< Glorious Things are Sung of Zion
A Running Start >

[Comments] (1) Not Zion: Our trip south is well underway. We drove to Southern Utah on Friday and stopped at Kolob Canyon (part of Zion National Park) on the way. It is a short scenic drive, with a short scenic hike at the end.

Saturday morning we were up early to beat the crowds and the heat. We took the shuttle bus (required but awesome) to the end of the canyon where we did the 2 mile Riverwalk hike along the Virgin River until the canyon narrows so much the river fills it. John and Maggie continued barefoot into the river a ways, their favorite part of the day. Dalton’s favorite part of the day was also on this hike – rock squirrels. He loves animals and squealed with delight – and lunged – every time saw one, which was quite often. We also saw four deer and some tiny Zion snails on the damp cliff walls.

Our next hike was short and steep to Weeping Rock. To shelter under the rock overhang we had to sneak under fat drops of water falling from above. Water seeping through the sandstone has been found as old as 4,000 years. That’s how long it took it to seep through. How do they know how old water is?

The last hike we did in Zion was to Lower Emerald Pool. The pool was somewhat disappointing, but this 1 mile trail was my favorite and Dalton took a nap in his sling.

Our next stop was the Human History Museum. Dalton got to crawl around finally, and Maggie was made a Little Junior Ranger. I was very pleased watching her interact with a non-family member adult. She really knew her stuff about the plants and animals we’d seen and the rules about what not to do in the park. She did get one question wrong (depending on your point of view): When the Ranger asked where she was from, Maggie looked at her for a moment then said, “Gramma Papa’s house.”

We made it back to the Visitor’s Center where we bought Dalton a Junior Ranger hat. I lost his hat on one of our hikes, but the fact is, he wouldn’t wear it anyway. The Jr. Ranger hat is much more difficult to remove.

We drove the Zion-Mt. Carmel highway, including the Pine Creek Bridge built by my great-grandfather Lewis Jotham Whitney, and the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. There was construction so the tunnel wasn’t the only 1-way road we had to wait at, but it was a beautiful drive. We even came across a herd of bighorn sheep climbing the rocks at one of our waits. The red and white marbled scenery dotted with blue-green shrubs made me think of Mars.

We drove back to our hotel through LaVerkin, which boasts the best tasting water. Picky-water Me was surprised to discover that the water out of the hotel sink was actually really good!

We went swimming both nights. Dalton loves the water as always, and Maggie surprised us by jumping right in, splashing, kicking and blowing bubbles with her face in the water.

On Sunday, we left the hotel at 8:30 am – 7:30 am in NV and CA. So we decided to stop at Snow Canyon State Park northwest of St. George. We did 2 short, rock scrambly hikes on the East (shady) side of the canyon, Jenny’s Canyon and Pioneer Names. We also stopped at the outlets in Primm, but all we bought was a smoothie.

We made it to California safe. We’re staying at a fancy hotel. Disneyland tomorrow. I how many compliments our kids get on vacation. Dalton made friends with busloads of people at a time with his friendly smile and wave. He is a real charmer.

Title refers to Brigham Young's opinion of Zion Canyon.

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Posted by Leonard at Wed Aug 25 2010 06:56

I don't know if this is how they know, but water from different times has different ratios of oxygen isotopes in it.


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