Snapshots: Zion National Park

My favorite thing that we did in Vegas was actually the thing that took us furthest from the Strip and all its craziness: we rented a car and drove the 2.5 hours to Zion National Park. And it. was. amazing. I had no idea what to expect. Bryan was really gungho about the idea and orchestrated everything, including getting up early on the day and taking a cab to the airport to pick up our rental car, as well as returning it amidst the chaotic traffic on the Strip later on (my hero). I was basically tagging along because he was so into it.

But oh God, this place was like nothing I’d ever seen before. It reminded me of the mountains, but not. Everything was so red. Even the road. The asphalt throughout the park was stained red from all the rock dust, I guess, and I thought that was so cool. Every twist in the road brought some new thing to take our breath away.

We decided to do the Canyon Overlook hike, which is a really easy, one mile round-trip hike with incredible views at the end. It took us almost two hours because we stopped every five feet or so to take pictures, and I don’t regret a minute of it. We got a bit lost trying to find it, which is quite the feat, since there is literally only one road to follow, but we eventually made it there. I tried to cull these down but just couldn’t decide on any to cut, so here, you get to enjoy them all. 🙂

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Snapshots: Zion National Park

Snapshots: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise

Canada Day found Bryan and I in the mood for a wander. Originally, we thought that we would head out to Canmore, but as we approached the town, something pinged in my head. My dad had mentioned going to Lake Louise, and I said, “Hey, I’ve never been to Lake Louise before, why don’t we just keep going?” Both of us had already been to Canmore on a number of occasions, whereas Lake Louise was a new adventure. Given that Lake Louise wasn’t much further along, we went for it.

There is something about the mountains that soothes me in a way that nothing else I have ever experienced. Any little hairline fracture in my soul seems to heal when I am surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, and as we drove through the towering peaks, I felt my whole body expanding into the immensity around me. We had lunch at the Lake Louise Station Restaurant, which was pretty pricey, but the food was yummy and they were kind enough to offer us vegetarian options from their dinner menu even though it was only lunch. From there, we decided to head up to Moraine Lake, which we had both seen pictures of and wanted to see in person. The road up there is about two minutes outside of Lake Louise, and it is windy and steep and lacks a guardrail – the exact kind of mountain roads that I set my heart to pounding and my anxiety into high alert. But we made it safely to the top, and were greeted with some of the most incredible mountain beauty I have ever experienced.

We wandered around the lake for more than two hours, laughing and snapping photos and breathing in the freedom of being surrounded by nature. It was pretty busy, it being Canada Day and all, but the crowds were never bothersome in the slightest. We all just seemed to peacefully coexist. Maybe it was the magic of the mountains. 🙂

After , we headed back to the town to actually make our way to the eponymous lake and the famous Chateau. It was beautiful there, too, but not nearly as impressive as the green-blue gorgeousness of Moraine Lake! On our way back, we stopped for dinner in Banff, at a little restaurant called Coyotes that we had eaten at the last time we were in town. I was so happy that we found it again, because the food is great. We had the most delicious wildberry crumble sour cream pie for dessert, then headed home, completely sated.

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What did you do for Canada Day?

Snapshots: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise