What the town of Springdale, Utah lacks in winter tourist numbers, it more than makes up for in twinkling Christmas lights. I don’t believe there is home, hotel, or cactus that doesn’t spend the holiday season covered in the stuff.
In (what I thought was) an attempt to spend our remaining PTO, Andrew suggested we make a trek to Zion mid-December. We stayed at the wonderful Cliffrose Lodge where we were treated to breakfast burritos in bed each morning—a surprise perk of the restaurant closing for the winter.
To end our days just as well as we began them, we traveled down the road (.2 miles) to the Spotted Dog Cafe each night for dinner and drinks.
While we felt like one of the locals when in town (we even managed to crash the Town Hall Christmas meeting), we felt we had the place to ourselves when we entered Zion National Park. Averaging 40° during the day, the park is mostly quiet in comparison to warmer months. We stayed warm by hiking and on our last evening we packed blankets and wine to watch the sunset from the top of the Canyon Overlook Trail.
I had a few suspicions throughout the trip and, just as the sky started turning, Andrew surprised me by getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. I will never forget the image of him like that with the canyon behind. I accepted his proposal and we spent the rest of the night in town toasting and calling our folks.
I can’t image a more surreal setting for such an incredible memory.
Based on the photos, you would think this was two entirely different trips. However, on our last morning we awoke to snow and it was a treat to see the park both ways. I managed to get a few final photos before we packed up the car and made the long, snowy drive back to SLC.