Travelling north once again, we wanted to give Zion National Park a second try. We want to see the slot canyon that is so photographed. Double disappointment. The slot canyon is still closed because of high water and the campground is full.
We jumped on the shuttle bus, the only travel allowed in the park, and got off at the last stop. We were advised the trail would give us a sense of the slot canyon even though we could not go all the way in. I snapped pictures all the way along on the bus, the place is another wonder of the world. Strike three? The battery in the camera went dead. The spare is back in the car, ninety minutes away. I can only describe the wonders unveiled in the amazing canyon. Deep red and sparkling white cliffs rose straight up hundreds of feet above us. The Virgin River cascading through the canyon beside the trail was a green from the silt it carried downstream. The late afternoon sun, enriching the colours of the steep cliffs, could only reach the canyon floor through breaks in the cliff. Each wall of rock revealed colourful layers of time. Each bend in the rushing river creating a sandy beach to enjoy. Vines hanging from the trees, yellow columbines and other wild flowers added to the colourful display. We lingered, listening to the sounds of frogs. We thought about the power of the river.
I enjoyed the Zion Canyon more than I did the Grand Canyon for the simple fact that we were in it, not overseeing it. I had a sense that I belonged. I was not simply a watcher. The depth is more evident and much more dramatic when standing on the canyon floor.
The stairway into the water that led to the slot canyon disappeared into the water. The only way in is through the rushing river. Sadly I turned around and we made our way slowly back to the shuttle stop.
Driving out of the park, we took time to stop and play on the cliff sides.
The drive in and out of Zion winds down the canyon wall in a series of switchbacks. At one point, the drive goes through a tunnel that is over a mile long. There are windows at intervals giving a glimpse of the beauty outside.
We found a rest stop with facilities and tucked the van in for the night.