I have been meaning to start writing about my trip to Utah, but life always has a way of getting in the way. With night shift, I am always tired. And I am trying to better the layout and content of my blog and learn how to better edit my pictures, which is tiring when that involves the support chat quite a bit. I am so technology-stupid. So thank you for your patience!
So when I start travel nursing, I want the travel portion of this blog to become more of a resource for others looking to explore. When planning a trip, I spend hours trying to find the best hikes and places to eat and the sort. Although I am still keeping a journal on my trips, I want to begin giving more advice… So I am going to try to incorporate my story, with suggestions and opinions that may be helpful for the person planning their trip to say, Zion. So if you have opinions on how I could best provide information that is still entertaining to read, please share. This is going to be a learning process. And what better time to adapt and edit my blog’s layout, because maybe just maybe, I will be content with it by my first contract.
So without further ado, to all of those that have asked “How was your trip to Utah?” and I responded with the generic “it was good!” Here is the actuality behind it. The good, the bad, the ugly. And trust me, I was looking and feeling pretty rough with only one shower within that 1.5 week trip.
Saturday, May 12, 2018.
I was able to get called-off Wednesday night, so fortunately I did not have to work at all. I slept from 6am-3pm on Thursday, woke up and celebrated ‘Mexican Mother’s Day’ with my mom and sister, and then off to Utah at 9:45pm. I should point out that ‘Mexican Mother’s Day’ has become our tradition, and it has everything to do with working the medical field. I tend to work a lot of Sundays, and through school I always worked Sundays. So the idea of getting a day like Mother’s Day off is farfetched. So several years ago I was looking through my agenda book and realized May 10th is ‘Mexican Mother’s Day’ and thus, a tradition was born. Because who doesn’t love margs and queso?
Anyways, driving through the night was the easy part. Come morning I was driving through Kansas and it was very monotonous. To make it worse, since I now drive a beautiful and massive Grand Cherokee, I have been trying to save gas. And thus my speeding has decreased tremendously (bet no one saw that coming…) So, that made the drive even more boring.
I stopped in Denver for brunch (at a cute place called Sunny’s) and then got to drive through the Rockies. Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot wait to visit that national park, because the drive alone left me speechless. I have known since I first considered travel nursing, that I would have to take a contract at Denver Children’s, but driving through the area solidified that. I cannot imagine having mountains, and such a large national park, in my backyard. I would maybe almost let my netflix subscription expire if I lived so close to the outdoors. And of course, I will have to visit Sunny’s again when I am out there. It was a quaint cafe in a what I believe is a hipster like neighborhood of Denver, there were definitely some fun shops that I would’ve loved walking through had I had the time. And the food was delicious, I ordered the Mangia; a plate with potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, eggs, and such. My only complaint is that I am so Midwestern, I drown everything in some sort of condiment. So although it was primarily a vegetable plate, I asked for sour cream and ketchup. But I have no doubt their other plates, many containing chorizo (my favorite) would not have needed *as much* sour cream. Regardless, I definitely recommend it. The service was great, and I always had a full cup of coffee. Which meant even more to me then than normal.
After the adrenaline rush of the Rockies, a full tummy, and hours on hours of driving, I thought I was going to have to stop somewhere to nap. My eyes weren’t heavy to the point of closing, but my thought processes were slowing and I was crashing (figuratively, not literally.) The only reason I made it is I have conditioned my body/mind to function while exhausted (thank you night shift) and I drank a redbull.
That redbull somehow helped me make it through Utah as well. I arrived at Zion around 10:30pm their time, or 12:30am Indy time. I was able to sleep very poorly in the backseat of my car. I kept waking up though, worried about not getting the permits I wanted (which was the only reason I changed the drive from the originally planned 2 day adventure.) I ended up waking up around 5am and sat at the wilderness station until 7 when they opened. My experience at Yosemite last year was that everyone gets there crazy early and camps out for campsites, permits, anything of the sort. So in Yosemite, if you were not there a couple hours before opening, good luck. Which of course, no one else arrived until 6:45am at Zion’s wilderness station. So I wasted time in the chilly air for no reason… but I got the permits I wanted though? However, I cannot say what Zion would be like in the busy season, I was there a couple weeks before the traffic picks up. And I wasn’t seeking permits for the subway or narrows. So you may want to consider being early if you were unable to get the most popular permits online.
After the early start to the morning, I went ahead and hiked Angel’s Landing. What a magnificent, and scary, hike! The last half mile is up slick narrow rocks, with only a chain to hold onto in most of the parts. It is so narrow, a large majority is only passable one way, but of course people lack patience. The hike itself wouldn’t be nearly as scary (even with my biggest fear being free falling) if people acted appropriately and kindly. Regardless, the view was worth the anxiety. 10/10 would recommend. Part of that recommendation though, is to go as early in the morning as you can. I started at the trail head at 0930, and Angel’s Landing was much too busy by the time I made it up there. Also, if you decide to do this hike, which you should, please stay on the trail and be conscious of others around you. I watched a young guy decide to leave the trail and scale around a small ledge where he was soon out of sight, we all thought he would be a goner even with his rock climbing shoes. I later saw him at that top, so he was lucky. But this hike has had fatalities, and that’s even without leaving the trail.
The rest of the day was spent on 2 small trails; the Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock. Emerald pools is a beautiful small hike, and definitely worth the excursion. Weeping Rock was okay, it is steep .25miles to rocky face that water seeps from. So with all of that, I would be tired anyways. But I am purely and unbelievably exhausted with only about 3 hours of sleep out of the last 48.