My legs were toast that day on our trip to Utah. I’d walked my ass off. Slot canyons. All the way to the bottom of Bryce Canyon. Up a good deal of the Narrows in Zion National Park. I needed a rest.
Laura, my wife, wanted to take another hike.
God bless you, no. I’m taking a break.
We were staying in Springdale, Utah, the village just outside Zion. The main industry–the only industry–is the tourism that comes into the park.
The thing about Springdale, is that while it’s not literally in the park, it’s still breathtaking, if you consider the American west to be such a thing. The park permeates everything about the village, from the small army of adventure companies and outfitters, to the motels and small markets, to the restaurants. There’s a bit of a new-age vibe.
There are tour guides, motels and lodges, restaurants, stores, a microbrewery (not the best in Utah, but not bad), and a coffee shop, called the Deep Creek Coffee Company.
The coffee shop isn’t big. Inside, it seats maybe ten people. If memory serves, the floor and the furniture are well-worn. But then, that’s part of the appeal. The vibe was what college Chris would’ve derisively called granola. Peace, love, and frisbee.
Then again, you’re spitting distance from one of the greatest national parks in the country. You shouldn’t be expecting Wall Street chic.
If memory serves, it was walking distance from the motel, so I walked there, got some coffee, and retreated to the rooftop deck.
The end of vacation loomed, just close enough to be noticeable, but not quite on the doorstep. But for that morning, it might as well have not existed.
I enjoy sitting in a coffee shop and writing. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be Panera, the local bagel place, or the deck on the roof of a place in paradise.
The temperature was perfect. You didn’t notice the air. There was no chill, but the sun was comfortable. A slight breeze, just enough to be pleasant.
And the scenery was amazing.
When Laura plans a vacation, there are binders full of materials and an itinerary that provides comfort for those who need structure, but flexibility for the guys (me) who want to roll with the moment and find those little hidden outcoves.
Utah is filled with them, but this was the best.
It was one of those times and places that you want to bottle and save some of for later.
Were I to hit Powerball, I’d be drinking coffee on that deck tomorrow.