Normally driving 700 miles in one day would be an arduous, exhausting task, and today was no exception. Despite a stop in the Kolob Canyon of Zion and a break for lunch at the Bellagio buffet the vast majority of the day was spent cruising over I-15 at between 70 and 80 miles an hour, watching desert go by. It’s sad to see the trip come to an end, but it was a great one. Two days of rest at home, then back to the grind…
Audrey has mostly let me set the agenda for this trip, although after setting out for the Angel’s Landing trail in Zion National Park she let me know that she had done some reading about the trail I was taking her on. Despite her misgivings we both made it back alive and she worked the chains and tight ledges like a pro. For anyone who hasn’t done this hike, you spend two miles going up switchbacks including “Walter’s Wiggles” (look at the trail map and you’ll get it) and then a half mile pulling yourself up and across ledges with sheer drops of 1000 feet on either side; it’s fairly memorable.
After the morning’s entertainment and a side-trip for ice cream we headed up the Narrows and sloshed through the Virgin River for a bit with massive sandstone walls rocketing up on either side of us. Audrey and I clearly possess the grace and balance of ballerinas since neither of us took a header into the river; our most unsteady moment came while wading through waist-deep freezing water with a large family behind us yelling what I can only assume were very colorful Spanish phrases as the water rose past their waists. The entire experience was best summed up when Audrey remarked “this is exactly as weird as I pictured it would be”. Tomorrow we’re off towards Bryce Canyon National Park (me likee the canyons), followed by a trip to Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands. Roadtrips are truly wonderful things.
Shortly after I had curled up in the back of the Subaru and fallen asleep last night another car came down the road, parked right next to me, and two guys started setting up camp. Bearing in mind that we were the only two vehicles in the national forest, and also keeping in mind that there were numerous other places where camping was possible, I was a bit perturbed at the breach of privacy. Certain places in this world — examples include camping spots, urinals, and elevators — all have unwritten rules of occupation, violations of which are so unexpected that the brain really has no response except to think “but you just don’t do that…”
This morning I arrived at Bryce as the sun was breaking the horizon, and the clouds parted long enough to grab a few photos. I was a bit curious about Ebenezer Bryce, who the park was named for, but learned only that he was known to have described his canyon as “a hell of a place to lose a cow”.
Made a brief trip through Zion, including a trek up a small peak that I’m sure my mother would have preferred me to skip. Ate a quick dinner in Vegas, and should be home sometime tomorrow afternoon, barring surprise sidetrips.