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A Taste of the Desert Day 2

sunny 94 °F
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Wake up late at 9AM (which feels like 11AM for us, we lost 2 hours). We took advantage of the free breakfast at Care Oscars Bed & Breakfast then drove our little putt-putt (which is what we named our car) to Zion National Park in Utah. The winding, dipping roads are treacherous to drive on and the mood noticeably lifts once we are past the worst of it. We take in the gorgeous landscape as we check in at the Watchman Campground; the high canyon walls are punctuated by the numerous mesas surrounding us, “Every time I look around I’m startled” I exclaim, overwhelmed by thestratified layers of the rock formations and deep canyon walls of the Colorado plateau. The rock formations here have Native American inspired names like Navajo sandstone, Kayenta and Moenave.

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Our first order of business, after setting up camp, is to pick up wet gear at the Zion adventure company to hike The Narrows. After seeing the equipment needed (which added up to around $100 each) and a training video that teaches you how to negotiate shoulder height water, we decide playing in the Emerald Pools is a better idea.

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We spent a glorious 7 hours hiking in Zion Canyon National Park; mainly wading in the emerald pools & hiking along a 2 mile walk deep in the valley along the river. The bleached white,orange and red peaks which comprised the 3,000 ft high canyon walls made us feel like we had been swallowed by the earth.

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An older couple chatted with us a bit, they told us in a disbelieving tone that it was 94 degrees out. We couldn't feel the heat but our bodies did tire out more quickly & seem to need much more water than usual. It felt like a tantalizingly dangerous climate; one could forget they were in the desert with the lush undergrowth, desert grasses and leafy trees. The plant life grows low to the ground, even the houses & buildings seem to hug the earth as though in deference to the magnanimous heights of these otherworldly rock formations.

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I commented that I felt like I “stepped into another universe or an alternative reality.” The solemnity didn't last long as T came up with a new game, which entailed entirely of him hollering ”DETOUR!” and pushing us both off the path. This, somehow, led to the both of us skipping arm in arm as we sang, "We're off to see the wizard!" off-key and at high volume.

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We took a break to pick up matching water shoes (50% off) and a camel water pack for R then decided to continue our explorations of the area by hopping on a very informative guided bus tour. The morbidity of one rock formation etched it's image into my memory, it had two long red vertical streaks that outlined a white triangle on it's rock face and is appropriately called the Alter of Sacrifice. At the end of the tour, we were exhausted and ready for dinner. We headed back to our site and T started a fire while I made quesadillas & s’mores. Curled up in the tent, I begged T to tell me more ghost stories, which he did without complaint, and as I fell asleep his words made their way into my dreams.

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Posted by Yonderlust 12:19 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes hiking canyons camping

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