What’s The Big Deal?

Natural Bridge State Park (Bridge from a distance)
Natural Bridge State Park (bridge from a distance)

A few months ago, we went to Natural Bridge State Park.  For the first half of the hike, I kept thinking, “is this it?”  Sure, it was pretty, but I wasn’t certain it was worth the fee we paid to get in.  Most of the places we hike are FREE!

Initially, I wasn’t impressed, but decided we should get our money’s worth and hike all the way to the bottom.  I’m glad we did, because it was beautiful.  There was one narrow ledge we traversed with help from a park ranger that freaked me out a little, but other than that, it was pretty tame.  The rocks were slippery enough, I was afraid to stand up, so I slid across them, tearing a button off the back pocket of my shorts.  After my bad experience on roller skates a few years ago, I wasn’t taking any chances 🙂

As the kids explored under the bridge, my husband and I found a rock with a nice vantage point:  we could see most of what the kids were doing.  I hope my husband was watching, because I found myself staring at the walls under the bridge:

Natural Bridge State Park (under the bridge)
Natural Bridge State Park (under the bridge)

Seeing what thousands of years of flowing water could do, I realized, that was the big deal.  Things like this make me feel so small.  How about you?  Have you visited a place that was better than you anticipated?

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44 thoughts on “What’s The Big Deal?

  1. nrhatch September 18, 2013 / 7:27 AM

    Sometimes it’s hard to wrap our thoughts around the natural wonders (and bridges) of this world. For example, a wave. Or a tangerine. We take them for granted but if we turn our full awareness to them . . . they are wonder filled.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:19 PM

      So true, Nancy. There is wonder everywhere – if we just take the time to open our eyes and notice 🙂

  2. Lisa Yow-Williams September 18, 2013 / 7:29 AM

    I lived in the Tucson area near Saguaro National Park for several years. Arizona is a beautiful place. The desert is one of my favorite places. I love your photo of the formations under the bridge. They remind me of bones.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:22 PM

      I’m glad you liked the photo, Lisa. I lived in the Phoenix area for over 25 years, but only made it down to Tucson twice. (It took me fourteen years to see the Grand Canyon – and I’ve only been there three times :))

      • Lisa Yow-Williams September 19, 2013 / 4:51 AM

        When you live somewhere, doing the tourist thing is hard. You always think there will be time later. My husband and I used to tour around and visit petroglyph and ancient ruin sites. Its one of the things I miss most about the Southwest, that and hiking.

        • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:15 PM

          There are some nice hiking trails around the state. I haven’t seen petroglyphs, but we did visit Walnut Canyon (near Flagstaff) and really enjoyed checking out old cliff dwellings. I hope you’ve found sights to admire where you live now, Lisa 🙂

        • Lisa Yow-Williams September 20, 2013 / 6:09 AM

          There are a few petroglyph sites near Tucson, some on government land that require a day pass to see. If you haven’t been to Montezuma’s Castle near Sedona, you should check it out. It’s a beautiful cliff dwelling. We live in southern Florida now about five minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. We love it here.

        • jannatwrites September 20, 2013 / 8:26 AM

          Southern Florida is quite a difference from the desert, but the ocean is so beautiful and peaceful. I’ve passed by the turn off for Montezuma’s Castle many times, but wasn’t with my hubby and kids when they went. I might have to do that, Lisa!

  3. ladyharvey September 18, 2013 / 8:41 AM

    I am lucky enough to live in Denver and I get this feeling everyday when I drive well anywhere. I forget sometimes that there’s these big huge mountains not far away as I see strip malls and parking lots and traffic jams. However when I look up from all that there’s these amazing mountains that change with the light. Sometimes they’re foggy and brooding, sometimes they’re full of light and joy, and this morning they were dark giants. They are so big I go to visit other places with “mountains” and I laugh. The Rockies are literally and metaphorically so much bigger than me and remind me everyday that all my small worries and problems are truly insignificant.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:25 PM

      Not many mountains can compare to the Rockies, Ladyharvey! (You’d laugh at our mountains here in Arizona, for sure!) I lived in Denver for a few years as a child, and have visited a few times in my adult life. (My favorite town has always been Durango, but Golden is lovely, too :)) It’s nice to have such a beautiful land form close by to take your mind away from the city life/troubles.

  4. Debbie September 18, 2013 / 8:43 AM

    What a beautiful beneath-the-bridge photo! It’s hard to fathom that something we consider “everyday” like water can gradually form such interesting shapes. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:27 PM

      Glad you liked the photo, Debbie! Water’s ability to shape stone has always amazed me. Thanks for stopping by today:)

  5. momsomniac September 18, 2013 / 9:40 AM

    Arches National Park in Utah…by far. Going there for the first time was like being an adult who’d never seen the ocean.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:29 PM

      Okay, that is one place I’ve not been and I’m dying to go (Utah has several places I’d like to visit.) Can you believe Arizona borders Utah, but I’ve never been there?

  6. Sean September 18, 2013 / 10:34 AM

    The pics are wonderful. There is a card you can purchase that will get you into parks without paying. There is an annual fee for the card but if you visit parks regularly, including the Grand Canyon, it will not cost you anything. Let me know if you need more information about that. The scenery is one of the things I miss about AZ. I enjoy the views that only that area of our nation can give. I still remember some of the trips I went on as a young buck and the exploring that was done. glad to see that you enjoyed it.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:33 PM

      My parents have the senior lifetime admission to National parks, so when going to national parks, we try to take them with us 🙂 Doesn’t work for state parks, though…bummer! I might look into this, but honestly, we don’t go to parks that often because there are so many free areas to explore. (I’ve only been to the Grand Canyon 3 times.) My husband and older son went to Jerome today and saw the haunted hotel. In the right lighting, I bet there would be fun pictures there! Thanks for stopping by and reminiscing about your AZ memories, Sean 🙂

      • Sean September 19, 2013 / 9:35 AM

        I remember going to Jerome back in the day. That was a long time ago. Have you been to Oatman? It’s interesting. It’s more touristy now then it was before but still a pretty good visit especially if you can get outside and really see things. You need to take a trip to Alaska, there are some really neat mines up there.

        • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:19 PM

          I’ve not been to Oatman. I’m not much for touristy, though. (Like Sedona…love the area- Oak Creek, but I avoid the town itself.) I’ll have to check a map, because I’ve never even heard of Oatman! Alaska would be beautiful, but I’d have to go in the summer…I’m a desert rat, so would probably freeze solid in the winter!

  7. Lance September 18, 2013 / 11:20 AM

    Beautiful

    This is like a place where we live called Tallulah Falls. It’s beautiful and worth half a day to visit.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:34 PM

      I’ve only been to Georgia twice, but have not heard of Tallulah Falls. Anything with water/waterfalls is pretty to me! I appreciate you stopping by, Lance!

  8. vishalbheeroo September 18, 2013 / 1:19 PM

    Sometimes, objects in the mirror appear closer than they are. I think this applies to ur post and amazing pictures and at one glance, we may feel disappointed but as we explore, we witness beauty:)

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:36 PM

      You got it, Vishal! If we only look on the surface, we might miss some gems waiting to be appreciated (and photographed, of course :))

  9. Tessa September 18, 2013 / 2:57 PM

    I am not an outdoors type person, but that was pretty cool.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:36 PM

      I’m glad you liked it, Tessa! No need to go outdoors…I’ll bring the outdoors to you (in photos) 🙂

      • Tessa September 18, 2013 / 11:52 PM

        Great idea! You take such nice pictures.

        • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:10 PM

          Thank you, Tessa…I’m glad you like the photos 🙂

  10. pattisj September 18, 2013 / 3:02 PM

    I’m glad you felt you got your money’s worth. I’ve never been there, and you came across the continent to see it.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:38 PM

      Actually, this place is in Arizona, so don’t feel bad that you haven’t seen it, Patti! I like to take photos that represent a view of Arizona that people may not expect…sometimes the desert landscapes grab me, though.

      • pattisj September 19, 2013 / 1:07 PM

        We have a Natural Bridge, too. I mistakenly thought you’d visited it when you were here.

        • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:22 PM

          Ooh, I didn’t know that…I’ll have to look that up so we know for the next time we visit the east coast 🙂

  11. gotmeghan September 18, 2013 / 4:42 PM

    When I was in second grade, we were learning about caves and all of the teachers had told each class that after our lesson about the caves, we were going to go inside one. We watched this video of what a cave would look like and you know, to a bunch second graders things look a lot bigger since they’re already tiny to begin with and I was totally excited! My dad ended up going with me instead of my mom, and luckily he wasn’t the only male that went, but instead of bringing my big bulky wheelchair, we brought this stroller that at the time I could still fit in and was easy to store on buses or whatever. Anyways, we went inside and it was the most coolest thing in the world. It’s probably the reason why I tend to turn into a geek when it comes to “Cities Of The World” marathon on the History Ch. Even though it was a school trip, it was probably one of the best trips I went on. 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:40 PM

      I enjoyed your story, Meghan – thanks for sharing it! Caves are pretty cool…a little spooky, but definitely fascinating. I’m glad your dad came prepared with something smaller so you could really enjoy the cave. Obviously, the memories are lasting ones 🙂

      • gotmeghan September 19, 2013 / 6:13 AM

        You’re welcome! So I rambled on too by the way! 🙂

        • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:16 PM

          Nothing wrong with rambling, Meghan. I enjoy reading (and doing) it 🙂

        • gotmeghan September 19, 2013 / 9:37 PM

          Lol thanks 🙂

  12. Island Traveler September 19, 2013 / 9:42 PM

    That is a spectacular, unique, priceless rock formations. Just the thought of the time it took which is million of years to create these nature’s work of Art is worth spending and visiting this place. I too feel small when I see amazing wonders of Mother Nature,

    • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 10:06 PM

      I’m so glad you can appreciate the beauty of this place…a photo doesn’t really do it justice! Mother Nature is an amazing artist. I’m glad you stopped by, Island Traveler 🙂

  13. GodGirl September 20, 2013 / 4:14 AM

    I can see why you would’ve stared – that is beautiful! Nature really does stop us in our tracks sometimes. Reading about God’s creation is no match for seeing it and experiencing it.

  14. Carl D'Agostino September 21, 2013 / 7:31 AM

    There was a small natural bridge (about 50 feet) here in North Miami which would be the attraction of a park midst commercial and condo Bisc Blvd, 135 th St. A while back the contractors were hoping to develop it and someone blew it up one night. It has been replaced with concrete sculptured bridge speckled with original coral stone. The bad guys did not win. Thanks support my blog.

    • jannatwrites September 21, 2013 / 10:24 PM

      I can’t believe someone would destroy the natural bridge, Carl. I’m glad that an artful substitute was put in its place, though.

  15. Eric Alagan September 22, 2013 / 9:28 PM

    Love that below the bridge shot – must be worth it, I reckon

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2013 / 9:12 PM

      Yes, it ended up being a pretty hike, Eric!

  16. Sandra September 23, 2013 / 12:56 PM

    We make such great connections with nature on hikes. I’m glad you enjoyed yours. We’re due for our annual fall hike, too. That’s an amazing pic under the bridge!

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2013 / 9:20 PM

      We just did a hike on Saturday and saw the beginnings of leaf color changing. We’re going to do the same hike in 2 or 3 weeks for a before-and-after-comparison. This is our first fall/winter where there are seasons…not much color changes in the desert 🙂 I hope you enjoy your hike, Sandra. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write about it?

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