Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zion National Park 5/17/2012

Zion National Park, Zion Canyon Campground just outside the park on State Route 9 - We opted for a commercial campground so we could get electricity. We wanted electricity for a fan, because by late afternoon the temperatures have been soaring above the mid-90 mark.  During our hike today to the Emerald Pools, no electricity was required because the scenery and hiking somehow went with the heat, plus, there were long stretches of the trail in the shade, and our reward was to sit by the shore of a seep fed pool, with happily chirping birds flitting in and out of the reeds and ferns that edged the pool.  Now that no cars are permitted on the Zion Canyon road, there is no apparent road noise bouncing up and around the canyon walls.  Zion is like a Yosemite Valley, half as wide at the bottom, soaked in reds and pale orange of the southwest sandstone.  The early mormon settlers added new names to the pinnacles and ramparts presiding over the placid Virgin River like Angel's Landing, Court of The The Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac , and Jacob, Cathedral Peak, and The Great White Throne. Even the valley's name - Zion draws on biblical roots and reminds us all about the wonders and restorative powers of time spent in places like this.  Tomorrow we are signed up for a Canyoneering "clinic" - a half day using our technical mountaineering skills to descend a deep and sinuous canyon far below the rim. 

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