Every now and then you need to take a trip to be in nature with a group of solid girlfriends. I just got married, moved to a cute new home in LA, and started a new job. All exciting stuff, except that it had me going non-stop without time to just be still. A trip to Utah surrounded by nature and magical people was just what I needed to replenish my crazed soul.
We hopped on a short flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and picked up our rental car. Flying into Vegas and driving to Utah breaks up the travel into more digestible chunks of time. We drove from Las Vegas to Kanab in less than 4 hours. We pulled into the charming little town of Kanab in our trusty Ford Explorer to check into our Airbnb. It was the perfect place to stay because it was so central to all of our destinations. With the spectacular red cliffs as the backdrop, we were more than pleased with our new home.
Now time for a funny story…..
As we were settling into bed, my bed buddy and I heard what sounded like the rest of the girls chatting away in the upstairs room. A few moments later, we realized that we were hearing the voices of small children right outside the window to our room. Wearing nothing but a sports bra and some yoga pants, my friend pulled back the window curtains and we were surprised to find an entire family standing outside with their luggage. Eyes wide open, we stared at one other deeply confused about why the other was where they were.
In a panic, I jolted out of bed and went to open the front door. An adorable little girl said to me with a sad and very very tired voice, “you are in our home”. It didn’t take long to realize that we had checked into the wrong unit of our Airbnb. In the next couple of seconds, the rest of my crew also realized what was happening and in a wild frenzy, like ants whose home had just been over-turned, we skidattled out of there and went next door to the correct unit. We moved with unparalleled speed and somehow managed to grab every last item…except for one lonely bottle of face wash that got left behind…
Of course in the over 500 guests that have stayed there, we were the first to have gotten it wrong. We left a beautifully written letter of apology for goldi-locksing the first unit and despite the hooplah we caused, our host wrote us the the nicest review on Airbnb. Not our finest moment, but definitely one that we will giggle about in years to come..,
Reflecting back on the trip, there were so many moments of heartfelt awe and breathtaking moments, but here are a few favorite highlights of the trip:
- Buckskin Gulch: On the second day of our trip we decided to hike the Buckskin Gulch trail. It is the deepest and longest slot canyon in the southwest. Unfortunately it had rained the week before and we were unable to hike all the way through to the end of the slot canyons. We still got to hike approximately 4 miles and got a taste of the slot canyons until we hit deep puddles of water that we had not prepared to hike beyond. The exterior texture of the canyons was unbelievably smooth and almost soft to the touch. The colors of the canyons changed from shades of orange, red, and eventually purple as the sun made its way across the sky. The scenery leading up to a confluence where the Wire Pass trail-head exists is vast and framed by the beautiful Paria-Vermillion Canyons. Open grass fields, herds of cows solemnly observing us pass by, and the stunning outlines of where the blue sky met the canyons inspired within us an exquisite sense of limitless freedom and a deep appreciation of life.
2. ATV in Kanab: We had the pleasure of ATV’ing with Larry and the Kanab Tour Company. Who doesn’t love a little adrenaline rush? For about $115 bucks per person, we got to ride on ATV’s for 2.5 hours. I highly recommend them. We flew through the dunes and hills like megalomaniacs of the desert…dirt flying into our faces and dust getting into every crevice of our body we probably scared the crap out of wildlife as we were yelling at the top of our lungs…out of excitement and probably fear too. Larry gave us a tour of the infamous Peekaboo Slot Canyons located near the Red Canyons in Northern Kanab. We were happy to feel so alive.
3. Bryce Canyon: I can’t even begin to accurately describe how I felt when I saw Bryce Canyon. It is absolutely incredible in a majestic but eerie way. The canyon is covered in oddly shaped rock formations technically known as rock spires and more commonly known as hoodoos. Hoodoos is a fitting name for these unique rock formations because it seems like nothing short of witchcraft could have created them. We started at the top and hiked down into the canyons stopping every five minutes to take pictures because we just couldn’t get enough.
4. Pink Coral Sand Dunes: The Pink Coral Sand Dunes are located between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab off of highway 89 in the southwestern part of Utah. Go about an hour before sunset and watch the colors of the sand change as the sun reaches its destination underneath the horizon. The sand dunes are spectacular because of the expansive hills of monochromatic coral that seems to just wrap around you like a great big blanket. Sitting in the sand together, we watched the sunset each deep in our own thoughts but united in what felt like a spiritual experience.
5. Seven Magic Mountains: We stopped by the seven magic mountains located in the outskirts of Nevada before we headed out to the airport on the last day of our adventure. Supposedly, it took 4 years and 3.5 million dollars to build. Not sure why or how it required all these resources to build but we admired the fairytale-like vibes. It was definitely an awkward juxtaposition to all of the natural beauty of Zion, Bryce, and Buckskin Gluch, but I found myself appreciating it anyway. We took the opportunity to demonstrate our interpretation of some basic betch photos to close out the trip.
Thank you so much to my beautiful and extraordinary friends for a trip that I will never forget. I am always mesmerized by your intelligence, wisdom, love, and strange quirks that seem to get weirder by the day. Cliche as it might sound, I am inspired to live life a little better every time I’m with you. Important priorities surface and the rest of the bullshit just seems to fade into the background. I’m so glad to have found people that I never ever want to let go of… much love to you all.
And that is the end.