Unexplainable Beauty: Exploring the West
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Sure, the south is pretty rad. Florida is always a fun place to go with endless beaches to visit. The warm weather makes for a good time outside, even if you get scorched in the sun like me, it’s definitely worth it. I’ve never been to the Art District of Florida, but it seems pretty cool in the opinions of my sister and cousin who visited it over Spring Break.
The problem is, the south gets a little chaotic during the spring and summer times, especially a state with the appeal of Florida. It’s difficult to get around, and the beaches are extremely crowded. This is why I prefer the West, and the fact that I can’t last two hours in the southern sun.
The West is truly an adventurer’s dream. Last Spring Break, my mother, sister, and I drove 22 hours to Utah. While driving through Colorado, I realized how astonishing the mountains were. Driving through it is just beautiful, even if it’s cloudy and about to snow. Flying over these states does them no justice.
Once we started getting close, I was extremely anxious to get to Zion National Park. After getting there, I was completely mesmerized by the gigantic rock formations.
We rented out a camping space and spent the night under the stars of the dark Utah sky. To this day, I have never been anywhere where the stars looked so bright. My sister was able to take this amazing picture of the sky.
We struggled to fit three people in the tent but it worked out in the end. We woke in the morning to the beautiful blue sky and adventure in our minds. We brought some pans and food from home and cooked a nice breakfast over the fire, veggie omelets and watered down hot chocolate.
Being terrified of heights, I was nervous to go hiking. The first trail we climbed was Hidden Canyon trail. It is about 1000 feet above the ground. It was a sandstone trail with steep drop offs, a trail not for those scared of heights. With four foot wide trails on the edge of a cliff and metal chains to hold onto, I was reluctant to move a muscle. The trail was 2-ways; I made everyone go around me, because there was no way I was going towards the outer edge of that trail. I will admit, the beauty of the canyon found at the end of the trail was well worth the pain I endured while walking it.
The next day we hiked a series of trails to get to Scout’s Lookout, about a 5-mile trek. The trail went between two mountains for a bit and was absolutely gorgeous. This is the trail that leads to Angle’s Landing, the third highest formation in Zion peaking at 5785 feet. I, being afraid of heights, decided to rest at Scout’s Lookout while my mother and sister went up to Angle’s Landing. The picture my sister got was absolutely incredible, yet it does not even come close to capturing the size of the canyon.
We also got to go canyoneering and visited the Escalante National Park Narrows after getting lost for 3 hours driving through that park. We were able to visit Arches National Park in Moab as well. The skies there were so blue they almost looked painted. Going to Utah is something I will never forget.
The following summer my father decided to take my sister, my cousin, and I to California. We flew there and stayed with my oldest sister for awhile. For three days we borrowed her Airstream trailer and took to life right on the beach.
In my opinion, the best thing about California was the weather. It was never too hot like Florida with the cool Pacific breeze. Although the water was freezing cold, there were still people in the water surfing. Inspired by the joy on their faces, we decided to try it ourselves with instructions from my dad. After all, it was a vacation for firsts.
We also traveled out to Santa Monica where we had a chance to explore the pier. It was unlike anything I have seen before.
These two trips have by far been my absolute favorite. Family time and fun was always present. After you spend trip after trip heading down to Florida, you start to understand how fun a different adventure can be. The West is truly something spectacular and if it were not for my parents getting bored of Florida, I would have never been able to experience it. It has a little bit of everything, from terrifyingly beautiful canyons to the cool breeze of the coast, the West never fails to impress.