I woke up this morning and a thick, heavy blanket of grey hung over Zion Canyon.  Even the best of intentions, to take a hike, do laundry or any of a zillion things that I could get done, couldn’t pry me out of the PJ’s and into the cold, rainy day.  Not out of my warm, cozy and dry (thanks to the tarp) 1979 Komfort travel trailer, thank you very much.

Put the chicken in the crock pot (how did I survive without using one of these), make more coffee, a little sausage, egg and potato for Sunday brunch, crank up the electric heater and ahhhhh!  This is life on the road.

Obviously, when I began this journey to live full-time in a 17′ trailer, traveling to the major National Parks, I had no clue what was in store for me.  I only wanted to have the freedom and carefree lifestyle that would afford me the opportunity to photograph and write about some of the most beautiful places in our country.

I imagined myself out taking beautiful photos every day, hiking, smiling, laughing, with not a care in the world.  Warm and toasty at night, sitting at the computer in my little trailer, editing photos and surfing the net.  No worries, no fuss, no new grey hairs.

Just happy trails.

Who wants to think about soaring gas prices, trailer maintenance (not to mention knowing nothing about trailers), no internet or cell service, RV hookups vs boon docking and the cost, national park stay limits, showers and laundry?  No, no, some of us just get in the car and drive away, and then wonder where to take a shower and how to fix a leaky roof.

And we sure don’t think about how exhausting life will get if it never rains.

And, so I have been in Zion NP for one week.  There are high canyons walls that block out the sunlight for the better part of the day, deciduous trees turning shades of red and yellow and bucks and rams chasing the girls around.  Can’t decide where to start and where to end.  All of it a mystery, a sweet mystery at that, and not an area that a person can pop into, take a few shots and get anything great, not on the first visit anyway.

This crowd on the bridge was a light gathering compared to my first night in the park.  Most of this group are with the Aperture Academy and they had all of the best spots.  I got to stand next to (close) the end gal in the pink and black jacket.

First thing, around the first bend, I run into a bridge full of photographers.  Crap, I don’t want to shoot there.  What are they shooting anyway, it doesn’t look that great.  The trees need more color.  Who wants to get the same shot everyone else is getting?  All of this goes through my mind as I continue up the road, missing the turn into the canyon.  Which is how I came across the big horn sheep.

And so my adventure into Zion begins.  I had not a clue of where to go or what to do.  I did not even know that it was the first day that we were allowed to take our vehicles into the canyon or that it was perfect timing for the fall colors.

Slowly, I start exploring.  Unfortunately my body had some extra aches and pains and so my movements were slow but steady, while working out the kinks.  And then I run into a photographer I had met in the Tetons, Daryl Hunter, and we did some exploring together.

We ran into each other on the River Walk trail and barely recognized the other because we were not in the Tetons.  I had just taken the previous two images.

We climbed over rocks, watched the light, fought crowds, got wet from dripping water and shot.

And then Daryl was gone, I worked on my trailer, preparing for the up coming storm, explored and shot.

And today was cold and rainy, giving me the perfect excuse to stay inside all day, edit photos, get caught up with some people, cook hot food and rest.

This experience can’t be bought for any amount of money!