So you all know. I made it safely to Utah! I’m still getting settled in up at the Monument. Weather conditions up there are a bit extreme. I’m living on the National Park Grounds, which is over 10,000 miles above sea level. The air is thin. This causes altitude sickness. I’m mostly over it, but sometimes I still find myself rather loopy. It’s very hard to do yoga or anything strenuous at this altitude. The weather is also much colder. Down in Cedar City, the closest town (about 20 miles away), the temperature during the day has been in the 80’s; at the monument the temperature is closer to the 40’s. Pretty extreme. But it’s peaceful and inspiring.
So far I have explored some lava caves, walked some lava flows, and viewed the amphitheater (what in the picture looks like a canyon). I have also spent quite a bit of time in the Dixie National Forest, which surrounds the Cedar Breaks National Monument lands. In the summer these lands are filled with grazing cattle and sheep. Pretty cool right? It is still very much winter at 10,000 feet; nothing is in bloom and hardly anything has begun to sprout.
I don’t have time for a huge update, but figured this was a good start. I do not get internet or phone service on park grounds. I am at this moment sitting in a fun little coffee shop and music venue called The Grind. Turns out one of the other interns books comedy and music here and has invited me to come down and play sometime. We will see when that all transpires. I am down here today waiting for my appointment with the police station, for it seems that I cannot do much of anything with the NPS until I am fingerprinted and my past is investigated.
Here are two pictures of the amphitheater I took from my phone on a very early morning hike. Since the air is so thin it is hard to sleep. I find myself waking up with the sun, which I enjoy; it’s the most peaceful time of day.
I will be leaving for Parashant National Monument with NCHC’s Partners in the Parks program on Sunday. It will be a great adventure. I will be sure to take more pictures. I haven’t had a chance to get the camera I borrowed up and running yet. The two photos above are from my phone.