Friday Favorites – Exhilarating Experiences

Happy Friday everyone. It’s time for another Friday Favorites post and if you haven’t noticed, I set myself a goal to do this series of posts every week (or at least close to) in alphabetical order. Today’s post is inspired by a friend who is currently visiting Utah. Her pictures reminded me of the road trip we took couple years back that created such great memories. Our itinerary was Seattle Crater Lake National ParkRedwood National and State ParksSan FranciscoLas VegasZion National ParkLower Antelope CanyonLake PowellBryce Canyon National ParkYellowstone National Park – Seattle. We made full use of our annual America the Beautiful pass that year.  It took me quite a long time planning for this trip and we took almost three weeks for the round trip journey. Three weeks was hardly enough to truly see everything so we picked some new experiences since we will go back again, especially Utah with all its majestic National Parks.

After a few hours drive we stopped at Crater Lake National Park and marveled at the beautiful blue color of the lake.

Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

We stayed a night in Medford, Oregon before continuing our journey to California. We spent a few days in California to catch up with some old friends and did a walking tour of San Francisco. We have been to San Francisco before but haven’t really walked in the city so we truly enjoyed the tour because it’s not a big tour bus that rushed you from places to places. It was just a small group of people with a guide that took us walking through the city and experiencing all the different means of public transportation in a day visiting some of the less traveled routes.

Next stop was Las Vegas. It was not our favorite place to visit but it was on the way to Zion. So we made the most of it by visiting Zappos and watched Ka Cirque Du Soleil and David Copperfield. We also made a stop at Hoover Dam and decided to leave Grand Canyon for another trip.

Finally the main event – Utah. We set up base in Kenab, Utah where we rented a vacation home. We sure glad to have a house to relax after all the daily activities. The first thing we arrived was to get our rental gears for hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park the following day. Don’t try to hike without proper gear, the river is full of uneven rocks and a tad cold. We saw people turning back after a little while in their water shoes. You will need to be vigilant with the weather too and plan accordingly. Rain can cause flooding and the river becomes dangerous. We chose to do the day hike which was about 8 miles round trip but you can certainly choose different route that suites you. We started very early, I think around 7am to beat the crowd and the summer heat. That was definitely the most amazing hike for us. After a day of hard work we settled for dinner at the Rocking V Cafe which we think offered the best food in Kenab.

The next day we went to the Lower Antelope Canyon, we took our time driving around before we arrived for the tour. It was a beautiful day for us to see all the colors of the slot canyons. We had to climb up and down steep ladder and you probably won’t enjoy it if you are claustrophobic.

Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon steep climb in and steep climb out
Lower Antelope Canyon steep climb in and steep climb out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all the mountain scenery, we decided to go to the water. Kayaking in Lake Powell was another wonderful experience. We had a guide and another couple with us and we had the whole lake to ourselves.

Bryce Canyon National Park is a different kind of park with their special rock formation – the Hoodoos. We did some hiking here and my husband was having a difficult time catching his breath because of the heat and altitude. My daughter had to use her inhaler to keep her breathing in control. So be prepared if you are asthmatic.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park

 

 

 

 

 

It’s finally the last leg of our road trip – America’s first National Park, Yellowstone. We saw so many pictures of Yellowstone before but being there and actually seeing the eruption of Old Faithful,  the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring and the hundreds of geysers was totally out of this world. We also took some time for horseback riding and met some real cowboys.

It was a road trip to remember and cherished. We can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of the National Parks in Utah and Grand Canyon. I hope you get some ideas for a road trip in the future.

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