09 January, 2009

Zion - Day One (01/03)

It's quite amazing to wake up, step outside your room, and enjoy the view below. The scenery in Zion is spectacular - enough that pictures and words just don't do it justice.

I don't know that I'd opt to stay at the same location, should we make this trip again in the future. There was no complimentary breakfast, no mini-fridges in the rooms, and no internet (except in the lobby, which was in another building entirely). On the other hand, all you had to do was wake up, throw on clothes, and walk outside the building - then you were in the park with hikes and grandeur at your fingertips. Greg got up before the sun so he could hike to a good spot to take pictures of the sunrise and be back to have breakfast with us before 10am. From there, we went to Weeping Rock - a short hike, moderately steep, made a little tougher because of the icy snow-pack on the trail. But definitely worth the trouble.
Aaron, Marideyza, & Baby Amy had to leave after Weeping Rock so they could get home to AZ. It was sad to see them go, but I'm grateful that we had this time together. It was great to see them again, and especially nice to meet the new niece. She's a doll!! Safe travels, Little Brother! We'll see you again soon...

The next trail we took was called Riverside Walk. It's not nearly as steep as Weeping Rock, but it's longer. In the summer (or when there's no snowpack on the trail), it would have been a breeze and even mom could have come. As is was, the snow did cause havoc for us - but once again, the view was worth the trouble.

The trail does go beside a river, and we got to see more weeping rocks along the way. A steep part covered in chunks of icefall over top the granulated snow-pack triggered my phobia - maybe vertigo? It's not a fear of heights. It's an icy certainty that when I'm close to an edge I'm going to lose my balance and fall. It's worse when there's loose rock (or ice), since those could give way at any moment, with any footstep, and I can see in my mind myself and those I'm clinging to for dear life going over the edge and our ragged, broken bodies on the ground below. I have to admit I cried like a baby. But I made it past the spot with help (I might still be stuck there today if I were left on my own), and the view was definitely worth the trauma. I don't know if this phobia is something I can get over by doing more hiking and becoming more confident in my abilities, or if I just have to acknowledge that I'm going to be affected and make sure there's someone around I trust to help me through the bad parts. I suppose I'll just have to keep on, and at some point look back to see if it's changed.

After that hike, it was close to 3pm and we'd been told that sunset would happen at 3:45pm, so we headed out to a spot that was great for viewing the colors. While waiting for the bus... I mean sunset... we formulated a plan for future family get-togethers. It's going to be exciting and fun - new places, new adventures! Sunset was much later than we'd been told, so we sat in the car for a while to warm up. Then we collected Greg and headed into town for some sustenance.

Dinner in Springdale - this time we went to Oscar's. Dave had the Murder Burger with sweet potato fries - which sounded pretty tasty. All the food was mighty fine, and we splurged on dessert - homemade carrot cake and brownies... YUM! The evening was very pleasant after dinner, and even in the dark the scenery is magnificent. My poor camera does it little justice, but one shot turned out okay.

On tap for tomorrow: Mom & Dave head home - want to see some pics before they go; Greg's got more hiking to do; Sara & I are going shopping - yay!

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