Marching, Marching, Marching to Zion...Beautiful, Beautiful Zion!
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 5 of 8 › view all entries
October 19th, 2008 – by: TRE69
We all jump into our respective rides and caravan to Zion. Before we even get into the park, we see several mule deer cautiously trying to cross the road...so glad they didn't end up as road kill. Instead of heading deeper into the canyons, we head upwards on UT-9 which wound along the edge of the mountains before leading through the mountain via Zion-Mt.
After the tunnel, we actually drove quite a bit until Sal turned off the road to a wide shoulder with sandy parcel of ground next to it and a clear view of the night sky. Instead of laying out on the sand where the creepy crawlies live, someone had the bright idea of using RJs truck bed. So after maneuvering the truck for a better view of the stars, Nhi and RJ line the truck bed with comforters and sleeping bags for soft cushion. We climbed up into the truckbed one by one...ahhh body heat!
Sal, the ingenius man that he is, attached his 2 buck shapeable camera tripod and camera with timer shot set to the hatchback of his SUV and VOILA.
One by one, sleep deprivation and/or the bitter cold forced us to take refuge inside the cars. The first one to knock out was Jenn. A little while later, Sheila and Nancy curled up in the back seat of Sal's car. Finally, I sprawled out in the back seat of RJ's truck...half asleep and half awake as I could hear Sal, RJ, BiG, and Nhi converse about the universe while waiting for meteors to appear.
5 Hours Later...
At a bit past 9am, I could see the bright morning sun shining through our thin drapery covered balcony doors. I was the first one up, dressed, groomed, packed and ready to go. Since the others were either still in bed and on the verge of waking up, I stepped out onto our balcony and sat on wooden balcony furniture and enjoyed the only lazy part of our morning. Not long afterward, I was joined by Nancy who came out munching on Tomato Basil Wheat Thins...yummy goodness & fiber...hahaha! Tired of crunching, we both moved on to eating the cold leftovers from our dinner.
Check out time was 11 am and we just barely check out in time. The consensus was to do a short hike before heading back to Vegas and then back to LA. RJ suggested we do the Riverside Walk, a paved trail that borders the Virgin River. We headed back into Zion. Since RJ and I have been on this hike before we knew that there was a parking area at the trailhead. So we led the caravan through part of the park only to be forced to turn back and park at the Zion Museum lot because the only vehicles allowed to traverse
We hopped onto the shuttle at the Zion Museum and headed deeper into Zion Canyon to our stop.
The trail was nice and paved with some sandy bits and mostly in the shade cast by the canyon walls towering monsterously around us. The Virgin River flowed picturesquely by our side at times with small fast rolling rapids or slowly as it cascaded into small waterfalls flowing in between larger boulders and rocks.
We did what TBs do best which is take pictures...of anything and everything...RJ, Sal, and I atop another huge boulder, MACRO shots of flora and fauna, hanging gardens, rock faces, the river bed...you name it we captured it on film or to be exact memory card.
At the end of the Riverside Walk we traipsed to the river's edge, sat about on ottoman sized rocks jutting up from the shallow water, snacked and rehydrated. I used this opportunity to clean off the Hawaii red mud that was stuck to my boots. After, I took off my boots and wool socks to dip my little piggies into the river....BRRR....it was so cold and numbing. I could only stand it for a few minutes then I had to dry my feet and get my socks and boots on!
The end of the Riveside Walk is the Gateway to the Narrows, a river hiking route that runs through a slot canyon. We saw many hikers coming back from their long trek carrying huge backpacks and hiking poles and their bottom havles soaking wet.
Nhi wore rubber soled sandals and braved the cold, knee-high water to the sandy bank on the other side of the river. BiG took his boots and socks off too and followed suit. They walked further into the Narrows. While they were still in eyesight in the far distance, we all shouted vehemently for them to return as we still had a long drive ahead of us. They continued onward around the bend and out of sight.
RJ and I volunteered to go fetch them because we HAD to hit the road. We ditched our backpacks as their weight would slow us down. We didn't even bother taking off our boots and that was a good idea because the underwater rocks were slick and at times the river current was fast...I almost lost my balance a few times and almost fell into the river completely but fortunately I didn't! We rounded the bend and at last they were in our sights.
My expensive Gortex hiking boots were finally baptized! Gortex is fabulous at keeping water out as I have used these boots in Scotland and Ireland in the rain and was dry. However, the Gortex ALSO keeps the water in! As soon as I stepped out of the river I took off my boots and poured a good quantity of water out. My socks were soggy too so I copied RJ and walked back on the Riverside Walk barefoot! Even though parts of the trail was covered with sand, I still had to walk cautiously so as not to step on a jagged pebble or shards of wood.
On the shuttle ride back down we were so quiet.
Bye bye Utah...Hey there Arizona...So long Arizona...Finally Nevada!
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