Rambling Round Utah

I don’t know the day of the month and can only guess at the day of the week. I’m writing while looking out over Escalante Canyon from our sweet free camping spot. Thank-you Bureau of Land Management.

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We spent two short days in Zion National Park. Zion is amazing as are most national parks. Being a national park it draws the crowds. Generally a well behaved bunch of Mormons on holiday but crowds none the less. I first visited Zion while in high school on a trip organized by two teachers the fearless Nutters, Millie and Neil. For forty days and forty nights these sixty somethings herded a group of us, teenagers through many grand vistas of the West, the highlight and saving grace of my high school years. Anyway it was wonderful to return and share this spectacular destination with Steve. Without doing a complete alpine start we did get going early enough to have the ascent of Angel’s Landing mostly to ourselves. After Zion we did a quick tour of Bryce. Bryce is funky and fun with their cheeto-colored hoodoos however Bryce is at elevation and still quite chilly with snow remaining in many spots. So we opted for a short hike and then cruised on toward Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM).

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View from the top of Angel’s Landing

angels-landing-decentJill on the decent of Angels Landing

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Bryce is nice

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The snow adds something to the scenery…not enough to ski though

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Hoodoo you love?

Here in GSENM we hiked to an elegant waterfall with a pretty little pool below it. While it is far too cold for swimming we did manage to wade a bit in the snow-melt waters. During the more pleasant of two bike outings (not the vicious dog one) we saw mountain lion tracks. Huge cat prints in the sand. Fresh too, we think, as it is always a bit windy out here and the tracks hadn’t blown over. Now we are relaxing at our camp looking out over perfectly color-scaped desert canyon with bright green juniper trees and snow covered peaks in the distance. We plan to ramble about GSENM for a couple more days and then Capitol Reef National Park.

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Braving the waters

gsenmJust another roadside panoramic view

On an odd note the GSENM newspaper has an article comparing the landscape here to that of Mars. There are even these odd things call concretions, cemented sandstone balls that erode from the ground, that are similar to specimens discovered by rovers on Mars. And no Mom, you aren’t supposed to gather them up for souvenirs.

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We put them back where they came from

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