By Simon Ambit
In 2009, the speed limit along I-15 near the Cedar City area was increased to 80 MPH. This has made it even more convenient for travel to and from the southern regions of this great state of Utah. Like you, I have made this trip many times. Typically, I have been so focused on the destination and completing the trip that I have zipped along without giving much thought to what lies beyond the view from the dashboard as I cruise along the interstate.
However, a few weeks ago, my family and I spent time with friends in southern Utah. During the course of our journey, we spent a night in the small town of Parowan. Being rather unfamiliar with the area, we did a quick Google search for “hiking around Parowan, Utah.” To our surprise, we learned that we were stationed at the base of the Cedar Breaks National Monument. We ventured up into the mountains for a self-guided tour the following morning.
The calming drive from Parowan to Cedar Breaks snakes along the river before climbing up and beyond the slopes of Brian Head Ski Resort. We spent hours hiking at an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level as we circled around the rim of this impressive natural amphitheater, enjoying the majestic color-filled views, hiking trails among the tree and wildflower-laden landscape and admiring the curious wildlife.
With columns and spires, arches and bowls, canyons and pillars, Cedar Breaks is boiling with inspiration and aesthetic wonders. I found myself being amazed at this place that I previously knew nothing about, had driven past so many times and was now here before me offering me wonderful sites and natural inspiration. At first glance, it seemed to me a rugged place of complete chaos. As I spent time with my family hiking around the outskirts of the rim and peering across the expanse from the various viewpoint stations, I came to find that the colors and contrasts mixed harmoniously among the cedar trees and rugged terrain to create a stimulating canvas of divine artwork.
I am thankful for the opportunity we gained as we visited this great natural wonder. I find that if we are not careful we can go through life the same way we stream along the interstate. We can get so caught up in the drive itself that we don’t take time to learn what lies beyond the view of the mainstream daily routine. If we will take a little time to slow down and look outside of ourselves and our daily routines, we may find that there is wonder and inspiration that we could never have imagined just over the next horizon. Life is good, go explore it!