Our Memorial Day Trip to Zion National Park


At the end of May my dad came to visit San Diego for the first time. We had decided to get out of town for Memorial Day, my dad, our friends and us, seven of us all together. My dad had only just arrived a couple of days ago when we set out on the long drive to Hurricane in Utah.

We had rented a house there, so we could visit Zion national park. The park is simply gorgeous, and I was glad we had a chance to show my dad something else of the US, besides California. Not to mention that we were in the middle of May-grey, and the sun came out exactly once in San Diego during this time. But in Utah, there was sun. And people! We weren’t the only ones who had had the idea to visit Zion during Memorial Weekend. The line to enter the park and get on the shuttle bus was the longest in recorded history, so the rangers told us.

We drove up on Friday night, one car arriving after midnight, the other only at 6am. So on Saturday, we were a rather tired bunch. Paulus, my dad and I opted for an easy hike, to accommodate tired and pregnant bodies. But in Zion, every hike is beautiful.

After our hike, we cooled down with some drinks at the park cafeteria. I don’t know why, but I have my eyes closed in pretty much every picture that was taken of me during this trip.

My dad had agreed to be the barbecue master for dinner that night, so we picked up a bunch of groceries on the way to our rented home, and prepared a feast for when the rest of our group arrived back. It was so good. My dad is truly a master of the grill.

The next day, we were hiking the Narrows. This hike involves a lot of wading up the river, so we rented boots, waterproof pants, and walking sticks before we set out. In this photos we all look happy and cool. This was before we waited in line for the shuttle for about two hours in the baking sun. If you’ve ever worn waterproof clothes in 30 degree heat (that’s celsius), you’ll know that we didn’t look quite as fresh even after the first half hour.

But the hike was worth every bit of initial clothing-discomfort. The water was cool and refreshing and the views were spectacular. There’s just something about wading up a river that is really magical.

On our last night, we ate leftover barbecue, and hung around the dinner table talking about nature, work and politics.

The next day awaited the long drive back to San Diego. Seeing the vast spaces of Utah and Arizona in daylight, my dad commented several times on why on earth there were no solar panels or wind farms out there. Paulus and I tried to explain about American politics and environmental policies as best we could (which I’m sure was incomplete at best). I’m certain my dad remained unconvinced that getting cheaper and cleaner energy would be a political issue. Oh, well, all the best travel experiences involve a bit of a culture shock, and I’m pretty sure this qualified as such for my dad.


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