I may not be a Mormon, but I hear the universe calling me to Zion. As a native Southern Californian, it seems outlandish to friends and family to want to leave the sunshine and move to the Deseret, but I’m looking forward to the quiet days of living in Utah.
Joey and I have different reason for moving to the Beehive state. He wants to live as far away from any neighbors as possible, while still having convenient access to Lake Powell. Joey dreams of coming home from work and riding his jet ski for a while before dinner. But mostly, he is drawn to the possibility of actual winter with snow and cold instead of our California seasons of summer and less summer.
I am enchanted by all the natural landscape in southern Utah, and I too would like to be near the lake. Today I can drive an hour to the beach, but it’s not the same. The water is cold, and the beach is dirty and overcrowded. There’s no where I can just get away from it all, no cove to claim for the day. I would much rather have a day trip at Lake Powell, sitting on the sand, soaking up the sun, dipping my feet in the water and just pausing to take it all in and relax.
Right now we live in a reasonable-sized condo, but whenever I think of something I want or want to do, I add it to my list for “Utah House” list. It’s steadily growing. One thing I wish for in my Utah house is a cat patio for my kitties. I want them to be able to explore outside, but not encounter anything dangerous. I dream of spending my weekends volunteering at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, walking cats in enclosed carriages and playing with the FIV+ cats.
For now, Joey and I are gearing up for our third visit to Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. And coincidentally, we’ve visited back in 2012 and 2014, so it happens to be our favorite even-year spot.
When we visit Bryce Canyon, we stay at the Ruby’s Inn. During our first visit, we were both sick with the flu, but weren’t about to cancel our plans. Joey and I ate a dinner of microwave ravioli in our hotel room. The next night I was feeling better and wanted to go swimming, but when I approached the pool, there were about 20 Germans boys splashing around. No thanks. I didn’t want to join that party, so I headed back. The restaurant at Ruby’s is the only place to eat besides the Subway down the road. Here I discovered my favorite breakfast: eggs and diced ham with hash browns and toast, and real butter. It was delicious every time I’ve ordered it.
At Bryce Canyon, the elevation can reach up to 9000 feet. Our first visit was in the month of February and the ground was covered in more than a foot of snow. Joey and I tried following a short trail and we were winded. We tried again November and even without the challenge of snow, the thin air made even the easiest path intimidating. I had to sit down several times to catch my breath before moving on, but the view was worth it. There is just something about those hoodoos that make this my favorite national park.
Or is Zion my favorite? It’s difficult to choose because I love them both so much for different reasons. Luckily, they are close enough that when I visit one, I can easily visit the other.
At Zion, the weather is a little warmer. This year we’re staying at the Zion Mountain Ranch again. The cabin is like having your own little bungalow in the country. In the morning you can glance across the way at the ranch with giant buffalo and their one cow friend.
Someday we may call this home, but for now, we’ll just keep visiting.
Drink of Choice: Cappuccino with soy milk