We spent the entire day in Zion Park, this time taking the shuttle service through the canyons to the north. The Cottonwood trees were budding and as you can see, the leaves were a beautiful light green and still small enough to let the dark trunks and branches show through. The Virgin River runs through the canyon and has its head waters more than 130 miles to the north.
Outcroppings and overhangs are everywhere and for those brave enough to venture out to the edge, it makes a great photo op.
Another grotto with a massive overhang and dripping water. At a glance, this type of geology defies the laws of physics. What holds these rock faces up?
Looking out from inside the grotto and seeing the water drip down from above.
When I studied photos and brochures of Zion, I saw a photo taken from this spot on more than one occasion and thought it would be great if I could ever find that spot and take that photo, looking down Zion Canyon. It is taken from the western end of the grotto. Visitors would stand for long periods of time, mesmerized by the view. Of course, the photo does not convey the majestic scale.
Two more of the twelve or so amphitheaters we counted as we explored Zion. I found them fascinating.
Sandstone cliffs, fore and aft, with the Virgin river and young Cottonwoods adding the light green contrast. I really fell in love with this place. Zion is a Hebrew word meaning a place of refuge and peace.
The light was often stunning, with the sun bouncing from one rock face to another. The red, inside the black, on the right, made it look like there was light inside the mountain.
I took hundreds more photos and most are too nice to delete, but I cannot subject my readers to repetition. We ended the day at the western entrance to the park where there was a little town called Springdale. Everything looked very classy and expensive, like a Whistler or a Banff. We fit right in with our Cadillac and were charged accordingly for a night's accommodation at this Best Western. It was very nice, to say the least, and the setting was exquisite.
The putting green, heated pool, and hot tub behind the Hotel was where we made a bit of a mistake. After our wonderful dinner in the gourmet dining room, we noticed that there was a heavy overcast and thought it best to hit the hot tub instead of driving somewhere to catch a sunset. As we sat in the swirling waters, soaking our tired feet and cold hands, we were commenting on the rock cliffs behind the hotel (previous photo) and how it would be great if the sunset put a glow on them. Suddenly, the clouds in the west parted slightly and did exactly that. The cliffs turned orange, then red. We debated about running back to the room to get the cameras, but thought that the colour would be short-lived and it was not worth freezing our assets off for a missed opportunity. For the next twenty minutes, we were treated to a moving sunset show on the cliffs, the light here, then there, now orange, now yellow, now bright, now filtered. Several times we looked to the west and saw only clouds and thought it would be over immediately. We finally resigned ourselves to simply enjoying the light show and burning it into our memories instead of onto our camera memory cards.
It was truly a perfect end to a fantastic day, but I cannot prove it. :)
To be continued.