Sweatin’ in Snow Canyon

Much better night was had by all! We had to wake Noah up, he was snoozing away! There is a lot of neat wildlife around the site. Noah saw a few quails scurry across the road last night. Several rabbits, lizards and even a little kangaroo mouse (I know it is “rat”, but I refuse to call it a rat). He is a cute little thing and visits in the evening. Just as the sun is going down we also get to see a couple of bats flying around.We decided to head back to Zion to beat the desert heat. It is unseasonably warm in Snow Canyon. Korey said that the park lied and I asked why and she explained that there is no snow anywhere! Ha! When Noah and Eli found out we were heading back to the water they ran to get their swimming trunks! Jess is following us and then will leave to head home to Arizona. 

We hit “Weeping Rock” which was intriguing. Desert, you think dry. The water comes from snow melt and rain on the plateau and then filters through layers of sandstone until it weeps out of the rock itself. There are several hanging gardens that are a result of the moisture. It seems an unlikely pair, rock and vegetation. It is stunning to see the vibrant greens next to such dry, orange and yellow sandstone.

We started up to The Narrows and had lunch before we ventured on. The kids were stoked to get in the water again. There was a warning of flash flood so we didn’t hike down the river but we hung out in the water. Noah was jumping from a rock into a pool of water. He tried talking Eli into it but Eli couldn’t muster up the courage. 

I headed back to the car a little before the rest of the crew because my eyes were in revolt again. Once I got to the car and got the contacts out, I laid on a boulder and waited for them. While I was laying there I heard a bunch of rocks falling down the canyon side and I looked up to see a mountain goat saunter up and over the ridge. 

Once we reconvened, we headed out and bid Jess save travels. We really appreciated her coming to hang out with us. In fact, the kids were really bummed she was leaving. Hopefully we will see her when she comes home to visit!

We stopped by the grocery store before we went to camp to pick up a few things for dinner. We got back to camp and started dinner. The kids were begging to go on a night hike, so with some clouds rolling in from the distance we put the headlamps on and went for a quick hike up the sandstone faces right by our site. The kids were having so much fun climbing the rocks, but it was cut short due to the wind at the top. The wind about knocked Eli over. It was powerful enough for a small pebble to be carried by the wind and hit Jud on his cheek. 

When we got back down, the kids showered and headed to bed. Jud and I hung out checking out the stars. We have also been able to enjoy some local brews in the evenings. 

Ama-Zion! 

We met up with Jess Ehrbar in Utah. I was so happy to see her and be able to catch up with her. She moved to Arizona and was a former athlete of Jud’s. She has totally become family and we miss her. We are currently desert camping in Snow Canyon State Park. The first night was rough. It was super hot and we hadn’t acclimated just yet. After a pretty sleepless night, I tried to put my contacts in. I think with a combination of no sleep, dry eyes and dry weather, the contacts revolted. So, glasses it was. 

We headed up to Zion. Once again, no words can describe the awesome beauty of the sandstone and it’s varying reds and oranges. We hiked Emerald Pools and saw the lower, middle and upper pools along with an amazing waterfall. After hanging out at the upper pool and cooling off in the shade and the water we headed down the Grotto Trail. 

Zion has shuttles that run to nine different stops throughout the park. Before we hopped on the shuttle we played in the river. The kids built a rock bridge to the rapids and I climbed a tree that hung over the river. The tree was super relaxing and allowed for some cool views. 

We ventured up to the Riverside trail in order to hike a little into The Narrows. We saw plenty of squirrels (super tame and love people) and a few deer (three bucks and two females).

We got to the end of the trail and started into the river. The Narrows hike is pretty much a water hike. The further you hike down the river the closer the canyon walls come together (hence, it’s name The Narrows). The water was super clear and the further you hiked the cooler the water.

The kids, of course had a blast swimming and playing in the water. You may be able to take the beach kids away from the beach, but they will find a way to get to the water.

We headed back to the visitors center after an amazing day in Zion. I encountered a fellow educator on the shuttle. He teaches History and was on a trip with a few seniors. They were from Northern California and are heading to Colorado before they head home. We both agreed that traveling and being outside enjoying nature is a great way to spend the summer.