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Canyonlands National Park, (Island in the Sky). Utah

Driving on I-70 Colorado in a snowstorm is quite a challenge! Only after three hours, when I passed Vail, it started to slow down. By the time I entered Utah, the sun's rays were trying to peek out through the cloudy skies, which gave me a wide glance of my surroundings. I love when I can feel the scenery change as I drive. It feels like a new view, a new chapter. I no longer have high mountains covered with snow. Now I have flat open land with brown and a hint of gray slate mountains in the distance. They appear to have a feel of being folded into the rock with the play of shadows, creating a landscape of movement and illusion.

I am so many miles from home. Sometimes I feel I need to pinch myself for where I am and what I'm doing. I took a risk. I took a chance. I played with time in my life. So far, it has been a gift of wonder and love!

It is a new day here in Utah. The moon is smiling at me on the drive to Canyonland National Park. I love when you can see the moon clearly during the day against blue skies. I still need to bundle up; the temperature is in the mid 30's.

I feel alive again now that I have resumed my travel. I no longer feel like a wild animal in a cage. Even my writing flows like water in a stream.

Canyonlands is a wilderness of countless canyons divided into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers that create those districts. I will visit the Island in the Sky (the most visited district) and The Needles (when I am on my way to Antelope Canyon).

You know when you get a sublime moment when your body naturally gasps for air because the beauty struck you so deeply in the heart! That is what I felt when I got to The Mesa Arch. It happened again when I hiked the White Rim Overlook. That is for sure, my favorite hike on Island in the Sky. The formation of the rocks in front of me is like a three-dimensional puzzle I want to solve. I know my photos are far from what I saw and experienced. You absolutely need to be here to understand how unique the landscape is. One day is sufficient to get a feel for the Island in the Sky district. I covered over 7 miles of hiking, with several hikes - Mesa Arch, Upheaval Dome, Green River, Grand View, and White Rim Overlook Trail. Canyonland NP is only 45 minutes from Arches NP, so if you are trying to squeeze in a day to see both parks (which can be done on a long summer day), make sure to stop at Mesa Arch and The White Rim Trail.

Traveling off-season is rewarding me with the silence of nature around me. There's only the sound of my footsteps and my hiking poles, and when I stand still, the silence wraps me up with the most empowering feeling I love so much. In that pure silence, I can hear the rocks telling me the story of their land. I wish I were a bird right now taking off, flying above these magnificent layers and movements, and getting closer to all the canyons around me.

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