Utah: Arches and Salt Lake

I've always been told you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and I have also been told that I should save my money wisely. So when I saw a roundtrip flight from school to Utah cheaper than I ever had before, I took the shot so I wouldn't miss it. I also thought that would be spending money wisely because I would never get that chance again. So a flight was booked, hotels figured out, and a friend contacted.

At the time of the trip, I was going to school in Lubbock, TX. Where even leaving the airport at 6am, it was almost 65 degrees, so being me, shorts and a t-shirt were on as I boarded my first flight on the smallest aircraft I have been on to date. It was also when I figured out I had a lapse in judgement, since my plan was first landing for a layover in Denver, CO (first time there, and the views flying into and out of Denver were amazing, see photo to right). I was landing in the land of the ice and snow (that I so very much missed being from New England), and we stepped off the plane onto a runway covered in ice, before a short walk to the terminal, the looks I got in shorts were amazing. It kept me amused as I enjoyed picking up some snow before entering the airport door to go wait for my next flight.

Flying from Denver to Salt Lake City, was an amazing experience, and being able to see the Rocky Mountains from above was even better. Flying from the no snow, to snow, and then back to no snow blew my mind. Because landing in Salt Lake was when I realized there was sadly no snow here, so snowboarding this weekend would be out of the question, although a stop in at Park City would still be needed.

Park City would be the first stop on this trip outside of the Salt Lake and Farmington areas of Utah. Coming from Lubbock, TX to Salt Lake brought me home again. Something about Salt Lake felt a little like walking around Boston, but it could have just been the homes in the area that reminded me of, well, home. We spent hours walking in and out of shops around Park City that featured photography from many of the National Parks that Utah has to offer, I highly recommend visiting them as I still need to visit many more. The little bit of snow that we did see, as we originally planned on trying to snowboard this weekend, was around the Olympic Ski Jump facility, cue a impromptu snowball fight on the stairs. Seeing the Olympic Ski Jump wasn't something really planned, but it was an amazing sight to see on its own.

The other stop's on this trip outside of the Salt Lake area, was a road trip four hours southeast to Arches National Park and Deadhorse State Park. Which are neighboring and very easy (at the time we were there) to do both in a day depending on how much you want too see. We arrived at Deadhorse first, and from the observation area you are able to get a great view of the bend, and its a great place to get some photos, and it wasn't busy while we were there, although it was beginning to get late in the day, which meant a short visit there before heading off to Arches National Park down the road. Dead horse was awe inspiring because it was one of those natural wonders that you don't get in New England, and the only other time I had seen anything like that canyon was while hiking at Palo Duro State Park in Texas. (The photo below is from the observation area, with the bend being slightly right of center)

Leaving Dead Horse State Park, we knew we wouldn't have much time at Arches, so we had to make the most of it. We quickly decided on a quick hike to the Delicate Arch, which is probably the most famous of the arches. Due to flooding we had to begin our hike a little farther back, but we were up for a challenge. We knew that not grabbing a water, wearing jeans, and bad shoes was probably a bad idea, but there we were hiking out to the arch. We suffered a little on the way out, and the way back to the car on the slick surfaces of the rocks, and in the sand. In the end it was all worth it. The view we were able to get was second to none, and we arrived in time to watch the sun set in the background of the arch. That was a hike I would never forget, from the good to the bad everything was worth it. (Photo below)

Theres something about being able to explore a place you have never been, and sometimes its the company you have on that trip. A little vacation is all you need, and a weekend away can be the best way to explore somewhere you may never get to see again. If you ever have the chance, go check for deals on flights around 10pm, and you may be surprised at the deals you find, and sometimes those deals, are the ones you will end up taking advantage of.