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Header Photo: Ms Autumn comes to the high country

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting Small In Zion's Backcountry...




It should be called "smooth rock;" there is nothing "slick" about it. If one's achilles tendon would stretch enough to allow toes to touch shinbone, I seriously believe they could walk up a near vertical slope. The stuff has the grip of sandpaper, somewhere between 80 and 150 grit. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of riding a mountain bike on Utah's sandstone, well, your missing out on one of life's greatest simple pleasures.


Lead photo. In hiking formation, front to back: Bobbie, Gayle, The Boonster, Jim, and Debbie...all looking a different direction...trying to make order out of God's sense of humor. It is a playground, after all, that engages all five senses: See mind altering mounds of sandstone, frozen hard as rocks, yet melding together like ice cream left in sun. Touch ripples of time, smoothed by wind and water. Smell ponderosa pine and cedar scented air, as pure and sweet as baby's breath. Hear voiceless silence (this was not easy with out chatty group). Taste...now this one is challenging. No, we didn't eat any pine nuts, but they're around if you know where to look :))  



Some of the roads in Zion are paved with red cinders. How inviting...



And some of our "trail" was paved with vanilla sandstone...


that melted into strawberry...


Bobbie eyes an ice cream cone...


topped with a "Jim" sprinkle?



Debbie and Jim...



Lunch with The Boonster...




Evidence of God's delicate sense of humor...





This is big country. It can swallow you up, reshuffle your priorities...and make you feel small.


Sometimes, when contemplation can't figure out how all this happened, it helps to just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, and leave the science to the Great Scientist. 




The above and below photos are my favorite. They illustrate how we are not all that different than ants...crawling around on a few grains of sand, on a big rock, on a bigger rock, flying through space and time with a bunch of even bigger rocks, in a neighborhood whose size is beyond the fathom of our incapable minds. 







Time to head back to camp...and think about it.

27 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Klb,
      It's why we try to come here every November :)

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  2. Zion is one puzzling landscape for sure. Amazing place.

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  3. Don't know if you caught this: http://tinyurl.com/kbdoloj since you're out in the back country, but I'd say these guys ought to be strung out to dry.

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    1. Gunta...I heard about it on the news, and yes, make an example out of that guy. Sadly, the same thing seemed to have happened to one of our "tripod rocks" as there were only two standing this year instead of three. Of course I realize it could have been mother nature, but it looked to me like it had been pushed sideways...suspicious. That's why I'm against telling the whole blogosphere where some of our finds are located.

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    2. I suspect that the only lesson that might be learned is to avoid posting the dastardly deed on YouTube or FaceBook. But I imagine that's a good part of the point.
      Wise choice not telling where some of your great finds are.

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  4. Beautiful hike Mark.....sure makes me wish we were back in Utah!

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    Replies
    1. When will you get back out west where you belong? :))

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  5. This summer on my way back from Ouray trip- I stopped off at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs--- that garden looks kinda small after checking your photos-- walden creek rv steve

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    Replies
    1. They are similar places...only garden of the gods isn't thousands of square miles :)

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  6. Remember those tripod rocks from your pictures last year. They are just crazy!

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  7. I WILL find this trail!! I just love everything about it. Really creative post tonight! Well done:)

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  8. You're right about the wonderful grip on the slickrock. Years ago while hiking solo on my first visit to Canyonlands I learned that you can walk up almost any slope, so easily that one could get carried away. But getting back down the same slope is another story!

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes we resort to sitting down and scooting :)

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  9. I love being reminded of my insignificance in the wake of mother nature! She rocks! (Literally, where you are!)

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    Replies
    1. I could live here about half the year...

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  10. That was a great hike but we never would have found the tripod rocks without you guys as our guides. And yes, we felt very small in those surroundings!

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    Replies
    1. Jim/Gayle, and I'm entrusting you to keep the knowledge of its whereabouts among those who will not destroy it...or pass it along to someone who might :)

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  11. Fabulous photographs, we love that area and can't wait to go back, thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Every year, baby...wouldn't miss it :)

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  12. From John Q...edited and reposted by BCB author:
    Jim, Gayle, Deb or Boonie didn't want to lay under the tri-pod for a picture? What a fun hike, wish I was with you guys.
    John Q

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    Replies
    1. We wish you were here too...maybe someday.

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