And the Utah Highlands

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
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Trip End May 05, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, April 25, 2011

The very pleasant Cedar City delayed our arrival into Zion.  Our bags filled with cowboy paraphernalia,  we headed to what the Mormon settlers named as their "place of peace".
Zion is unlike the other canyons in it's exploration.  Here arrivals are funneled in via the Angel River and hikes begin upwards.  As we climbed through the thickets, we began to see why it was named so.  The lower elevation and milder climate here facilitates the growth of denser vegetation, obscuring the view of the canyon walls until a clearing overhanging a cliff was reached.  Here the view was again, more than my words could justify, being both within a canyon and looking into the belly of another.  It is this view that makes the sense of achievement in a climb all the more worthwhile.
Going back to the Virgin River the sights are somewhat unexpected.  The drastic steps of decline forms paths for the water the flow.  After each waterfall, the river collects again via the Emerald Pools.  These are something of Jungle oases within the depths of the canyon.  While we were privy to the serenity and quiet solitude that these pools provided from the heat of the day and the throngs of tourists, the cuts in the Navajo sandstone walls tell us of the destructive force of the tiny river during flash flooding.
Here in Zion we met two brothers who had escaped their families for a day of mountaineering.  They had planned to scale some heights and follow a partial track to the summit of one of the peaks.  Their spirit excited me, and for a moment I wished I was not a city boy,  wished that I had been shown these treasures earlier, wished that I too, could scale those mighty walls.  Then I realised it was time to leave.
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