04 November 2008

Southern Utah: day 1

As Eric and I packed our bags for a quick weekend trip to Zion National Park, we realized that in over ten years, this was the first time we were going to go on a trip of significant distance (camping, or driving to the next county over doesn't count) during which we weren't going to be visiting anyone we knew once we got there. While we love visiting all of our friends and family, it was really special for just the two of us to just go somewhere new to both of us.

Why Zion? I am staying in Las Vegas for a week for some work-related training, and when I mentioned to a colleague several weeks ago that Las Vegas is not my sort of town, she pointed out that the red rock desert of southern Utah isn't far from Las Vegas. The last few times I've travelled to places where Eric hasn't been before, I became sad -- even frustrated -- that I wasn't able to share it with him. So I proposed that we go on a little weekend trip to Zion, together, before I settled in for a week in Las Vegas.

We left Friday morning, arrived in Vegas about midday, hopped in our rental car that we nicknamed Bellagio, for it's gold color, and headed directly out of town, towards Springdale, Utah. It was dark by the time we got to Springdale, so we couldn't see the view out of our window....

We used the park tram system to get around Springdale and the Park, and since we didn't have much of a plan, we took the tram all the way to the end of the canyon, and hiked into Zion Narrows, a deep slot canyon that doesn't require technical climbing or (very) specialized gear. Water walking shoes would have been nice, but not having those with us, we just sucked it up and waded in our hiking shoes, knowing that they'd dry out soon enough in the dry desert air. We walked perhaps a mile and a half in, then turned back in the interest of seeing more of the Park.

(look for the string of hikers in the water for a sense of scale)

Being off-season, the in-park cafe that advertised grab-and-go lunches was closed, so we ate lunch at the Zion Lodge restaurant -- in our wet shoes and all. Then we set off to hike Angels Landing (nice little video about it here). Now, Eric isn't the greatest fan of heights, so the fact that he made it to the top (it was his idea, by the way) without much hesitation was a feat unto itself.

gotta get to class.... more to come!


Wayfarer Scientista said...

hey...I know that place and hike! That's near where I did my p-dog work - beautiful isn't it? Glad you got to be there together!

froghair said...

me too -- it was a great trip and I loved Angel's Landing!