I’ve had many special moments over the years. Most of them are of moments of solitude from watching the sunset on an island to completing solo hikes to catching a glimpse of autumn colors at its peak. It’s tough to have moments of peace and quiet with a family that can turn even the happiest moment in the most beautiful landscape into an argument at the drop of a hat.
This trip was special because it was meticulously planned, not spontaneous like quite a few of my solo hikes.
I started planning for this trip two months ahead when I found out my mom was heading to China during the week before the Labor Day holiday and wouldn’t return until a few days after Labor Day. I searched and searched for places I haven’t been in Utah. There were so many but Capitol Reef National Park stood out among the contenders.
I began booking motel and car rentals for that weekend. Surprisingly, all the motels in Torrey (a town right outside the park) were either already booked for that weekend or it was (at least in my opinion) outrageously expensive. So I ended up booking a motel about 20 minutes out in Bicknell.
The day finally arrived. With my camera equipment, a pair of hiking boots, hygiene bag, 2 sets of clothes, phone (flip phone at the time), and tablet with all the necessary maps downloaded, I made the 4-hour drive to the park and my first stop was at Panorama Point which promised to be the spot for beautiful sunset and night sky photography.
Unfortunately, I forgot my flashlight and I’m afraid of the dark.
It was very dark at night, so dark that I could barely see even with the high beam light. “Next time,” I told myself. There are always opportunities.
I have never experienced Golden Hour and was determined to experience it on this trip. After finally connecting to the motel wi-fi the night before, I Googled the sunrise time for the next morning before climbing into bed, clothes on. Shower can wait until the morning because I say so.
The next morning, on my way to have breakfast in Torrey, the sun rose before my eyes. Since the road was completely empty, I pulled over, grabbed my camera, and snapped a few pictures while savoring the moments of quiet and enjoy nature’s beauty.
This was the best trip ever. Despite the early morning, late night, and long drives, I felt happy and refreshed like I’ve spent the weekend somewhere relaxing. It’s these moments which I will treasure especially now when travel is restricted.
This was the last solo trip I’ve taken and here’s to hoping I will get to take another one real soon.