There are many things I love about Colorado College, and Block Breaks are one. Opportunity knocks not just once but 5 times throughout the year for you and your pals to gallivant around the land for four days. If this isn’t neat enough, CC students also get Winter Break and Spring Break. I have always taken advantage of my Spring Breaks to spend time with my family. This Spring Break, we traveled 12 hours to Zion National Park, in Utah. I was, at first, mildly astonished at the popularity of Zion amongst my CC peers! At least three different groups of friends traveled to Zion at one point over Spring Break. But, as we drove into the park, my astonishment faded into appreciation for the majestic beauty of Zion, and understanding of why Zion was such a sought after location.
Majestic: that is the best way to describe Zion National Park. The towering canyon walls, perfect in their imperfectness, made your body fill with awe for the ability of nature to create beauty. The small Virgin River meandering through the canyon inspired you – this little river had, through the years, dug down, down, down through rock.
The first day, we armed ourselves with neoprene clothing and a walking stick, and attacked the Narrows. The Narrows is not a typical hike, rather, hikers literally walk through the water. As I walk through strong currents and over slippery rocks, I occasionally raise my head and look above me at the never-ending rock walls. There is less sky than I am used to, the canyon walls dominate my view. Biking consumed the second day in this wonderland. We biked through the suburbs of St. George, and through the desert in the scorching heat. I was amazed at the difference in landscape between St. George and Zion. So different, yet similar in beauty.
On the morning of the third day, we dined on a hearty breakfast and began our hike to Angel’s Landing. This hike is only 2.5 miles one way, yet has an elevation gain of 1500 feet. The hike was not dissimilar to a slightly drawn out version of the familiar jaunt up the Incline. Hiking through 27 switchbacks called “Walter’s Wiggles,” we arrived at the top. Half of our party continued up 0.6 miles among sheer cliff paths to the final endpoint of the hike. I, along with my mother, elected to stay back and take in the views. Having exhausted the activities that Zion had to offer, horseback riding presented an intriguing alternative to physical exertion.
On the last day of the journey, we awoke at 6:00am to travel through tunnels to arrive at a location which overlooked 2/3 of the canyon. We watched the sun rise color the rocks with a beautiful show of lights. Then we drove home.
As I sit here, typing away, at my carrel in Tutt, I am filled with the same awe and appreciation I felt looking at the canyon walls for the first time. My heart learned how to sing the song of Zion National Park, and I will be forever graced with its music.