03 June 2009

Hiking Zion...

Upon arrival at our final Zion destination (the un-treed ant-filled and beautiful...in a stark sort of way campsite) we busily bustled around unpacking and setting things up. Which means Amy and I sat down and "supervised". Which means Amy and I sat chatting at the picnic table (to be fair, none of the tents we used were owned by either of us...and we were on dish duty the whole trip, so I'm sure it evened out somewhere) And after a quick lunch (cause we were feeling all fainty by then) we ran down towards the Virgin River.

The Virgin River

Being Arizona girls, it's very hard to put us anywhere near water and not expect us to run to it...and possibly dip our very well manicured toes into it (cause' various shades of pink and peach are perfect to hike in don'tchaknow?!) just to see what's up with the water. I suppose it comes from living in a state that is in the middle of a 10 year drought (how "they" know that, I'll never know...) you are utterly fascinated with water.

And clouds.
(probably because of the possibility of spontaneous shade and whatnot)

Seating ourselves
on a rock by the river...we marveled at our surroundings. There was nobody about. No one. We had the whole river to ourselves. And, this is at a national park you know...(At this point in various past trips to The Grand Canyon, I would have at least been shoved 20 times almost plummeting over the edge!) where we enjoyed the sound of the river cascading and pouring down the rocks, watching a hummingbird drink from the middle of the river while alternately riding the air currents the water was making, and exclaiming at the color of the water. Apparently the Virgin River has a type of algae in it that turns the water anywhere from ice blue to green...making it appear quite clean and non-muddy.

The lower pool
(look at all that water!)

The next morning, after rousing early (I'm sure we were still on AZ time, or it was the birds chirping or the sun streaming through our various tents...) and having some freshly pressed coffee (after all...what's camping without your French Press?!) we hopped on a bus and ran up the canyon. You can not get a lot of places in Zion canyon by car...so they kindly run free diesel buses instead. This is a very handy thing. Our first stop was The Court of the Patriarchs...

The Court

About five long strides and you were at the top of this trail. Not quite what anyone was expecting...after all, I was personally at Zion to shred in the hiking arena. We did the prerequisite picture taking and hopped back onto the bus (they come about every 6 minutes) and headed to the hike that would take us to the pools (yeah. About the note taking I don't do as to remember the names of the trails...) There are three separate pools on this hike. The lower pools. The middle pools. and The...come on, you've got it...upper pools. I always thank my lucky stars that I am an early riser...because it gets quite warm in Zion, and a lot of these hikes, while shady, still have sun exposure. Leaving early usually ensures that you're not too hot and there are not too many people on the trails. Although, there is usually at least one person coming down the trail always making me wonder what time they get up??

The lower pools
(water falling...)

This hike is fantastic because you get to see so much water...I mean, as you can probably guess, the hike takes you to all sorts of different pools...depending on how far you want to go. We went all the way up up up the mountain. The first thing you notice about a lot of Zion is how sandy it is everywhere. There is way more sandstone to crawl around on there...not like the sharpie granite we have here...which I breathed a sigh of relief about towards the end of this hike...

The middle pool
(I didn't get a picture of the upper pool because I fell down and was thrown off my photography game)
(I know!)

After reaching the last two feet of the trail leading to the uppermost pool area...I set my foot down, and because I was totally shredding I apparently wasn't paying close attention because I rolled my ankle and fell down...landing with a rather impressive thud (I am told...I was trying not to hurt myself or deafen anyone with my screaming) square on the top of my knee.

I know.

Things that might go through your head upon falling on your knee onto a hard sandstone rock:

*Oh &*$%!! I am too old to be doing this!
*Oh &*$%!! I hope I didn't screw up my ankle on the first day of hiking!
*Oh &*$%!! I hope I didn't screw up my knee on the first day of hiking!
*Oh &*$%!! what if I have to go to the hospital?!
*Oh &*$%!! I hope I didn't scream too loud or look too stupid!

After jumping up and hobbling to "walk it off "towards a rock to sit down on...I wiped myself down, sprayed some Neosporin on my totally now incredibly bruised knee (I know you want a picture of that...it's still very very bruised) I realized that other than shakey, embarrassed and totally traumatized by the Park Squirrels that were now closing in...I was actually OK.


Same day...total dork.
(picture by Amy)

We sat by
the larger pool as long as we could stand the looks of The Park Squirrels and their beady little eyes, before taking off again...for a shaky descent down the mountain (only on my part) and decided to run on up to the hanging gardens...

I wish I could tell you what the name of the hikes are...but really? I have no idea. I also don't know how to actually get to Zion if you were to ask me, as I didn't drive...and if I had driven, I could probably tell you a very detailed explanation of how to do it, only the important things like Highway names, roads, and towns would be left out...

The underside of water at the hanging gardens
(hello?!?!? water!!!)

The hike up to the hanging gardens was short and steep but fantastic! (and a bit uneventful comparative to the other one, but my knee held out for the rest of the trip you'll be happy to know) These gardens of Hostas, Columbine and many other plants (some with red flowers. Yeah. Don't know the names of those either, but making me wish Arthur was with us to tell us) all grow under and around a sort of grotto that is dripping with water. I mean...all this water in Utah? Who knew! And the place is literally teeming with hummingbirds and butterflies all clamoring for a piece of the wet flowery action.

Now. There was a lot more hiking action while in Zion, but far too spectacular for this post without making this the longest post in the world...so, you'll have to wait for that. That post will contain answers to questions such as

*Where did all the feeling in my feet go?
*Will Sadira shred as she envisioned? Or will her extreme fear of heights hold her back?
*How will you know when you get to Walter's Wiggles?


Sillie_Girl said...

sounds like such fun and adventure you go girl!

Bill D. said...

Glad you got your iPod up and running just in time to share your wonderful photos of your 5-day vacation in Zion!

Thanks for sharing your exciting story... including the ups & downs!

Ghislaine said...

Nice Blog!!! I actually went on a camping trip last month and while driving my tire burst leaving me in a really complicated mess since I don't know how to change a tire. After Several hours I finally figured it out but saw this video recently and just wish I had seen it before. http://www.howcast.com/videos/114840-How-To-Change-a-Flat-Tire


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