This state is brimming over in fantastical aesthetics, I can't get over its beauty.
Utah and Zion were both so appropriately named.
The name of the state comes from the Ute tribes that used to live speckled about - mostly in the northern and eastern part; also occupying what is now Colorado. The area of St. George, around the small area I'm occupying now, was the habitat of Anasazi tribes (over 1,500 years ago) - but they eventually left it to the nomadic Southern Paiute tribe. Utah means 'people of the mountains'.
And now I am here in the midst of this tremendous history. I feel both elation and awe; I think everyone around me can feel my energy.
When I was a young girl, maybe 11 or 12, I would dig in my grandmother's guestroom closet to be within the company of her childhood books. One of those books was a hardcover that contained chapters of Native American folklore.....like, 'How Coyote Stole the Moon'....and 'How the Cactus Got Its Thorns'......titles similar to that. Nature was the central theme in these ancient fables; put at the forefront of importance. Humans USED to think about why the moon shrunk or grew over a period of days; why plants, as immobile and passive as they were, could attack you in their own ways. Are we too busy and unimaginative to think about these things anymore?
I was drawn in by people living so outright and free with nature because while growing up, here I was within the protected confines of a four-sided house and at 6pm, it's time to come home for dinner. The Native Americans never went "home" for dinner....their home was the desert, the mountains, the forest and beyond. In past times, people were so much more kin to their Mother...Nature.
One of the greatest traits of the Native Americans, and something that seemed to be common within all the tribes, no matter how different or at war they were with one another, was their praise and thanks for what was given to them. They credited Earth for the gift of water, rain, wind, food that grew from the ground up and below, animals, land, rock, ocean.....and the list goes on. They recognized her. And even along those lines, I respect the "grace" prayer that Christians murmur before they dine. It's a beautiful reminder that just because you were born, doesn't mean that you necessarily deserve this. You're lucky. I felt inclined to say grace today (although after the meal *burp*). I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be in a different state, to sit there safely after a long (and somewhat dangerous) ride and be able to eat such good quality food (black bean and lime humous with taro chips, wild salmon, red rice and broccoli. yum). It can be disappointing when I think as people become more successful and get used to a "comfortable" lifestyle.....they forget. They forget the alternative of what it COULD be like.
Anyway, I decided to take the bike out here because the weather has been perfectly stellar and I wanted to take advantage of her. It scares me at times though. I get a fanatical "high" leaving Vegas; ducking and weaving through busy, distracted commuters. My passion is driving between the vehicles. I am so skilled on two-wheels though that people can't believe it. I had one woman come up to me as I pumped gas into my bike and she asked, "Was that you riding like that? Wow...."....or someone telling me I "ride like a guy". Uh.....I know they mean it as a compliment but it's almost an insult that the standard of riding well is one that is of how a guy rides? It's an activity that is almost as comfortable as walking to me but at the same time, I get too much of a rush playing with the risks of it all.
When I got back on the 15N headed to SLC, boring asphalt made the ride tedious until I start coming closer to Zion, that is. The snow-capped peaks and sanguine stone alerted my senses again.
I'm not climbing until tomorrow and so I wanted to occupy myself with something at least since the day wasn't over. Having genes of curiosity undeniably in my blood, I decided to take some small side road that twisted and turned, journeying higher up in the hills. It hinted at an interesting ride because I cold see farther mountains in the background; I knew it was only a matter of time before the foreground would give way to a visual treasure. Yeah, I'll try it.
I rode up and up, winding around, over the lip of the hill and there it was. Southern Utah at its best. There were quarries upsetting the natural view, however, it was still so, so amazing. I felt alive. I felt the aura of nature hugging all my senses and loving me back as much as I love her.
I parked my bike on the side of the road and just took off for a hike. Hiking and watching the sunset is time well-spent in the span of one's lifetime. I just felt giddy and light-hearted as I walked around greeting every inch of path with my feet; every inch of rock, dirt and foilage with my gaze. I looked up at the moon and thanked her....thanked her for the reminder that there is so much in the world outside of myself that is so fascinating, powerful and great. I'm the one lucky to be a part of it....lucky to have been invited.
It was getting darker and I went up to my bike......nahhhhh.......I don't want to leave yet. So I took another path upwards and explored but wanted to make it back before it really got dark.
I got to my bike and released my body with a few nice, long stretches. I didn't want to leave yet. I wanted to be out there all night. I swear, I wish I could have a tent fastener on my bike....but, sadly, I had to go.
The crescent moon winced with her one eye as I took off a bit recklessly.....however, I smiled back at her as I translated her action as a playful wink.