Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zion National Park part 1

Michelle and I spent some time on the road this year and really she's telling the story of the trip on her blog.

I'm going to use mine for sharing some photos, most won't be in the form of a story. I have to say that I'm glad we did Zion first, if we'd done it after Bryce it would not have had the same impact.

If you've never been to that part of the world (Utah, Nevada, Arizona) it's hard to describe how different the landscape is.

Flew into Vegas and immediately left (after a hearty burger full of calories and fat at the Heart Attack Grill).

On day two we were already in Utah and spent the day in Zion national park (with apparently 3,000,000 other people this year).

Some photos to provide some visual background

When you come into the park from the east, you have to travel through a pretty long tunnel. That 'window' is one of the holes cut into the rock to let air in.

We stopped on the other side and looked up.

This little asian girl appears in a large number of my photos. Sometimes just for scale, often walking way. She often has a camera in front of her face, though not nearly as often as I. ;)

This guy was working hard, the elevation wipes you out quickly.

We took the (mandatory) buses into the main Canyon, there just is not enough space for people to drive their cars. The bus service is included in the entry fee and the buses run very frequently. Each stop is described and the hikes explained.

We chose to hike some easier stuff, mostly my fault.

Michelle was not having a good time, as you can see.

All of this carved by a small river.

You can just make out the river in this shot

Michelle for scale as we climb

You can really see how the river carved the curve. The little white things are passenger buses.

Life clings on the side of the cliffs

The trail conditions do deteriorate in spots. There were a number of warnings about people falling to their deaths. We decided against falling.

That's the trail directly below. I think this photo starts to give a sense of how steep the terrain is.

On either side of this rock was a 300+ foot fall. There were no guard rails. I tried hard to not trip.

Michelle took precautions on the descent to keep from falling

Sometimes precautions lead to dirty pants...

She was probably telling me not to take these photos right about here.

Now, I'm going to post two photos. The first one, I like better.

The second one, shows the trails and the steepness of the canyon walls better :)

You can see the fresh scars where rock broke away. Clearly in this photo the lighter part was exposed when a big chunk fell, the trail had been repaired. How much do you think that rock chunk weighed when it dropped onto the trail?

That was just the first hike. I think better photos are coming. :)


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