Will Rogers never met me.  Younger people probably have no clue who Will Rogers was or what the heck I’m talking about.  Well, Will Rogers was a famous cowboy in early 20th Century.  Movie actor, Vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma, will Rogers is famous for saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”  You see, he couldn’t have met me. I was not a good person until I stayed at Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens in Springdale, Utah.

How I Was Not a Good Person

Before my experience at Cliffrose Lodge, I was known to deny a beggar a quarter, stay in my bus seat and make the little old lady stand and grasp the safety pole, use the tall finger in traffic, show up late and noisy to meetings, ignore my step-child’s birthday, and cut in line in front of a kid.

The Respite At Cliffrose And Zion National Park

I had several wake up calls. I knew I needed a retreat, if not treatment.  My associations recommended Zion National Park and Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens, so I took the bait.  Upon my arrival, I was surprised by the friendliness and good service of the front-desk people.  Even the owner greeted me with a smile and warm welcome. Ok, I thought, this is good so far. Then I entered my room.  Wow, rustic, yet classy; authentic, yet elegant. I tested the bed. “Ahh. I could get used to this.” I slept like a rock. On the following morning, I walked the short distance from Cliffrose Lodge to the main entrance to Zion National Park and checked out the Visitors Center.  Interesting. Cool geology. Helpful rangers. Exhibits, gift shop. Nice. I asked about the hikes and decided I was manly enough to tackle the famed “Angels Landing” hike.  Five miles? “No problem,” I boasted to myself.

Hike To Angels Landing

The hike kicked my butt; but at the landing, I was grateful for the chain railing to keep me from falling off the ridge and becoming vulture scraps.  I gazed at the magnificent view of surrounding canyon, colors, hills, and valleys. I have to say it was inspiring, and I felt small.

Changes In Me

Later I made my way back to Cliffrose Lodge, where guest services recommended an excellent restaurant.  It was delicious, and I returned to the lodge. Noticing a party outside, I went to see. There was a beautiful outdoor pool and picnic area, and the Virgin River nearby. The sights and sounds were very therapeutic.  I visited with a few happy people and want back to my room. Nice tv, bed, views out the balcony. “Life can be good,” I mused. My conscience spoke to me, and I decided to enjoy life more by being a nicer person.  “Stop thinking only about yourself,” I uttered. I promised to be more courteous, more thankful, more patient, and more mindful of my family and other people. No more road rage, no more forgetting important dates of loved ones, no more denying quarters to beggars. The promises, one by one, have been met.  The experience at Cliffrose Lodge has changed me, and I am happy to say that I am indeed a better person.  I think I’m ready to meet Will Rogers.

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