Monday, May 12, 2008

Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon National Park

In a whirlwind weekend, we met up with our friends, the Wilsons, for spectacular scenery at two national parks. First was Zion, with dramatic sheer cliffs and rock outcrops. (bottom picture) We camped near the Virgin River, where the kids (Jacobs, Abi, Annie) spent their time with the little irrigation ditch. They were determined to damn the flow of the small trickle, but their efforts were futile. Brian and Allen did a larger hike and saw a rattlesnake in the midst of eating a lizard. Rachael & I did a small hike with the kids to 'weeping rock', which was quite literally that. The navajo sandstone on top of the cliffs absorbs the rain water, then the water filters slowly down until it hits a layer of shale. Then the water travels across the shale layer until it find its way to a cliff and "weeps". Someone tested the water and found that it averages 800 years of age, with the oldest ever test to be 4000 years old. Hard to imagine the world the rain drops first saw, compared with landing on a bunch of tourists' heads after such a momentous journey. Then we went to Bryce Canyon (top two pictures) and stayed in the lodge there. Annie, Jake & I stayed and played on the felled pine trees while the rest of the group did the hike to the bottom of the canyon. The orange-red spires are called Hoodoos, and the Native Americans believed they were people turned into stone by coyotes. We all had a great time and it was fun to see our friends and some more parts of the American Southwest.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

How organised! We had a great time too. I will try and post photos tomorrow. Hope we can get together next month. The drive home was not bad, back by 6.30pm and no major arguments on the way!