Cappadocia is one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations and for good reason! Ancient cave homes from the Bronze Age, and palaces are still visible carved into rocks. Tall "fairy chimneys", or rock pinnacles formed from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, and shaped from erosion reach up to the sky. Walking through this semi-arid landscape, I was reminded of the National Parks of Utah, but with an added sense of wonder of the people who at one point carved their homes into the high up rocks for defense and shelter. With hot sunny days, and cool nights, Cappadocia is a place of wonder that can be explored by people of all ability depending on how far off the beaten path you want to wander. Being a tourist destination there are also plenty of unique hotels, artisan shops, and fantastic restaurants to spend time when you aren't hiking through the valleys, or visiting the open air museums.
"If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet."
Is travel an addiction? I believe so. I am always dreaming of the next new place to explore, to experience, and to absorb. Sometimes I catch myself getting ahead of the moment, dreaming about the next. I get so excited about what is to come that I forget to be where I am. Other times I am in a place, where my mind is so still, my body is soft and my heart feel completely at peace. These moments, these places, each sunrise is what I am grateful for. We choose our own path in this world, we make sacrifices for what is important to us, and the memories fuel the future dreams. I will always be a wanderer through this stunning planet, and my goal is to stay present each step of the way.
My first trip to Utah's desert area began in Zion National Park. Rounding the bend toward Springdale in our 1991 Ambulance, converted into adventure camper, my mind was already blown by the brightly colored rocks towering either side of the road. Entering the park I knew we were in for an adventurous few days of hiking, exploring and photo taking. Each hike we did had it's own unique view of this incredible canyon. From the vastness of the Canyon Overlook trail, to the jaw clenching cliffs of Angel's Landing, to the washed out entrance of the Narrows and the stunning sunset at The Watchmen I couldn't take a step without having my camera ready for another shot. The beauty of this place can not be described in words and instead has to be seen first hand. What struck me about Zion National Park is that it's awe inspiring views really are accessible to all. A free shuttle that runs through the park gives passengers views up into the canyon in all directions and plenty of short paved trails allow one to get close to the brightly colored rock. For those with more mobility moderate trails are well maintained, and the adventurous souls have no shortage of elevation to gain, as over over mountain and around every bend, there seems to be a new valley to explore or peak to be summited.
As the sun illuminates the iron rich rocks of Bryce Canyon, Utah, I wander down deeper into their shadows. Peering up I am amazed at their jagged form that has taken millions of years to be carved into these shapes by the wind, sun, water and snow in the sedimentary rock. "Do you see the hunter and the rabbit?" someone asks, pointing off into the distance at one of the Hoodoos. Bryce Canyon National Park is said to have the most abundant number of these tall skinny spires of rock called Hoodoos that often form shapes sending children and adult's alike on a scavenger hunt through the park to spot them all. Driving out of Bryce Canyon at sunrise, these panicles slowly disappear in the rear view mirror as we return to a landscape more familiar, almost as if we are coming back to earth from an adventure on a far away planet.