A Brief Summary in Order to Catch Up

17 April 2012 in Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling


Zion by Lindsay Kaun (laisunshine) on 500px.comWe’ve obviously fallen behind on the blog. It’s taken some time to get settled in our new home. But so we don’t fall any further behind here’s a summary of the days we spent with Derek in Zion.

It was a pretty pleasant and easy drive up from Vegas. We arrived in the afternoon and by the time we got set up there wasn’t a whole lot of time to explore, but a drive through the valley was in order. The valley in Zion has become one of many holy places for me. The rising walls of stone towering above are akin to entering an old growth Redwood forest or descending into the Grand Canyon. Its a church of sorts. It’s peace and solitude. It cleanses me of all thought and I’m submerged within the moment. I’m not a religious fellow, I find all I need when standing in these wonderful places.

After the drive through we picked up some beer and ice and had diner and a fire at the campsite. Derek ran recon on some firewood and obtained some large pieces from an unnamed source under cover of night.

‘The next day we hiked one of my favorite trails. This four mile climb to Observation Point starts with a series of switch backs, then runs alongside a wash of wavy red rock. Next you wrap around the back side of the peak and eventually you make your way to a ridge line that makes the last three miles all worthwhile. The view slowly opens up to the valley and each step reveals more and more of the east side. Eventually standing on the point the whole valley is laid before you stretching back miles and miles with ragged peaks tapering off on both sides. California CondorThe road below is tiny and the cars mere specks of dirt in motion. It was a clear day, with the sun shining. It appeared as though nothing could make this moment in time more sublime, but then a large bird began circling over head and as it banked to show it’s underside the white patches under it’s wings and the numbered tags revealed it was a California Condor. The endangered bird with a wing span second to none in North America and just one in the world. Stretching up to 12 feet this bird is a sight to see and a very rare one at that. Had we come any earlier or any later we may have missed this magical experience. So thanks for sleeping in Derek!

That night we had another fire. This time we obtained our wood from legit sources.

Checkerboard MesaThe next day we wandered over to the Checkerboard Mesa section of the park. We’d driven through this area several times now, but had never taken the time to explore it. We’ve always found ourselves so captivated by the valley we never make it back out. This time we took the time to drive back out and wander around a little. There isn’t much for marked and maintained trails out there. Its more of a free for all. Find a pull off, park and wander out. And so we did. The dome shaped mesas of this area are perfectly graded for scurrying up to perches of rock set a few hundred feet up off the road. Its certain death for your quads, but worth it.

Admiring the ViewNext we thought we’d check out the one marked trail set right before the mile long tunnel that takes you back into the valley. It had some generic name like Valley Overview or Canyon Overlook. Nothing memorable, but the view certainly was. Had I known about this trail before I would have certainly recommended it when my mom was here. For an eighth the effort of Observation Point you’re afforded a very similarly magnificent view. A short hike back leads you to a plateau of red rock set high above the unfolded valley below. It must be at least a thousand or two feet up. Simply stunning and a grand end to our time at Zion.

Canyon Overlook TrailDerek’s departing flight was set for 6 am and with Zion a decent drive from St. George we decided to get a cheap hotel in St. George for the last night. We stayed at the Sands, ate some amazing pizza, drank and played cards well too late into the night. But I don’t any of us were ready for the following day’s goodbye. It was great seeing Derek and being able to show him one of the parks we fell in love with. We miss everyone so much, but these amazing places keep the homesickness away. Thanks for visiting Derek!

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17 April 2012 Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

1 Comment to A Brief Summary in Order to Catch Up

  1. I wish I could of stayed longer. I appreciated every moment I got to spend with you both. Thank the wind for keeping me up and allowing me to sleep in.You forgot to mention the breadsticks that were the size of a forearm

    See you soon,

  2. Derek on 19 April 2012

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