While we spent most of our Utah time in Arches National Park, we took one day to see a portion of Canyonlands National Park. I say a portion, because Canyonlands is a huge National Park. The canyons in the middle of the park make it impossible to cross to the other side, so in order to see everything you have to drive all the way around. There are three entrances, so we visited the part of the park nearest our campground, Island in the Sky. It is an understatement to say that we were all glad we made the extra drive (about 45 minutes) over from Arches to spend a day seeing it.
We were greeted by signs like this our entire time in Utah. Yikes.
We took note and drank lots of water.
However, the stunning views of unbelievable canyons and river gorges reached by short walks from the road that winds through the Island in the Sky were worth a little sweat in my eyes.
We stopped first at the Mesa Arch. Blake and Mary Polly are lying underneath it because it drops off so sharp into the vast canyon that we were all cautiously allowing the kids to get close to it.
Taido took this shot from under the arch.
This is about as close as I could get. Both of our families took pictures under the arch. We have an extra family member in ours, our sweet friend Jermaine who flew and joined us in Utah (more on her later).
I was so knocked over by the size and scope of this park. Again, I just had not ever seen anything like it. Our pictures don’t even begin to touch the way it really looks.
We stopped next at this large round canyon called Upheaval Dome. It is speculated that a crater formed it but then the rock formations that jut up from the middle of it are a bit of a mystery.
Really, the entire place is a bit of a mystery.
Here, we are overlooking the Green River that slices through Canyonlands and we can see all the way to Horseshoe Canyon, just south of which is the location where Aron Ralston spent his fateful 127 hours. Questions from the kids regarding some of the particulars of that incident abounded as we walked this landscape.
It is cliche to say that you cannot help but feel small as you explore Canyonlands, but it is true.
Yesterday in church, we were singing songs about creation’s shouting God’s very name, and images of these expansive lands in Utah came back to my mind and heart.
Our visits to this part of the country will forever make up part of the slideshow in my head that reminds me of the vast power and creativity of God.