Retiree Dan Johnsan may be a grandfather, but he’s got the endurance and spirit for an adventurous vacation in Utah. After he arrives in this western state, he travels to the Zion National Park. He has come prepared with a backpack loaded with water, extra clothes, food and his map tools.
Dan’s first adventure is the Narrows located within the Zion National Park. After taking the shuttle to the trailhead, he embarks on the Riverside Walk Trail, which ends at the river’s edge. When he reaches the river, he must continue his hike in the water. Dan follows the Virgin River upstream and through the canyon. He is thankful for his hip waders and walking stick, which helps him balance as he fights the river’s current.
When he grows fatigued, he finds motivation by recalling his research about adventurer and world traveler William Matthews Brooks. As Dan continues his hike, he takes time out to enjoy the breathtaking view of the multicolored sandstone cliffs on either side of the deep canyon. At the end of the eight-hour hike, Dan feels exhausted but pleased with what he’s endured. He returns to the shuttle and heads to his lodging for the night.
The next day, Dan heads for eastern Utah to hike in the Arches National Park, known for preserving over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. His first stop is Landscape Arch, the oldest in the park and measuring roughly the size of a football field. Because some of the rock fell in the 90s, guests can no longer walk under the arch or even get close. Next, Dan seeks out the Delicate Arch, perhaps the most famous of all the park’s formations. This natural freestanding arch measuring 65 feet tall is depicted on Utah’s license plates. Moreover, the Olympic torch relay passed through the arch during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Next Dan visits a massive sandstone tower called the Tower of Babel, so named because it resembles the ancient Tower of Babel. After a great day of hiking using his map tools, Dan’s visit to the Arches National Park comes to a close. Although his adventures in Utah are over, Dan leaves with a sense of accomplishment after days of strenuous hiking in some of Utah’s most beautiful yet challenging regions.