Utah is a giant artistic studio showcasing natural pieces by a seemingly unknown sculptor, scattered everywhere in the open. It feels as if the sculptor left just moments ago and will come back soon to finish the majestic project.
Pre-set to an extraordinary life-lasting experience, we drove through the frying pan of Utah’s desert country in mid-June. Sun and heat radiated into our faces from all directions. The farther inland we drove, the more water was needed to run our bodies, even in standby mode, simply to absorb the views and impressions of this scenic landscape.
Canyonlands never disappoint
We were first ejected from our car seats at Canyonlands National Park. From wherever we stood on its huge cliffs we saw great views—always with the option of jumping.
But since self-destruction is not our hobby, we stuck with what other people were doing: watching the distant canyons below and taking as many pictures as our cameras allowed, risking their overheating at any minute. We then compared our photographic results, each of us hoping to impress the others with a unique image—a mid-air jump that looked like a person could fly, a cliff-edge shot showing a dangerous pose between life and death, and many others. Hopefully Canyonlands will forgive us this short period of exhibitionism.
Some arches are delicate
Our second powerful push from the car happened in Arches National Park. As the name suggests, this area has lots of arches—small, medium and big, with different shapes and varying shades of brown-red rock. We hiked to a dozen of them. Every single one was impressive. We saw the famous Delicate Arch from a distance and decided to protect it by not getting too close. Also, reaching it would have taken some hiking effort. In other words, too much work for one day.
The intensity of impressions continued in the next two national parks—Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon.
Cowboys on horses are welcome
Capitol Reef offered us views of a deserted country surrounded by cliffs—a super-photogenic setting. You would expect to see a cowboy on a horse in the distance, like in an old western movie.
Hoodoos, not voodoo
Bryce Canyon, with its hoodoos, stimulated our curiosity. It looks like a giant amphitheater occupied by tall, thin spires of rocks, standing as if they were at a concert by a natural rock star. Three of my crazy friends decided to go down into the canyon. Despite the warning signs pointing out the importance of having enough water when hiking, they tested their physical abilities. One guy almost bit the dust, coming back with an extremely dry mouth and eyes, not to mention the status of his brain.
Utah is a fantastic place to forget your daily struggles and fully enter the present moment. You get completely absorbed in the scenery, and nothing else matters.
How Utah’s natural artistic pieces and beautiful landscape happened can be explained by science—but I secretly believe it must have been created by an artist, perhaps from another planet.
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