At Austin Adventures, we spend countless hours orchestrating each of our fabulous adventures. We want every aspect of the trip to be perfect for our guests, down to the smallest detail. One of the things we can’t plan, however, is the weather. We can tell you the best time of year to visit the area you want to explore, but no matter how much we plan, weather can always throw us a curve. As they say, “You can’t control the weather.”
Recently, I visited Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah. I chose to go in July because I love warm weather and the dates fit well with my busy summer schedule, but how could I know that the area would experience a heat wave that would last for weeks with no reprieve? While we hiked through mystifying hoodoos and rode our bikes through scenic canyons, the daily highs reached 100+ degrees. You might think that my vacation was ruined. Actually, it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. The scenery was stunning and I felt a deep sense of accomplishment and camaraderie with my fellow travelers when the trip was done. When I reflect on my experience, I don’t even think about the heat because I followed a few important steps to keep myself comfortable:
• I drank a lot of water each day.
• I wore synthetic clothing that wicked moisture, breathed well, and kept me cool.
• I wore a wide-brimmed hat.
• I used sun screen.
• I didn’t overdo it. I listened to my body and stopped when I got too hot.
• I ate a little less, and chose fresh fruits and vegetables over richer, heavier foods.
I live in Montana where our temperatures rarely reach the 90’s, so when I first arrived in the Bryce and Zion area, my body wasn’t used to the extreme temperatures. On the first day of the trip, I was a little uncomfortable, but by the second day I was acclimated to the warmer weather. My guides had been leading the trip for weeks and they were well prepared to help us keep cool. They filled the water cooler with ice and water each morning, carried a couple of gallons of extra water in their packs when we hiked, and surprised us with those signature Austin Adventures WOW moments – surprises that I will let you experience on your own.
One of our guests recently wrote about a similar experience he had in Alaska. He said, “The vacation was also remarkable – despite the amount of rainfall we experienced, everyone looked forward to the next adventure. If we were on our own, it would have been easy to say, ‘not today.’ But with the tour acting as one large family and (guides) Toby and Blair as ‘Jiminy Cricket,’ we persevered and found strength in our accomplishments. It was a vacation worth repeating.”
When I talk to Austin Adventures guests before they travel, the most common topic of conversation is about what they should pack. Whether you’re headed to Antarctica, the African Savanna, or somewhere closer to home like Yellowstone or South Dakota, don’t skimp on clothing and outerwear. When you’re comfortable, you can explore without distraction. In a sense, you take back control in a situation that’s beyond your control.
Happy exploring – no matter what weather comes your way!