I'm back from my #ALEx13 trip to Glen Canyon National Recreational Park with American Latino Heritage Fund. A few words to describe my time there:
Guess you could say I had the time of my life.
Here is my recap of the first full day of our expedition. The day before, I traveled from L.A. to Las Vegas, then embarked on a four hour long car ride through the craziest landscape I've ever seen (California>>Nevada>>Arizona>>Utah>>back to Arizona).
Exploring the World's Largest Natural Bridge
We started our day bright and early. My eyes popped open at 4:58 am and instead of hitting the snooze button like I normally do, I decided to get out of bed and go sit outside our room, overlooking Lake Powell. I just had to see the sunrise.
Who am I right now? I chuckled to myself. Waking up at the crack of dawn and waiting to see the sunrise.
I guess the beauty of Lake Powell will do that to a person.
We were eager to make our way to the marina for our three-hour boat ride to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the world’s largest natural bridge in Southern Utah. We met with Park Ranger Cindy, who graciously taught us about the Native American Indian tribes who consider Rainbow Bridge a sacred place. She also taught us about the Navajo and Hopi Indians, some of the indigenous plant life and the curious rings on the rock formations.
We might as well have been on Mars because that’s how surreal it felt. The red rocks were so stunning and majestic, I kept snapping photos—I didn’t want to miss a thing.
To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about our hike to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. I wasn’t sure if it would be too grueling for this hiking newbie. Another concern of mine was the heat—it was intense. I prepared myself by slathering on the sunscreen and wearing awesome hiking shoes from Columbia and their clothes with the Omni-Freeze technology to help keep me cool and dry. My REI backpack was stuffed with the essentials—water bottles, sunscreen and my camera. I knew this day would be a challenge, but I told myself to buck up, woman. I didn’t come all this way to give up seeing Rainbow Bridge!
Once the boat docked and we made our way to the trail, I was struck by the absolute serenity of the place. Aside from the occasional group of hikers, it was peaceful and quiet. The views of the red rocks were absolutely breathtaking. I kept thinking to myself, I cannot believe I’m finally here!
I told Kathy that I would hike alongside her--us hiking newbies have to stick together--and if we had to be the last two on the trail, so be it. But as she kept the pace with Park Ranger Cindy, I realized that I had my own journey and so did Kathy. I walked ahead, on my own. In fact, we all hiked toward the monument on our own, stopping to rest and take photos and I’m so glad we did.
Visiting Rainbow Bridge was a very emotional experience, on many levels. Not only was I was struck by the beauty of the place and how remote the location was, but I couldn’t help but feel chosen by the universe to witness it all. It was so humbling to know I was just a small speck on the landscape of this beautiful place. At that moment I prayed that my children would have the opportunity to see this sight during their lifetime. I was deeply moved, to say the least.
To read the rest of this post, please head over to American Latino Heritage Fund. And please check out the other posts about our #ALEx13 experience!
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way but my entire trip was generously provided by American Latino Heritage Fund, National Park Foundation and Aramark. In return, I'm sharing my experience. As always, this is 100% my own true and honest opinion.