Friday, November 7, 2008

Diversity Isn't Just For People--Check These Places Out

Even looking at the pictures of Arches and Zions National Parks in Southern Utah get me excited and wish I was closer. If you want solitude, gorgeous natural scenes within walking distance, then this is the place to visit.

My first experience with natural rock formations and feeding chipmunks was about the age of five. I was enthralled with the sounds and smells of nature. And it was a pleasure to take my own children to visit years later.

A place not too far away is a large desert floor that you drive through for hours. Red rocks and dirt for as far as one could see, then all of a sudden rising from the desert floor are huge rock formations like dough dropped from the hand of God onto the flat surface. At night, driving through Castle Valley, the moon gives its own special effects.

My very favorite place in Southern Utah however, is Zions National Park. Caution! Do not visit during the early spring when the floods come down out of the canyons. There is a beautiful lodge and wonderfully maintained camp grounds all over the park. Behind the lodge is a natural formation called "The Narrows". During the spring, many the hiker has found themselves in trouble with the water rushes down without warning. For those who are able to make it through this "very narrow" place, the view of a large valley of tall grasses, and multicolored field flowers is worth the hike in.

On the other side of this area are natural rock formations that look like checkerboards, and other fun and unique handiwork's of nature. Many tourists fly in to St. George, Utah and rent a car to drive the short distance to the Park. St. George was originally a Mormon settlement that has developed into a thriving city, a cross-roads between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, in northern Utah.

Now headed back towards Salt Lake City, THE cross-roads of the west. The pioneers both of the Mormons and those who went further into California for the gold rush, it is a diverse city but still holds to the old values and thinking. On the national registrars it is noted to be one of the top places to raise a family and good income. I will leave that to those who take the polls (smile).

To the west of the city is the Great Salt Lake, which was formed from Lake Bonneville thousands of years ago. When I was a child, we would go and bounce in the water. The water was so salty that you couldn't sink, you just floated. Of course you also smelled afterward because of the brine fish. Yuck! But fun, nonetheless. It used to be as salty as the Dead Sea. As the water has been receding, there are enormous salt flats.

Speed trials for formula cars and motorcycles, rocket cars--the all make it to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Daredevil speeds and daredevil drivers; its all part of the history and excitement of living in the area of such diversity.

This is the portion of the United States that I explored as a child, and many more times as an adult. Rich in diversity, challenges, and abundant wealth of memories that I love to share with you and others.

If you haven't been to the Southern Utah National Parks, I would encourage you to take at least a week and see them. They are God at some of his most unusual and artistic best. Get away from the city and become one with nature. What a stress reducer.

Thanks for taking a look back with me, and perhaps finding something invite into your future to make a memory for yourself and loved ones. Check back tomorrow for another fun and not too distant place on the plane of memories. Thanks for sharing these with me.

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