Monday, October 24, 2011
We took the shuttle to the end of the scenic drive, hearing the spiel of the origins of the park (the early Ancestral Puebloans then the Southern Paiute, followed by the Mormon pioneers in the 1860's) prior to the official National Park designation. Amazingly, there is an average of 5,000 tons of sediment/day carried along the Virgin River (the river that carved the Zion canyon)--but most of it occurs during the extreme flash flooding in the summer monsoons. There are more than 270 different birds in the park, including the rare California condor with the 9 foot wing span!!
Hiking the Riverside walk up to the Narrows, we saw so many gorgeous views!!
This was a nice hike, and again we encounter so many foreign visitors! Many more than US residents. Everywhere we look we are so in awe...as a friend said when they traveled here years ago, you can't decide which is the most beautiful view! We had a very hard time trying to decide which pictures to include!
We also hiked the Emerald Pools Middle Trail in the afternoon and were again just so appreciative of the foresight of our nation to set aside these beautiful places for everyone to enjoy!
At day's end off we went to collect Casey Noodle. I didn't think they were going to let us take him home! They cooed and purred over how well he did, how sweet he was, how well behaved...(to be honest I wondered if they would bring out the wrong dog!). We decided to let the "dude" stay at the "ranch" the next day and made arrangements.
Back at our own ranch, we had a fire in our firepit, bbq'd some burgers with all the trimmings and homemade coleslaw, fired up the laptop and blogged! So nice to have a fire in the evening, although we were invaded by small flying bugs (bigger than nosee-ems) for about an hour.
Next morning, we're off on our adventure after dropping the dude off. Our plan of attack was biking the scenic drive, hiking the Weeping Rock trail and then having our packed lunch at the Human History Museum picnic area. Off on our bikes!
Our hike to Weeping Rock was spectacular, and really produced some fab views!
Back to the car, load up the bikes and off to get Casey after viewing the Human History Museum and the Zion movie in the theater. On the way we stopped at Springdale (what a really charming town---nestled right up to the canyon walls and just picture-perfect) so Jeff could check out the gem and rock shops. He does rock tumbling in the garage--he was looking for different rocks to take home to tumble. We brought the two grandboys rocks he tumbled (Ryan got "Greenies" and Connor got "Dinosaur eggs").
A U-Pick apple orchard caught our eye and we stopped and checked it out--what a gorgeous setting!