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Friday, June 11, 2010

Zion and St. George

Husker and I really like our road trips.  We enjoy the views, and he is always asking me questions about the geology of the passing countryside.  I only took one year of college geology, but he did not take any -- so I guess I am the family "expert".  Maybe I should encourage him to enroll in a geology class at the local community college ...

The route from San Diego to St. George, UT was spectacular.  Neither of us were familiar with the Virgin River, but it definitely cuts a 160 mile long colorful path from Las Vegas northeastward.  It is the river that cut the canyons of theVirgin River Gorge and Zion National Park.  Think of it as an early Grand Canyon in the making.  The vistas could not have been more stunning, or the wildlife more intriguing.  The smallest wildlife was a family of baby squirrels along a trail in Zion.  They did not seem to be the least bit afraid of the trail of tourists passing by.

The walls of the Virgin River Gorge were very close to us so that we felt as if we were in a narrow slot in the mountain range.  I guess we were.  The river and the interstate bumped right up to the walls.  The walls were so high that it was hard to look up to the top from the car's windows. 

On the other hand, there were also trails that passed through quiet, cool, and delightful vistas to springs, lookouts, etc., along the river and especially within Zion.  This photo is the route to the Emerald Pools within Zion.  Most of Zion's trails were accessible and short except for one trail that required extensive experience and was quite long.  It was called Angel Trail and climbed up to the top of the canyon walls using a cut into the walls that at times was only about 4 feet wide.  It was a very long drop off the edge.  You could look up to the top of the canyon and see ant-like hikers moving along the trail.  Scary. 

 Zion was terrific!  Everyone should go there at least once.  There is a garden-like environment along the river, but majestic towering canyon walls above.  It leaves one feeling puny but invigorated.  It will take your breath away ... just go. This should be on your bucket list.

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