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My Solo Christmas Adventure to Southern Utah

By: Leo Xu + Save to a List

I travel a lot, but never wrote anything down. In 2015 I've been to 25 states and drove 60,000 miles, except photos and memories I have nothing left. Now I finally decided to write my story down, so I can come back to read from time to time and also share my experiences with people.

Back to my story of Christmas, I had three days off, spent Christmas Eve with family and friends and it was okay but still felt something was missing. So I decided to do a short road trip to southern Utah.

5AM on Christmas day, a big snow storm hit northern Utah. Regardless of the bad weather I drove out in the storm. There were only a few cars on the freeway and it was scary but I still made it to Meadow, Utah. Ready to soak in the Meadow hot spring, but after I hit the icy dirt road, my car slid into the ditch that was covered with 4ft of snow. I got stuck in the middle of nowhere, I didn't have a shovel or anything I could use to dig. I started to dig with my hands until they're numb, but it still didn't work. I searched everywhere in my car to see what I can use, then I found my tripod. I stuck it under one tire and try to turn the wheel as much as possible and I finally got out, I was thinking that maybe I should turn around, but I didn't want to give up after I tried so hard to get the car out of the snow, so I kept driving until the snow was too deep to drive that I had to turn around. Here's a photo of Meadow hot spring that I took a couple weeks ago and a photo of my car after I got out of the snow.

After a couple hours of driving, I finally made it to Zion National park. I thought on Christmas day it shouldn't have too many people, but I was wrong. I lined up to get in and the first spot was fine, here are the photos of Canyon overlook and the tunnel.

Second stop I was thinking about going to Angels Landing, but the road was closed at Zion lodge at the Emerald lake trailhead. I drove around for half an hour to find a parking spot, then I hiked to Emerald lake but didn't make it all the way to the end since it was getting dark.

After a short break I headed to Goblin Valley State Park, where I've been wanting to go forever. Five hours driving in the night with coffee I made it to the gate, I parked there and tried to get some sleep. It was 19F/-7C...I woke up with cold feet in the early morning and very excited to see the park. I took this picture at 6AM.

Only about 10 minutes drive, I finally saw those cute rocks, and all to myself with no one else in the whole park.

I walked around for about 4 hours, when I got back to the parking lot, more people were there taking pictures, then I decided to head back to Ogden, Utah. I had to pull over so many times since it was so pretty along the way.

The last stop I was thinking about to go to Fifth Water hot spring, but when I saw the entrance road I got scared since it was covered with snow. I went to Utah lake to watch the sunset, it was cold but worth it when I saw Mt Timpanogos turning red on the top.

I'm not very good at writing, also English is not my first language, if you have any questions or suggestions, please hit me up!

Leo Xu

Instagram: leo_exploring

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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