Now where did I leave off with Zion? Oh right, our 3am hike to the overlook to watch the sunrise! I know this might sound totally crazy to many of you but I love early morning hikes. You’re usually the only one on the trail which means you might see super cute animals like we did, we saw our first ever ring tailed cat and he was almost as curious about us as we were about him. Plus, everything is quiet and I mean really quiet, and in a place like Zion, where the vast majority of the tourists are still sound asleep in their hotel beds, you have the place to yourself. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.
So, after watching the sun come up we left the overlook and ventured out into the rest of the park. Given the weather we knew that there would be areas of the park that we would have to miss. There were flash flood warnings in places like the narrows and until the danger passed we were defiantly staying away. Good bye overlook!
We headed down into the canyon and in order to get to the bottom we had to drive through the Zion Tunnel which is pretty amazing. I can’t imagine how the engineers managed to pull that off all those years ago. Our next stop was to take in the views while waiting to catch a shuttle into the main canyon for Emerald Pools. I felt a might bit tiny, looking up at these giants. Mother Nature has a way of showing you perspective.
Due to the rain throughout the area, Emerald Pools was more along the lines of muddy pools and slippery trails but still pretty nice. I had to laugh as people in new white shoes passed and complained about the mud and the fact that their shoes were getting dirty. Seriously, did they not check the weather? Did they forget that they were going to a national park and that there’s this wonderful thing called dirt that exists? Why did they come if you didn’t want to get your shoes dirty? Silly people.
Nonetheless, there were some waterfalls and impressive views to keep me from judging the “tourists” too much. I mean, how beautiful is this?
We left Emerald Pools and made our way along a trail that follows the Virgin River further into the main canyon. The clouds had started the break apart while were were at Emerald Pools which made for some really great views of the canyon/valley floor/river.
I’ve seen photos of the Virgin River in which it did not resemble a mud bath Miraval but as you can see we did not get to experience that on our trip. Instead, the river was thick and carried with it this extremely fine powdery sand, finer that any beach sand I have ever experienced, that covers pretty much everything in the park. In all honesty, I did not expect it, but looking back really actually liked it, even if it did mean that all of my gear felt a little gritty when we made it back home. It added a textural experience I had not prepared for and on our last morning it also provided a lovely mini-pedi when we sat on the banks of the Virgin with our toes in it.
We started to leave the floor of the canyon and head up the trail to Angel’s Landing. And by “up” I really mean “up, and up, and up”! But more on that tomorrow. Until then, here’s a little perspective, for those of you who don’t know, I’m afraid of heights. EKE!!!