Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hans On Vacation

Unfortunately, there will be no posts at Hansisgreat during the next week. Hans will be on vacation, and will return on June 3rd with new posts.

The Europeans are right: most Americans don't appreciate the National Park system.

Now I'm from New Jersey, a terrific place to live in which I'm enormously happy. My town is quite charming, there's lots of employment, good schools (although I don't have kids), and lively neighborhood fun. We have beaches, forests, and easy access to Philadelphia and New York City's museums and culture. It's an awesome place to live or visit. If you've never been, you should come! I'm afraid you can't stay with me, though.

In spite of this, a change of scenery is nice from time to time. This week I'll be traveling through Southern Utah, to Zion and Bryce National Parks, an area noted for good rock-climbing, hiking, and terrific people in nearby towns. They're not dry towns, as you may have heard. Beer and wine are available, and I shall consume them both with the friendly people of the Beehive State.

After Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), was shot in Illinois, Brigham Young led his people west, ultimately to Utah in 1847. The chief obstacle to statehood was polygamy, which the church eventually renounced. There was an influx of non-Mormons after the discovery of silver in 1863, but Mormons still comprise the majority of the state's population. I've known some Mormons, even dated one for a while. They're very nice.

Zion (above) is my favorite park because it's the most diverse. Towering cliffs over narrow canyons, waterfalls, secluded pools. Definitely a bad choice if you're afraid of heights. Bryce Canyon (right) is cool too, like visiting the surface of another planet. Awe-inspiring scenery like this simply can't be found on the East Coast.

So, forgive me for leaving Hansisgreat unattended, but I've got a good reason. Enjoy the last week of May, and please check back in after my return!

Your friend,

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