Saturday, May 30, 2015

Utah Trip 2015

Here we went again. This trip to Utah and a small part of Arizona was a sequel to the numerous trips we went on together as a group since we made our first one to Yellowstone Park and the Canadian Rockies in 2008, one year after we were reconnected at the 40th year class reunion. This trip to Utah, the American capital of national parks, was on our bucket list for a while.

We tried all sorts of transportation as a group, but this time we tried something different. We hired a bus and a driver, after Fred did the entire trip planning online. This arrangement enabled us to explore the nature at our own pace, not to mention that we could cut down some expense too. We welcome Steve, Celina, Teresa and Calvin who joined us for the first time. Their participation not only made our group bigger (twenty-two in all), but also merrier.

We are grateful to Weena and Alan who did all the background work in LA. They searched for a suitable agent; travelled back and forth to make arrangements with the agent, as well with the restaurant, especially to get a private room for our mini BHJS reunion dinner. We enjoyed eating all the good food as well as visiting with about thirty friends, including some local alumni and Irene Tsai who flew all the way from Toronto, just to be with us. However, it would even be better if she could travel with us.

While enjoying eating all the good food in LA, I wonder if all already realized that it was a prelude to eating the canned-meat sandwiches during the following two weeks.

We began our journey on April 19, the destinations of which included Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, Capital Reef National Park, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, Monument National Park, Antelope Canyons and Lake Powel.
After a long journey on the bus, we arrived at Zion National Park in the mid-afternoon. I was sold the moment I saw the massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink and red that soared into a brilliant blue sky. This was only the beginning of our adventure into fantasy land.  As we continued on our journey, we were enchanted as much, if not more, by the unique beauty of each other place. Even a non-avid nature lover could be spellbound by the mastermind behind all the mesmerizing wonders we saw.

We were in good hand during the entire trip. We rarely had time for boredom. While the bus was heading from one view point to the other, we were never short of jokes to amuse one another. May Ho took the leadership role to keep our mind active by playing all sorts of games; while we dozed off, Fred stayed awake to be the GPS for Wing the driver; and likewise Martin and Jackie would be busy keeping track of our public fund.

Almost the last but not the least important highlight was Antelope Canyon (upper and Lower) which are located near Page, Arizona on Navajo Nation land. It is one of the most famous slot Canyons in the world. Because of its extreme beauty, with just the right combination of depth, width, length, rock color and ambient light, it provides an ideal natural environment for photographing.
Before we said good-bye to each other in Las Vegas, we were rewarded with a festive buffet dinner on April 30th. Angie and her hubby Norman flew all the way from Portland to dine with us.  Their presence surely gave a nice finishing touch to wrap up our trip.

Great fun! Awesome companionship! This is how I would describe the experience of our trip. That is also what binds us together.  “歲月更新人不老,江山依舊景常春。” What a thoughtful and encouraging phrase picked by Man Kit to bestow on all the ladies in the group! In fact, we who are mostly in golden age should all deserve applause to ourselves for being able to survive in the wildness, for eating sandwiches daily, and for walking 8-10 miles most days. Buddies, we can keep doing this. Let’s stay in good shape so that we can be ready for another adventure in no time.

Pauline Cheng
Photos by Fred Cheng and Ha Man Kit


Blogger Ho Kit May 何潔美 said...

I did not do any homework before I went on this trip. What a daily surprise! Each day was unique and a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Thank you to Fred, Pauline, Au Bik and Alan for organizing the trip and all my friends who shared this memorable trip with me.
I will cherish the memories forever.

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