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Countdown to Heaven: Two Weeks til Zion and Beyond!

Countdown to Heaven: Two Weeks til Zion and Beyond! ~ A Blue Pearl
Countdown to Heaven: Two Weeks til Zion and Beyond!

It’s finally almost here, my big trip to Zion National Park. And yet, it’s already almost here! I’m not ready! Although I wish I were leaving tomorrow.

I have some big plans and a few days where I plan to have no plans. It’s a nine day trip and I’ll be driving at least seven hours for four of those, and five for two others. Needless to say I’ll be getting up really early to make the most of my days. But for the most part I enjoy road-tripping. Good tunes, time to think, munchies… Not a bad time.

Speaking of tunes:

My trusty CD case is sitting next to me, waiting to be filled by the chosen few. I’m an old-school girl and while I do have some iTunes and downloaded jams on my phone I still dig the hard-copy album. So much thought went into these things: the pictures, the thank-yous, whether or not to include lyrics, etc. Though, having said that I don’t think I’ve bought a CD in a few years but that’s because I’m getting old and don’t understand “music these days”. I’m a metal chick and at some point rock just got whiny. (Probably around the same time the mosh pit was ruined but I digress.)

Okay, I’m not this old-school.

Anywho, I’m thinking Metallica x 2 (Ride the Lightning/Master of Puppets). These are somewhat long and will keep me awake. Not to mention the fact they will help dissipate my road rage. I’ll bring a Static, some Tool, and Black Sabbath. But I’ll need to mix it up with something I can sing, rather than scream, to. Beth Hart, love her, will get at least two spots. Pink will make an appearance, and Billie has a permanent slot in the case.

But one CD I take on every road trip I’ve ever taken is Monty Python’s The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I’m not into comedy albums, mostly because I forget they exist, but this one’s great. A parody of a parody with random parodies interspersed throughout. And it’s well over an hour so before I know it, I’m in the next state. Sweet deal.

Enough about music, let’s talk about where am I going!

Clearly it’s not just Zion if I’ll be driving this much. The bulk of the trip will be in southern Utah but I’m sandwiching it with stops in New Mexico to break up the drive. Then I thought, what the heck, I’ll tack on a day and a couple of more destinations. That’s what this is about after all!

So without further ado, the list of the itinerary of the trip to Zion National Park and more!

1)Albuquerque, NM

I lived here for seven years though I’ve been gone for over a decade. Gross. Now I feel old. Point is, I’ve lost touch with a lot of people but still have a couple of close friends and I can’t wait to see them. They’ve done the normal adult thing and have kids and husbands so we won’t be partying. (Which is good because I can’t really party anymore so I don’t have to make up an excuse.) But I can’t wait to eat that delicious New Mexico chile that can’t be replicated outside of that state. At least not by me…

2)Zion National Park

I’ll be staying about 25 minutes west of the park for four nights; it saved me about $35 a night. I don’t think I’m going to miss out on much since all these towns are geared toward the tourist scene. My first three days I plan to focus on that there park. First pretty pictures and scenic drives. Next putzing through a slot canyon to check a mark on my bucket list: the Narrows. So exciting. Then I’ll do Angel’s Landing and hopefully not die. Seriously I wasn’t worried about this hike until I started researching it. Now I get all sweaty when I think on it. Whatever. Still doing it.

Zion Narrows
As soon as I do this hike I’m replacing this image with my own. Credit: Getty Images

3) Best Friends Animal Society

My last two days in the area will be spent at Best Friends Animal Society petting furry things. I’m stoked about this. Originally I planned to volunteer at Piggy Paradise, Dogtown and the Parrot Garden but I had a scheduling conflict and had to switch from parrots in the afternoon to a morning in Horse Haven. Ah horses. Beautiful, majestic and downright terrifying. They’re just so big. I’ve never been around horses, except a pony I rode around a pole when I was seven. (I’m so sorry, Mr. Pony. I now know how wrong that was.) They probably don’t let you ride them since they’re retired and all, but they can still kick you. No. I’ll be fine. They don’t let you near the mean ones, right? Right.

4)Mystic Hot Springs, Monroe, UT

I figured after by harrowing hikes and volunteering I’ll deserve a little spa-time so I researched hot springs in Utah. Turns out there are exactly a butt-ton. I chose this one because it’s quirky. It’s run by a retired Dead-Head who tricked out old tour buses and relocated pioneer cabins to the property for lodging. Instead of a big lodge or motel, you get to sleep in a bus or even a covered wagon. Random. And it’s only $60, 24-hour hot spring access included. Sold. I may even splurge on a massage.

5)Zapata Falls in Colorado

I can’t resist a pretty waterfall and this one is easy to get to. Supposedly. Nestled in the Rockies and only a thousand feet from the parking lot. No getting lost in the wilderness for me! The Great Sand Dunes are nearby so I’ll probably head over to those. Apparently you can “sand-board” on the dunes and I thought I might try it but it seems it’s just for the kiddos. And the adults attached to said kiddos. Next time maybe.

Zion
Not the falls I am looking for… But this is a waterfall in Colorado.

6)Roswell, NM

Even though I lived in this state I never visited the infamy that is Roswell. Even now, I won’t be going for the aliens. This area is prime night-sky viewing and it’ll be a new moon when I’m there. I haven’t seen a sky full of stars in…huh. A long freaking time. But if it’s stormy or cloudy, to the alien museum with me!

So there it is, my flexible itinerary for going west. I’ll also be fitting in some shopping, lots of food and a roadside attraction or two. And who knows, maybe I’ll get to ride a horse. Just not around a pole.

Have you been to Zion National Park? Ever volunteered with Best Friends or other huge sanctuary? Any suggestions on what else to fit in out west? Or good new rock and roll to check out?

Written by

My name’s Becke and this is my blog about life, travel and making a difference out there. I talk about the stuff we aren't supposed to talk about and about the stuff we all want. Having made a mess of my life (pretty much so far) I decided to turn things around, document a bit for posterity. Because posterity will surely care.

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