Having 10+ hours already in the car (25+ for me), we were both so glad to be hiking Saturday morning, which made getting up early go down a bit easier. We cover a lot of miles on these road trips and we don't always spend as much time as we'd like at every park. Road trip traveling is a beast of its own. It is liberating and exciting, fast-paced and full of surprises. But sometimes its too slow while we are on the road, and too fast when we reach our destinations. It gives us an idea of where we want to spend more time and allows us to see all the things we want to see (We want to see a lot of things), sharing the experience and the time and learning to live in the moment.
We started the Navajo Trail later than planned- we struggled making coffee and oatmeal half asleep. We joined many other hikers on the trail- families and couples and friends. The colors of the canyon were much more vivid in the morning light than they were the night before. The trail started steep but manageable. We passed many others going the opposite direction- really struggling to move up the same ground we were gliding down. I almost wanted to apologize for my own lazy stride. At the bottom of the canyon we gathered among other groups at the intersection of trails, paused for a breathe and a drink, and continued onto Queen's Trail. This trail was steep-in the other direction. But it reminded us of Zion as it winds through shady canyons that the sun had yet to bake that morning. We passed a shady area where tourists had stacked piles and piles of rocks that mimicked the shape of the Hoodoos (Edit: they are called Cairns!) (The formations in the canyon) and added our own. After visiting so many parks and places, Celeste and I both noticed how we constantly compared the environment around us to other places we have both visited. By the end of the trip I was mocking myself each time I had to verbally compare two places, because WHAT A SNOB. After our hike we stuffed ice cream, pie, and more ice cream into our faces at a diner near by. Ice cream never tasted so good.
We made it to Salt Lake city around 1pm and drove around the city pointing out weird Mormon things out the window. We shopped at the most organized (and surprise, Mormon owned!) thrift store I had ever laid eyes on. Celeste searched for sleeping bags and things while I threw shirts and dresses over my shoulder. I was floored. I could've spent hours combing through the racks.
We were tired from our hiking and hoping to pitch our tent and crash asap, so we stopped at Del Taco (because we are cheap and half-trying to stick to the excitement of the road trip by 'trying something new') It was tacos and fries if you're not familiar. And it was not exciting or very good. Note to future self: don't do that again.
We rearranged our camping plans after storm clouds moved in over the lake we wanted to hike to. Instead we headed to Bear Lake and found a spot at a family campground: the campground with the terrible bathrooms (aka hair on the floor of the shower that might as well have been the Grudge's herself). Our host was friendly as were the campers near by. An entire family of children guided by a man and a few women carried firewood to our campsite. It was offered and delivered in less than two minutes thanks to this army of kids. After driving to see the views of the bright blue lake, we headed back to our campsite and made s'mores over our fire and crawled into our tent, while groups nearby gathered around their own fire, enjoying the summer.
Photographer on the road