What do I do when I go on vacation? Well, to be honest, it isn’t all that often! After several years without a fun vacation, I decided to go back to the vacations I remembered loving the most in the past. When I thought about it, most of them were the biking vacations I had taken over the years.
So I decided to take a biking/hiking vacation to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Kind of crazy, right? I am not a spring chicken any more by any means. When I selected the company I wanted (whom I had used in the past-Bicycling Adventures– (http://bicycleadventures.com ) they told me that my last trip was 19 years ago. Nineteen years!
So what did we do? Check out the van where all our bikes are perched on the top. There were 9 of us an two guides, who were our go-to people for anything we needed. But there wasn’t a lot of going-to because they had really thought of everything!
Day one–biking, 41 miles. Pretty tiring, but the ride starts through pine forests, and in June you still saw some lingering snow. And then it gets drier, and the smells are of sage. And then we are riding by these amazing red rocks and into Bryce Canyon. When we get there, one of the guides (the other was riding with us) has snacks set up with adult beverages. My luggage is in my room waiting for me, along with a nice hot shower.
Day two–hiking in Bryce Canyon among the amazing hoodoos. It is truly a unique place. I kept staring up at the rocks…and, yea, tripped over one. The afternoon is spend biking with a view of the Canyon–stupendous.
Day three–optional sunrise trip to the canyon to see the sun rise over the hoodoos. When the light hits the limestone, they look like luminarias! Then on the rode, and biking to Zion National Park. The guides promised that the ride into the park would be magical, and they didn’t lie! I didn’t take a lot of pictures, because I knew that the pictures wouldn’t give the scenery the justice it deserved! Huge mountains of reddish rock with rivers running around–spectacular. And a rest at our hotel next to a stream, with views of the rocks.
Day four–hiking in Zion National Park. I wimped out of the high altitude Angel’s Landing hike, and completed the Emerald Pool. Still stunning. We had the afternoon off; I did a bit of shopping in local Springdale, and relaxed at the pool.
Day five–hiking the Narrows. We went and picked up our neoprene socks and waterproof boots to hike upstream in a slot canyon. The rive at the bottom of the canyons was cool (about 58 degrees) and the current (to me) was fairly strong, with water running from ankle height to crotch level. A cool and wet day–I didn’t trust my camera with all the water.
Day six–Biking through Zion on the shuttle road. No cars but the shuttles. Nine in the morning, a 15 mile ride through these glorious rock formations. Then a ride outside the park past magnificent mesas. I felt like I was in a John Wayne movie. (And in fact, many of them were filmed here).
So THAT’s what I did for my summer vacation!