Often we don’t appreciate what we have until we are about to lose it, or even worse until we actually do. For me, that’s living in Utah. I’ve been here my entire life and been trying to leave for as long as I can remember. I love the natural beauty I’m surrounded by, the national and state parks and nearby access to everything outdoors. But up until January 21st, 2017, I would have traded it all in heart beat for a big city with an arts scene.
Within the first few days of the republican regime, I saw several pieces of legislation supported by all of Utah’s congressmen that would endanger our public lands and National and state parks. I’ve always known that as a little blueberry in a big red state that I rarely agreed with my representatives but as I started making daily calls to them, I realized that not only do we not agree, they aren’t interested in listening to their constituents or protecting Utah land or jobs. For the first time in my life, I found myself on the same side as hunters and fisherman and we begged our representatives to keep public lands safe and public. Only to find out they will sacrifice anything for big business and say its in the same of states rights.
All of my big city plans are on hold. I always planned on spending my retirement in a motorhome visiting all of the National Parks but now it’s the museum’s that will have to wait.
A few weekends ago we bought a National Parks pass and headed to Zion. It was perfect. I go about once a year when I’m in the area for work but this was the first time my husband and I were able to go together.
We stayed at the Driftwood Lodge in Springdale, which was awesome. 100% recommend. They have dog-friendly rooms and give you poop bags and towels to dry your dogs off if they play in the river out back.
And for the first time, we hiked the Watchman trail, it was a gorgeous hike and the perfect thing to help get us back in shape.
If you are interested in learning more about the legislation related to our National Parks and public lands I highly recommend following the rouge Badlands twitter account @BadHombreNPS. They’ve put together this google document tracking everything. Some of them have links to scripts on how to call your representatives about them. We’ve already been able to get HR 621 withdrawn, it works!
Tell me something under-appreciated about your home state, maybe I’ll take a road trip 😉