November 30, 2015

Hiking just before the holiday

Slot Canyon

One of the advantages of the academic calendar is that I had a whole week off for Thanksgiving. Oh, there was a pile of work that I should have been doing, but instead my husband and I decided to take the first half of the week and fly off on a hiking adventure.

It turns out that November is a lovely time to visit Zion. The aspen trees had turned a brilliant yellow, the autumn sun glinted off the red rocks, and the cool temperatures meant that we could take strenuous hikes without worrying about heat exhaustion. Most of the other hikers we saw were young, mostly in their twenties and thirties. On the first hike we took, a long series of switchbacks that led to the highest point in the canyon, it quickly became apparent that my husband and I were the oldest people on the trail.

I liked being a trail elder. The younger hikers were so polite and accommodating. My long grey hair makes me pretty recognizable, which meant that by the second day, I got friendly hellos throughout the park. My husband kept offering the young people sunscreen, and whenever he met anyone who hadn't been to the park before, he happily gave them advice on which trails they should take.

Many of the young hikers were sleeping in tents in the canyon, but my husband and I decided that our status as elders meant we deserved a little pampering. So at the end of each day, we retreated to the little town outside the park, where we ate dinner in a restaurant, soaked our sore muscles in a hot tub under the starry night sky, and slept in a bed with clean sheets.

Perhaps it's good that we got some exercise in the first half of the week, because we spent the second half of the week doing what my family does at Thanksgiving: eating, talking, eating, playing games, and eating. I love it when all of my kids are home, even if we're just doing something as simple as playing a board game at the kitchen table. The whole week was lovely and relaxing, and now it feels like we're moving towards Christmas at a fast clip. Mountaintop

12 comments:

Andrew said...

I wonder if taking the exercise before the repast is as effective as taking it afterwards. Your mini holiday sounds like a very pleasant break.

DJan said...

It sounds absolutely wonderful. I hiked after the Thursday holiday, but I was impressed that I didn't overdo it and was enjoying the leftovers for days. They are long gone now, though. Love that first picture of the red rocks in the sunlight. :-)

Gail said...

Oh, what an amazing place to visit.

Glad your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Zion brings back lovely memories. Our visit was a bit later -- early December, which was also nice. We even managed to be there for the Springdale Christmas Parade which was hometown at its finest. I loved it. And then your family time sounds equally wonderful. Aren't games the best? What a splendid way to kick off a season!

Elephant's Child said...

How absolutely glorious.

beemama said...

Zion is one of my favorite places on Earth. Our last visit, we were lucky enough to score the very last room at the lodge, on a whim. And so, overlooking the boys playing quietly on the deer-filled lawn, we raised a toast our little family. The next morning, my eldest woke up 13.

gz said...

breathtaking

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing these incredibly beautiful photos. I am so happy you and your husband had an opportunity to hike! Happy to hear you and yours enjoyed Thanksgiving and I wish you much joy as Christmas approaches! xo

Debbie said...

This sounds like a great break and your images are gorgeous, especially that first one!! I enjoy chatting with strangers, especially those that have similar hobbies. You are brave to be hiking, I would not be able to do that (I have MS), but I know I would love it as I really enjoy being outdoors!!

We eat a lot over thanksgiving , this year was no exception. I love thanksgiving foods, and the zero pressure of thanksgiving. We never finished our puzzle of Santa, it was harder than I thought it would be!!

Zhoen said...

Rome, Paris, London, Moab.

Marty Damon said...

What a lovely way to spend your time off.
We had a fairly electronic-free Thanksgiving with the grands, too. Lots of Monopoly, some Stratego, some Connect Four - depending on the age of the player.

readersguide said...

Oh, what a great way to spend the holiday!