Morning in Utah high country.
Just outside of the park I saw these bison.
It’s where the buffalo hang out.
This old truck was just outside the park, too. Cool, isn’t it?
Almost immediately as I drove into the canyon I had the thought that my pictures weren’t going to do this place justice and they don’t. I kept saying aloud, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god ohmygaaawwdohmygodohmygodohmygod……..” It’s absolutely astounding. Breathtaking. Mind-blowing. Jaw-dropping. Pants-wetting. You name it. I could go on and on with the adjectives and never describe the grandeur of this park. Words completely fail. You just have to see it for yourself. If you want to go to a place where you feel like the small, insignificant little speck of, well, speck that you (we all) are in this grand universe, go to Zion National Park. I don’t know, that may not sound enticing to some folk, I suppose. Me, I like to be reminded of the small speck that I am. But, whether or not that means anything to you, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. (Remember, you can click on each picture to isolate it).
So, this is a short little tunnel coming up here. After this tunnel is a long, long, long-ass tunnel! It was long. I mean looooong! 1.1 miles, which might not sound like much… until you’re in it. It was built in the 1920’s and opened in 1930. I can’t find specific information on it but I’m pretty sure the Civilian Conservation Corps built it. They did do work in Zion National Park, for sure. Anyway, as long and (for someone like me who could never be a true spelunker) as terrifying as the tunnel can be, it still felt very safe! I’m just not particularly fond of the idea of bazillions of tons of rock over my head. Call me quirky.
See those arched holes in the side of the rock? Those are areas that have been carved out in the tunnel, I suppose to let air in or maybe to keep people from completely freaking out and letting them know that, yes, there is still life outside this tunnel.
See? Bazillions of tons. But beautiful!
This stream runs near the visitor center where I parked for the day. It is either the Virgin River or one of its tributaries and is the main cause of the erosion that formed this magnificent canyon. There is a shuttle bus that takes you up to the high end of the canyon and you can hop on/off all day to explore and hike much of the area. I chose to take the shuttle all the way to the top and work my way down. This is what I saw.
There’s a significant difference on the two sides of the park divided by the long-ass tunnel. The eastern side (from which I entered) has rock that is redder and more shale-like. It has really beautiful striations.
Wow, what a day that was. My neck was sore from looking up. Just phenomenal beauty all around me. Positively breathtaking. There I go again with the adjectives. I left this indescribable place and headed south toward my next destination – the north rim of the Grand Canyon – and stayed out here for the night on National Forest land with fellow travelers.