fun. How old are the kids?

  20. Found your blog off Google, loved both your narration and travel adventures. I will explore your stuff more, I greatly enjoyed it!

  21. amer

    I really want to go to the Adventures in Utah, i totally enjoy traveling. sadly it is at USA, Utha– and I am not 🙁

  22. Heather

    Website Design: This was one of my all time favorite trips! My kids were 16, 13 and 10 when we did these hikes last year and proved themselves quite capable of handling the challenges and responsibilities that go with that kind of an adventure. ~Can’t wait to do it again!
    UtahManSir: We had such a fun time exploring your state’s southern parks. I’m glad you enjoyed our “adventures”! I’ve added your photography site to my reading list.
    Amer: I hope you’ll get to experience some of our country’s wonderful national parks someday! There are many ways to accomplish such a trip -with a little creativity and determination, it’s possible to get almost anywhere.

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