WOW. Earlier today my parents insisted that I come up with a list of places I would like to go over the course of our trip West, so that we can determine our routes there and back and spend our time accordingly. So for the past half hour I've been looking through all the different national parks out in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. I'm looking at Alaska, Wyoming and Montana too, not for this trip but for my possible road trip next summer. I don't come by "proud to be an American" moments often, but right now I feel incredibly lucky to live in a country with so many vastly different, beautiful and strange landscapes somehow all packed together between one ocean and another. I want to go everywhere! It's so overwhelming.
My list so far is:
Arches National Park
Zion Nation Park
I don't expect to get to all of them on this one trip (though that would be so, SO great!), but they're all so amazing I don't know how I'll ever choose. I'm a little startled by how desperately I want to go to these places and how deeply connected to them I feel; I don't know if it's just because I spent time there as a little kid or if it's something else, but I know that there is nowhere else in the world that I find as beautiful or as compelling as the desert and I can hardly wait another day to get there.