OK, so I adore Bryce Canyon National Park; fairytale rock formations, beautiful night skies, and a chance meeting with a man of peace. I went to a ranger talk about the stars last night at 9pm and being there reminded me of my childhood and camping at Van Damme State Park, CA and going to the Ranger Rick talks at the campground. As a kid I loved the whole idea of staying up late, walking with a flashlight, the eeriness of the sounds at night, and the way people look in the moonlight.It hasn’t changed much for me; I still love it! We are so fortunate to have these National Parks. People come to Bryce just to gawk at the clear night skies with their “unaided” eyes (the ranger jokingly said we can’t say “naked” in Utah), and lucky me, I get to be here too.
I got up early to hit the trails and fell in love with the Queen’s Garden hike. I was like Alice in Wonderland wandering among giant castle-like formations with spires and doorways expecting the Queen of Hearts to come squawking around the corner any minute. But I was alone in the wonderland, it pays to get up early, and I say that only because I hate getting up early and I want to put it in print as a reminder to continue this practice. But the paths were silent, the smells unadulterated by tourist cologne. The evergreen trees here give off a pungent pine fresh scent that enchants me.
After my hike I sat at the rim and wrote and painted. A man asked to join me and see my painting, which is always quite embarrassing as I draw only as a journal technique to express myself and it’s not always pleasing to the eye! But I am generous about it and share my scribblings with any who ask. We chatted for a long time and he is an artist and gave me a button that he made with “peace” graphics on it. I was touched as he pinned it on my backpack. It’s not often that you meet with people willing to sit and share a bit of paradise and quiet conversation.
I am determined to have more of an adventurous attitude. I don’t naturally like uncertainty and willy-nillyness. I am a planner, organized and documented, but that lifestyle can be stressful if plans are not forth-coming and the unexpected occurs. I overheard a conversation this morning where someone was exclaiming about a friend that has the travel bug and just up and goes without a plan, to Greece or Tahiti, just goes to the airport and takes a ticket to somewhere! I have never done this, and can’t imagine it really, but it may have to be something I do someday. This trip is as close to not knowing what’s next that I have ever gotten. And it is glorious and unsettling all at the same time. But I am determined to snatch the adventure part and light it up a bit more.