Friday, November 22, 2013

Westbound and down

 After meeting up with the mighty Colorado River and passing through Arches and Canyonlands, after crossing Natural Bridges, we flowed on downhill through some unknown canyons and through some that are known, past Bryce Canyon, towards Zion. 
People had been telling us about the wonders of Zion, but I didn't know what to expect at all.  I thought of a canyon, like these ones, (see pictures) where the red rocks were eroded away by time and patience, but the valleys were flat and wide. 
But it was not to be so. 
The evening before arrival, we spent the night out in a cow pasture, with wide flat red dirt flanking the Cheetah on all sides.  Far away the mesas glowed with the last light of the dying day, and the skies blossomed overhead in many colors.  Color Rado was the theme once again.  As the lights dimmed towards darkness and starlight, we slipped off into slumber. 

Dawn found a cloudy sky overhead and some little pesky raindrops pattering on our windows.  We set off with all speed and found some caffeine, some gasoline, and pushed onwards.  Climbing up into Bryce Canyon led us through snowfalls and the high point of the trip, which was 9,600 ft.  Bryce was snowy and beautiful, but sadly the pictures did not reflect that as much, and it was cold, so we left after a short time.  

 We arrived at Zion right at dusk, and had to vie for the road with the wildlife there.  Bighorn Sheep lingered on the shoulder and put their horns down in front of us, casting stern glances about, and we slowed and passed with reverence.  
This specimen was caught in a private act.  I guess I'm practicing to be a paparazzi. 

Wild turkeys also roam the streets and valleys of Zion.  They are not the prettiest of birds, but are quite neat to watch, while they bob their heads about and peck at the ground.  Wouldn't you rather that the national bird, the symbol of our kindhearted and peace-loving country was this?

 Zion is in fact a very steep canyon with high red walls arching above a small plain.  It is very similar to Yosemite, I think, but the rocks are different.  There are deer everywhere and the river was flowing strongly with the fresh rain.  The rains followed us the rest of the trip (so far).

 We arrived in Las Vegas with a following raincloud, and passed our way down the strip, then went for a nice little walk with the dog.  We stayed in Sin City for a short evening, then drove out to a lonely road to sleep, and the following day drove through Death Valley. 
Death Valley wasn't as exciting as I would have liked because of the rain, and we drove through rather quickly, then climbed out over a 5,000 ft pass with lots of snow all over.  We are now at Jeremy's house (my big brother) in Southern California.

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