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flyingk8’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Location: Zion National Park, USA

MapMonday night at Bryce NP it began raining shortly after we got there. We set up camp as quickly as we could and tried putting up a tarp over the front of the tent to provide some shelter to cook under -wasn't the best, but it survived long enough to cook two bowls of soup and afterwards I crashed, I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow!

Yesterday we drove from Bryce NP on to Zion NP. When we arrived we asked about camping, only to find out all of the campsites were full! My wing-it-and-see didn't work again! But I figured we could find some back country camping somewhere so we went to the information centre to see if they could point us in the right direction, and we were in luck! We were directed to a campsite out of the park, which was free and right beside the river. When we got there we were so glad as unlike the campgrounds within the park there were no RVs and swarms of people! Unfortunately there were also no amenities either! But hey, that's the price you pay for free camping!

After arriving at Zion and finding the campsite we headed back into the park and decided to drive across to the east entrance. We stopped to take a few photos and at one point saw a couple on the side of the road in wetsuits! We got talking and found out they'd just been canyoneering -what fun! We ended up giving Tyler a lift back to his car, while Hampton stayed and looked after all their gear on the road's edge. It certainly was a scenic drive, Zion is a beautiful park.

Today Ed and I decided to do a few hikes. Firstly, after a short sleep in, we thought we better begin with the longest and we headed for Angel's Landing. It was a long, steep hike and the top part had chains to hang on to as there would be iminent death if one were to fall off the edge! It would have been quite a mental battle more than a physical one for quite a lot of people I imagine! But being an adventerous type I decided I was going to make it up and down without using the chains! It was much more fun than I had anticipated, and it felt great to reach the top, grab a drink of water, eat some lunch and take some pics before returning to the bottom. The view was certainly rewarding! -Just to know you hiked all that way, and to such a great height fromthe beginning of the hike, was a great feeling!

After the Angel's Landing hike we took one of the free suttle buses that run through the park up to the Temple of Sinawava stop -which is as far as the buses go. We hiked up the canyon to a point where the path ended and everyone was rolling up their trousers and continuing upstream through the river! Well.. why not ey?! What could possibly go wrong?! ..hehe

We took off our shoes and tied them to our backpacks and braved the currents, zig-zagging our way across the river from side to side to stay on dry land or in shallow water where we could. At one point as I was halfway across a section of the river I turned around to see Ed running down the side of the river back where we had come from! Momentarily I had no idea what was going on, until I saw two little green shoes floating downstream! He plunged across the river, not expecting it to get so deep quite as sharply as it did, grabbing them before they dissappeared forever!! It was the funniest sight! If only I were closer to the bank I would've had the balance without the current to grab my camera out and take a photo!!!! ..Of course, as you can imagine, Ed didn't find it nearly as amusing!

Never-the-less we continued up the canyon, around the next bend in the river where we saw a group finishing a canyoneering trip. After speaking to one of them about the trip, we decided once we got back into town we would find out prices -canyoneering certainly sounded like fun! As it was getting on in the day and the point where the canyon narrowed we imagined was miles upstream, Ed, his wet shoes and I headed back. Thankfully it was a warm, sunny day, which gave Ed a good chance to dry off, however unfortunately nothing could stop the dye from his shoes turning his feet bright green!

Despite wet shoes we decided on one more hike before days end and took the shuttle to a point lower in the canyon on the way back to the park entrance. We hiked a short distance to the lower pool of the Emerald Pools. Unfortunately it was rather small and the little falls coming over from the pool above weren't overly impressive. I was tired from our earlier hikes, so we decided to return to the car and into town to investigate prices for a canyoneering trip, rather than continuing on to the middle and upper pools. ..Maybe earlier in the year it may have been more impressive after the snow melt off.