Emily and I woke up before the sun rose at about five in the morning to head to Zion and the Grand Canyon for day fifteen. It was incredible to watch the golden/pink glow of the sunrise come up over the mountains on our drive. The drive was so weird because the morning started out at 70 degrees and every thirty minutes, got 10 degrees hotter until we reached Zion National Park and the temperature was over 100.
Being from Florida, you would think that I would be used to that sort of heat, but the whole time we were driving through Zion, all I could do was marvel at the colors of the desert and lament for the people who call this place home. I mean, at one point we saw a guy skateboarding in full jeans. FULL JEANS. What even!? I was sweating in shorts.
I wish I could explain in words how beautiful Zion was. It was so different from anywhere I'd ever been before.
There were different plants, the grass was different, the colors were no longer wet greens and ocean blues, but rust oranges and dry sand. The sky felt different too, like it was so pure and open.
It was so bizarre and so wonderful to see how differently God can express Himself in His creation even only 1,900 miles away from home.
And then the Grand Canyon...
This place was incredible. To think that these hues and lines were shaped by a river is even more wild. Emily and I camped here for the night, so we spent some time setting up our tent before we went back out to hike a bit and watch the sunset.
One of the most important things to me on this trip was making sure I was living fully in the moments I was experiencing, and I think along with that territory comes a sense of wonder. So, I was the friend who climbed out to the edge of every ledge I found in this place. The posture of humility comes easily when you're standing on the edge of something so much more beautiful and grander than you could ever be.
After a bit of convincing and encouragement through climbing to her possible death, Emily came out on the rock with me and we soaked in the Arizona sun. We threw rocks to the bottom and talked about our biggest fears and it was good.
Then, we hitch-hiked back.
Just kidding, mom! We walked back to my car and headed to a different viewing spot to see the sunset.
It felt wild and beautiful. Not being able to pass up an opportunity to get away from the crowd, I left Emily with the grapes we had for a sunset snack and climbed out a bit further for some rad pictures of the sunset and the massive amount of people watching it together.
Growing up in Florida doesn't mean you ever get "used" to the heat
God's expressive creativity is truly more than I can ever imagine
Don't pass up an opportunity to do something different
Sink in to who He is and who you are in Him
Take time to watch the sunset
Gas on Route 66 is $5 and ridiculous
ever free, ever true, ever kind.