This Memorial Day Weekend’s activities took place in St. George, Utah. With the return of my uncle who lives near there, my family decided we would head down to visit him and his family over the weekend. I was a tad reluctant, because I am kind of afraid of heat – and if anywhere is hot, it’s St. George (Vegas is worse, though!). Kyle and I headed out on Friday night since he had to work until seven, and we decided we would stop in Cedar City and camp out. Even though we were invited to stay at my relatives’ house, I didn’t want to keep them up waiting! This is considering that we got to Cedar City at around midnight, so it would’ve been like another hour before we even got there. We set up our tent at the dark and windy KOA and finally got to sleep at around 1:30.
The next morning, we rose bright and early, got “ready” for the day together in the men’s restroom (this was not the first time I’ve done this – I have a thing about going into restrooms alone at sketchy places, haha!), headed to Wal-Mart for some general goods (our first time stepping into a Wal-Mart in like, a year), and started our way to St. George. Half an hour later, we met my parents at their hotel where they let us take showers (thank God).
Gunlock Reservoir State Park
We then met up with my relatives who led us to our first activity: hiking at Gunlock Reservoir State Park. Before I go on, I must say that I’d never really realized how much there was to do out there; St. George is always just a “pass-through” for us when we’re headed anywhere south (Vegas, L.A., etc.). We’d never really “stopped to smell the roses,” if you will. Anyway, the place we hiked to at Gunlock was supposed to have a bunch of waterfalls. When we got there after a short walk from the lot, there were no waterfalls to be seen! It was still cool without, but I’m sure it would have been just beautiful!
Upon hiking to the top, we saw the reservoir…
We spent about an hour and a half at Gunlock and then left to eat some lunch to celebrate my cousin’s/cousins’ (their birthdays are so close together!) birthday. Afterwards, our parties parted and we went our separate ways (for us, it was back to my parents’ room for a quick break).
St. George Narrows
The four of us went back out to a place called the St. George Narrows. This place is literally right in the city and was about five minutes from the hotel. We had read that the St. George Narrows (also known as the “Red Crack”) features a very narrow slot canyon (about a foot and a half wide) that takes about five minutes to get through. Sounded pretty freakin’ sweet to us! I’ll be the first to admit, though, that I do get somewhat claustrophobic, and those first few steps I took into the slot were kind of nerve wracking.
Five feet later and I was fine, despite thinking just seconds earlier that the 50-yard long slot seemed like it would never end. As it turns out, the “worst part” of the slot occurs within ten feet of the entrance, and it also serves as a great way for those “heavier” folk to “test the waters.” This is precisely what my dad did, and sadly, he didn’t get to go any further. My mom encouraged him to suck it in, and we all joked that if he got stuck, he could just wait two days to get out!
After “canyoneering” through the Red Crack twice, Kyle and I explored and ran around the slick rock. I can’t explain why, but running down it was extremely liberating! If you’ve ever seen 127 Hours, I’m pretty sure I felt just like Aron did when they show him just running across the land in the beginning of the movie. Kyle and I both agreed that we should do this more often.
Snow Canyon State Park
The next day, we made our way to Snow Canyon State Park, just twenty or so minutes from the city. We got there around noon, and it was already pretty hot out. I began to worry…
As soon as we had the dogs all buckled up, we began our way on the Sand Dunes Trail, one of the only trails in the park that even allows them. About ten minutes in, I already felt myself getting too hot, but pushed on anyway. (This is one of those times that I probably should’ve went back to the car to wait, because once we finished the mile and a half round trip hike, I wasn’t feeling so good).
It wasn’t until about the end of the Sand Dunes Trail that we discovered why it was called that:
Just some other photos from Snow Canyon:
So if you haven’t noticed already, most of this area looks the same: red and rocky. That’s one of things that Utah is known for…besides Mormons and polygamists (NO, not everyone here is polygamist, jeez!).
To me, it’s not particularly “beautiful,” and I definitely hate the heat that is associated with these places, but I could see why anyone else would love it. The opportunity for adventure is endless, whether you like to hike, rock climb, canyoneer, mountain bike…I’d love to try all that and more, but perhaps when it’s a bit cooler (see you in the winter!).