Hi Everyone! We are back and settled into home.
Bernie sorted through our pictures and selected 250 of our favorites.
This is far too many to share in one post, so I will split it into the different areas we got to visit.
Technically our first stop of the trip was Great Basin National Park in Nevada.
I did not include any photos from this stop because it was cloudy the whole time we
were there, and none of them are overly stunning.
After two nights in Great Basin we drove to the northern entrance to Zion NP,
After talking to the rangers for a few minutes we decided to do a 4 night backcountry
hike across the park and back. This was not a trip we were planning on but Zion has been
an area I have always loved, and this would give us a chance to explore it in a whole
Our first two days of the trip across the park were cloudy, as can be seen in the above photo.
Our journey would take us down La Verkin Creek Trail, Hop Valley Trail, Wildcat Canyon Trail
the West Rim Trail, and then back along the same route.
As we moved into the early morning hours of our second night camping out the clouds
opened up and dumped rain on us. Now one of the greatest disadvantages of camping in a NP
is having to use established campsites. The thousands of people that pitch their tent on that
small patch of dirt over the years pack it into a substance almost as impervious as cement.
Not to slowly the water built up into a small stream as it moved down the small
hill that led straight to our camping spot.
I flipped on my headlamp and found an adequately pointed stone to start my miniature ditch
system. Water started to stream under our groundcloths (which is but a thin layer between the
ground and our sleeping bags). My little ditches gradually grew into a system that drew
the water down and around our tarp.
Finally satisfied with the path of the water I looked down hill from our tarp at the other
“camp spot” and said a little prayer of thanks as I witnessed all the water from the surrounding area
creating a small lake where we had first pondered setting up camp.
Once my feat of engineering removed the risk of flooding I enjoyed listening to the waves
of rain beating against our little green tarp.
Right after dawn the clouds released one last deluge of rain and hail, as if it were
throwing a hissy fit knowing that clear skies were moving in.
And then there they were! Clear blue skies!
The temperatures were lower than I had expected for our journey through the southwest,
but the beauty was amazing!
I am endlessly fascinated by all the different layers of rocks. The textures, colours, and
shapes are amazing. The beauty of nature is so often missed in our society.
If I could share one thing with everyone in the US, it would be to stop and truely see the amazing
beauty, energy, peace, and wonder that nature holds.
I never fail to be amazed by the energy of Red Rock Country. It instills the very
essence of nature into your soul.
Zion wrapped me in a very strong inspirational grasp. It was the perfect start
to our trip. Our backcountry hike provided me the opportunity to reflect on
what I have been doing lately, and what I want to do with my future.
The nights provided me with very vivid dreams sharing great insights.
The days were filled with amazing grand vistas, inspiriting ones soul to re-connect
with our mother earth.
There were a few points along the trail that were not filled with grand vistas. These moments
were the times to enjoy the little details that fill each moment.
We also filled these moments with talks of life, the small and large of it.
The beauty of experiencing the grand adventure of Being Human.
It is amazing how sunshine can transform a landscape. When we had first crossed this spot
grey clouds filled the sky. There is still a vast beauty to the area,
but the energy has a little more of a subdued feeling.
As we re-traced our route everything seemed to glow from within.
An old dirt road carried us back into Hop Valley.
My sandals decided to do a little bit of self destruction half way through our trip,
although it was a bit inconvenient that they decided to come apart in the middle of a hike,
I decided it was a sign that I was starting a new path in life.
I did still use the sandals for part of the hike, but I also took the opportunity to use my
moccasins. What a beautiful way to connect even more with the earth.
With a thick slab of rubber between your feet and ground it is easy to plow forth, ignoring
what lies upon your path. When a thin piece of leather is all that is between your feet and mother earth
you are able to feel your surroundings instead of insulating yourself from them.
I could feel the mud push up against the soft leather of my moccasins,
almost as if it was squishing between my toes.
The leather truely feels as if it is a second skin.
I was amazed at all the different directions that some of the rock layers took.
The movement of the earth frozen in time and then slowly revealed, as if a big red curtain
was being drawn away over the millenia.
I have to admit I was a little smitten with rocks on this trip.
Above you can see a couple of the cows that lived in Hop Valley.
On all our hikes across the country we have seen many free range cows.
Cows in all kinds of habitats.
I have to say these cows have the most scenic place to live of all the grazing lands we have seen.
And they have truely adapted to their surroundings.
As I walked pass a cow, talking to her as I went (something I often do with all kinds of animals) I followed
her gaze up the “cliff” above her.
There I saw my first rock climbing cow.
This might sound out there, but I have never seen a cow that had climbed up such a steep incline.
The first one we witnessed up there was a partially grown calf. He was poking around in
the brush. After admiring his climbing capabilities we turned to continue on and suddenly heard
a loud crash behind us. I turned around expecting to see a calf in a pile of rocks,
but no, he held fast to his spot, not even a hint of being flustered.
Hmm, rock climbing cows, its a whole new breed.
La Verkin Creek had a particularly beautiful scenic bend. I loved how the
water had worn down through the rock in this one spot. The sound of the cascade was
mesmorizing, and the view breathtaking. A beautiful place to reflect on our 4 night backcountry
journey across the park.
Well everyone, that is my story of our first leg of an amazing journey!
I hope you enjoyed it!