NatureVISZ - Time for a Cool Change

With temperatures consistently in the upper 90's along with high humidity for the past several weeks in Nebraska, I decided to take a break from the early September heat and find some cool comfort in the higher elevations in Utah. I took a flight to Las Vegas then picked up my rental car, current Vegas temp was 101°. I made a quick stop at Lake Mead National Recreation Area to find a temp of 106° and a lake in need of water. As I passed through St. George Utah the car indicated the temperature rose to 112°.

Northern Arm of Lake Mead

Finally, after driving 200 miles I arrived at Cedar Breaks National Monument to see a gorgeous sunset. As I was getting out of my rental car, I felt the cool crisp breeze and decided to put on a light jacket. As I watched the colorful sunset at over 10,000 feet the 62° was such a cool change.

Hazy Sunset from Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks sits at 10,000 feet and looks down into a half-mile deep Geologic Amphitheater
View from Spectra Trail
View from Rampart Trail

After spending a couple of days and a very chilly night in Cedar Breaks, I packed up my campsite and got ready to make the 40 mile drive to Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park. The 44° felt so good as I knew the temps in Zion would be approaching the 90's.

Kolob Terrace Road View in Zion NP
Wildcat Trail View in Zion NP
Zion Wilderness

I decided to take a hike to La Verkin Creek to cool off in the spring waters. The temps were in the lower 90's as I slowly made my way mostly downhill to the creek. As I approached the creek, I could feel the cool breeze flowing off the water through the canyon. I couldn't wait to feel that cool water!

La Verkin Creek Trail View
La Verkin Creek
Small Waterfall on La Verkin Creek
Refreshing Break from the Heat!

After spending a couple of adventurous days in Kolob Canon in Zion, I made my way to my final stop, Valley of Fire. I knew it would be hot but the 116° I found in the Nevada desert was almost unbearable. Even the bighorn sheep were hot and seeking the comfort of some shade.

Bighorns taking a break from the 116° in Valley of Fire
Sharing the Shade
Fire Canyon in Valley of Fire
116° in the Nevada Desert

Some Trip Highlights

After leaving the hot humid September in Nebraska to find 100 plus decrees in the Nevada desert was no surprise. But finding the relief of cool temps in the Utah mountains for a couple of days and cooling off in the refreshing waters of a wilderness creek in Zion National Park was such a contrast yet an amazing experience in nature. Here are some of my favorite moments:

Finding these Kings of the Mountain at Lake Mead
Discovering the Beauty of Lake Mead
Spectators enjoy the Sunset at Cedar Breaks NM
Sunrise on the Rampart Trail in Cedar Breaks NM
Sunrise on Cedar Breaks NM
Cedar Breaks NM trailhead
Taking in the View off the Spectra Trail in Cedar Breaks NM
Entering the Wilderness Area in Kolob Canyon in Zion NP
View from La Verkin Creek Trail in Zion NP
Beautiful Park less than an hour from Las Vegas
Colorful Desert Trail in Valley of Fire
Desert Rock Colors in Valley of Fire
Colorful Trail in Valley of Fire
Me and My Shadow in Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire

After spending 6 days/nights in the desert of Nevada and the canyons/mountains of Utah, once again I come away amazed and thankful for the beautiful and unique world God created. Nature is just one of many blessings given to us to enjoy and enhance our lives.


Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.

Mark


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