Members of the vestry of Christ Episcopal Church in Mena, Arkansas attended the General Convention of the Episcopal Church held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Convention drew representatives from all across the United State and some foreign countries. The Convention lasted all week, and after that it was time for a tour of Utah. We toured all five of the spectacular National Parks in Utah. 

CANYON LANDS NATIONAL PARK is red rock cut and engraved by wind’s and waters. The Green and Colorado Rivers trisect the Colorado Plateau, etching CANYONLANDS into distinct districts. The mesas that you see at Island in the Sky look like a mountain range carved by a sword. The Maze area is gorges, gorgeously gouged. Needles is a pincushion of spires. There are chopped buttes, scored sediment and carved petroglyphs. 

Utah's ARCHES NATIONAL PARK has stone bridges, monoliths, mountains with huge windows, and city-sized sandstone pipe organs. Delicate Arch is the icon, looping 65 feet out of an orange bluff according to its own invented axes. Every single hike in ARCHES will show you something that changes your perspective.  It’s all waiting, quietly, like an engineering project abandoned as impractical. 

ZION NATIONAL PARK is like the set of a movie that’s so grand you know it’s fake, but you don’t care because it’s real. It is the loveliest side of the Red Planet. 

CAPITAL REEF NATIONAL PARK is a 100-mile pinch in the earth’s crust in the geographical middle of nowhere, but it’s overloaded with geological, cultural and sensory features. It is named for what it looks like -white rock domes like the U.S. Capitol, and rocky ridges like marine reefs. It isn’t like anything anyone had ever seen.

Wind, water and time have eroded BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK's sandstone cliffs into otherworldly characters plucked from the stone. Rows of pillars are crosshatched by rock strata that look almost perfectly surreal. It is silent, eerie and beautiful. Wind blows through stands of pine trees until they break at the rim of BRYCE CANYON, revealing a panorama of towers and fins of a color you can’t quite name. 

You can get travel information from Utah State Parks and Recreation by their phone at 801-538-7220 and on the internet at their web site at www.stateparks.utah.gov. Take the tour and realize how fortunate that we are to be at home in Ouachita National Forest.

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