Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zion in Winter

So, my "escape the winter" road trip to St. George didn't really pan out quite as planned. I mean, I guess cold and rainy might be slightly better than cold and snowy, but neither one was really what I had in mind.  Nevertheless, we refused to let the damp weather dampen our spirits and we sallied forth to enjoy the out of doors. At least for a few hours each day. :)

Saturday morning, Laci took us to a place called Red Cliffs Recreation Area, and after cruising Alicia's Murano through a potential flash flood zone, we enjoyed a drizzly stroll along the Red Reef trail.  We saw some cool rock formations and pretty much had the place to ourselves for most of the time we were there.  We did eventually see some other people on our way out, but it was kind of cool to be the only ones there.

Flash Flood Area!
The less wet of the two flash flood zones we had to cross is down there in the background.  Glad that the rain didn't cause us any real trouble.

Red Cliffs Recreation Area
Probably my favorite spot on our hike. Loved the weathering and coloring on the rocks.  Clearly the stream was not at its highest level.

Laci & Dustin
Laci & Dustin at another cool spot

Chilly St. George Overlook
Laci trying, unsuccessfully, to hide from the rain and wind

We also made a brief and bone-chilling stop at an overlook up on the hill above St. George, but after about 30 seconds of freezing, we all decided we'd be okay to spend the rest of Saturday in-of-doors.  We watched a little Planet Earth, played games with the extended family, I showed off my Kinect skills, and I finished the book that I'd brought with me to read on the trip. Just a few days too early. :)

Sunday morning we were lazy, watching snow fall outside (but not stick) and playing Canasta. Then we went to church (all 3 hours! I mean, I usually do that, but not always when I'm on vacation and the only person I know in Elders Quorum is the guy I met two days before on the way down).  After church it looked nice outside so I took myself for a brief walk at sunset and did a little shooting along the way.  Despite the whole looking nice thing, it was still pretty chilly, and I soon found myself back at the house, in plenty of time for more cards, Kinect, and "see if Jake wants to be set up with my 41 year old friend who has 6 kids" time with Laci's sisters-in-law. :)

Snowy Sunset
The higher hills were all covered in snow Sunday and Monday

Monday morning brought more laziness and eventually we got in the car and headed over toward Zion National Park.  We made a brief stop at Grafton, a ghost town near Rockville, and happened to show up while some historical worker guy was busy with some restorations, and he let us into one of the buildings and let us look around a bit more than we would have otherwise.

Grafton Church
Church building in Grafton

Then it was on to Zion, where we first stopped at the Weeping Rock trailhead and made the short, and somewhat snowy hike up to Weeping Rock.  There was plenty of melting snow to "weep" off the rock, and an impressive array of icicles as well.

Frozen railings at Weeping Rock
Icy Handrails at Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock w/ Icicles
Icicles and "Weeping" at Weeping Rock

After that, we drove the rest of the way up the road to the last stop, which is where you go to hike the Narrows when the river isn't surrounded by snow on all sides. We strolled the full length of the paved and rather snowy walkway out to where you actually start hiking in the river. Despite there being snow and ice everywhere, it actually wasn't too chilly. I felt perfectly warm in my hoodie. And the snow made for some picturesque scenes.

Just around the riverbend
Along the trail

Narrows Trailhead
At the entrance to the Narrows.  The large rocks in the foreground are fairly representative of what's waiting for you in the river bottom as you hike. Part of the fun that is the Narrows. :)

After that we headed back to La Verkin for a late lunch and then hit the road. Got home last night around 10.  It was nice to get away and very nice of Laci's family to host us and take such good care of us.

More photos on Flickr.


Laci Lee said...

Love the blog, Jake! My family had some much fun with you. Thanks for being a champ and putting up with everyone.

j said...

Laci! I had fun with your family, too. I don't know what the "putting up" was that I had to do. Thanks so much for letting us come with you.

Kimberli said...

Love the pictures of the snow and rocks of Zion... so pretty! Sounds like it was a nice little getaway.

Liz said...

The pictures are beauiful. Fun to hear and see more about the trip.