Zion

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It was late July, just after harvest and my family was gathering. Herb, Jeanie, Lindsey, Dad, Mom, Adam and I were all meeting at my grandma’s house and preparing to leave for vacation. After much deliberation (and many budget checks) we had decided that we were going to Zion National Park in Utah.

Three days, a thousand miles, and the Simpsons Movie later, we arrived at Springdale, our base camp for the Zion Experience. We arrived at about three o’clock, so we didn’t really have time for any of the large hikes (large being five miles plus), so we decided to go on the Emerald Pools Trail. The trail is about two miles long and consists of three pools, an upper, lower and middle. It was fun to see all the different nationalities of people on this trail, I’m sure that there were just as many different people on the other trails but it struck me on this one especially. There were several groups from Japan, Germany and France as well. The lower and middle pools were rather disappointing, they were more like emerald puddles, but the upper pool was rather impressive. There was a small sandy are in front of it and a large rock wall behind it. It made the hike worthwhile because if we hadn’t finished it it would have been pointless.

After the Emerald Pools trek we took the grand tour of Springdale. Springdale was basically a single street town, but there was plenty to look at on that single street. We ran the gift shop circuit, but all that was there was the usual junky fridge magnets and boring t-shirts. There was one photo gallery that I remember especially because the people were really nice. It was owned by a couple that had just moved there. I don’t remember their names, but they were really nice and he was an exceptional photographer. His gallery had pictures of Zion and Bryce Park (another park close to Zion). The pictures seemed to pop out of the photograph; they almost seemed to have texture.

The next day was one of the defining days of the trip. This was the day that we went up Angels Landing. If you could see this trail you would understand why it is called Angels Landing, you start on the five mile trail at the bottom of the canyon and then you climb, and you climb, and then you climb some more until you reach the top of the canyon. There are parts along the trail that can be, to put it bluntly, deadly. The path narrows to three feet wide with nothing but the floor of the canyon to stop you on either side, but it’s safe as long as you don’t mess around. The last part of the trail is striking. You have steep climbs and it is strenuous but the view at the end is amazing. You can see all the way up and down the main canyon and the paths that you drove along. You can see all the way to Springdale and a distance out to the horizon. After Angels Landing, everyone was exhausted so we decided to go back to the motel and rest, Adam and I took rest to mean go for a swim. It got stormy later that day so we couldn’t go on another hike. We went and ate pizza at a neat pizzeria. Afterwards we went to see Transformers.

On our last day in Zion we went on a few more hikes. The first was to Weeping Rock. Weeping Rock is exactly what it sounds like, a rock that has water coming out of it. Supposedly it takes this water about a thousand years to filter all the way through the stone but we thought it funny that it was weeping an exceptional amount of water and it had just rained the night before.

After Weeping Rock we went on the Hidden Canyon trail. The path to the canyon is about two miles long and then you have the option of hiking a couple of miles back into the canyon. Mom, Jeanie, and Lindsey didn’t want to hike back into the canyon so they waited at the canyon mouth while Adam, Herb, Dad and I went on in a ways. It was quite interesting, the canyon was relatively narrow, at its widest it was about twenty feet, and had tall walls on either side. There were points were you could see the other end of the canyon and the scenery on the other side was remarkable, there was a mountain with clouds at its peak and the sun shining on it. We didn’t go all the way through the canyon but we did get to see a small rock arch that we had been told about by people coming back through.

After the Hidden Canyon trail everyone had pretty well had their share of hiking so we set off for home. Another two days, thousand miles, and countless recitations of “Spider Pig” and we were back in good old Chautauqua county ready to go back to work and school. Overall, this was easily the best trip I took this year.





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