To my homeland we went

In March, Neil and I were fortunate to travel to Las Vegas to see his best friend get married. After witnessing a lovely ceremony and celebrating with a wild night out that included watching my husband win an air guitar contest (not exaggerating here…), we set out for southern Utah, my homeland.

I usually return home twice per year, but knowing that those visits will be fewer and farther between during the next few years made this trip all the more special. The first 22 years of my life were spent in Utah, and my roots there run many generations deep. Visits always feel like a bit of a whirlwind, and it’s impossible to see everyone that I love during each trip. I do my best. If I didn’t see you, know I love you and hope it will happen next time around (I will be coming at least one more time before our departure). If our schedules aligned, I am so glad they did. Mom, you are always the best part of every trip.

This was Neil’s fourth trip to Utah and the first that did not take place in the middle of winter. FINALLY, I got to introduce him to Zion National Park, one of the most incredible places on our planet! Shaped by millions of years of erosion and ongoing uplift of the Colorado Plateau region, Zion’s (pronounced by locals similarly to “lion” with a “z”, not like “lie on” with a “z”) is among Mother Nature’s masterpieces. Dramatic cliffs, picturesque and colorful, keep watch over sandy crevices and riverbeds. Determined plant life force through sandstone to find the sun and embellish the already beautiful landscape. It’s amazing! Weeks could be enjoyed in exploration. I highly recommend that you nature lovers add Zion’s to your bucket list.

Zion collage2

Zion collage1The weather was perfect for a demanding hike – not too hot, not too cold, and the sunny sky was adorned with fluffy, cumulous clouds. Angel’s Landing is a spectacular hike that will take your breath away and leave your thighs burning. The hike is only about 5 miles but the trail climbs nearly 1,500 feet. The final 500 must be ascended with the aid of chains, and over 1,000-foot drop-offs to the canyon floors lurk below. It’s awe inspiring and exhilarating.

Living on the high seas is a far cry from the high desert where I was raised. The striking juxtaposition between the red sands of my southern Utah homeland and the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, where I now call home, makes me appreciate both all the more.

Zion collage4

There were too many other highlights to describe, but I’d be remiss not to mention chasing goats, puzzle building, and playing monopoly with my 5- and 7-year-old nephews, who happen to be two of the coolest kids in the entire world!

Climb mountains quote


4 thoughts on “To my homeland we went

  1. Hi Jessie,

    So nice to see the photos of Zion. I lived in southern Utah, outside of Kanab, a lot of years ago, for a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back, but it stays with you, even if not having grown up there. What a contrast it must be for you, away to the ocean! And wonderful that you get to go back to the desert regularly. Kind of fun to think of all that sandstone, created under seas, and now here you are, finding your way back to the water…

    s/v AUKLET


      • Hi Shemaya,

        Yes, Southern Utah is truly a magical place with a special place in my heart – great to hear from a former Utahn! I think my awe for the ocean is amplified by how little exposure I had to it when I was young. I saw the sea for the first time just before I turned 18. To be honest, I have not imagined our desert underwater, but I will when I return for the last time before we set to sea for our voyage (later this summer)…and I will think of what you said. Thank you for sharing such a moving thought!

        As for the monster, it is simply a goofy alternative to the standard boring shapes that were otherwise offered. I like your monster 🙂



  2. Pingback: Monterey…for days and days | s/v The Red Thread

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