It took a while for introductions. BCB reader/friend John Q and wife Joallen (fifth and sixth from the right) met up with the RV Gang for a couple of hikes this past weekend, trading the snow/cold of Indianapolis for sun and fun in Zion. Like ankles in nursing homes, our ranks have swollen—might there be van in our future? I don't think so, as a few members will be chased south soon by a forecast that calls for mostly sunny skies and daytime temps dropping into the low 60's. That's ok…more sun for us :))
Bobbie and I decided to share the colorful Many Pools Canyon on this hike; most of the good stuff was readily accessible and a few crimson leaves still clung to Maples when we were last there…a tease for the photographers.
A mile or so in, a many pooled slot begins to form in the soft sandstone.
We have a curious gang, they want to see what's around the next corner, over the next boulder. It involved some climbing and bushwhacking and pushing beyond comfort zones…demonstrated below by Little Adventurer Jim.
We took a lunch break in a large expanse of banded sandstone, ogling and chewing and chatting about having this Zion treasure all to ourselves.
On the way back to the car we intersected another narrow wash; the gang was irretrievably seduced and off they went. We geezers are but putty in the hands of fate—it will do what it does and we will either suffer or cheer the consequences.
Our mini slot glowed pink with reflected light, bouncing off sunlit walls that tower overhead.
John Q stumbled across a smaller "feeder" wash; it drew him in. We followed along—sheeple-like.
It narrowed quickly. Walls rose up, vegetation closed in—we were swallowed up in dapples of sunlight filtered through a million autumn leaves.
Then our Walden woods turned serious. We were confronted with one of the narrowest slots I've ever encountered…its access guarded by a loose and rickety "stairway to heaven."
Curiosity, like love, is a double edged sword—it cuts both ways. Nature challenged, but our team rose up…improvising with helping arms and stacked step stones. We made our way into the dark.
It is black as a half-moon night…only a slit of sky above walls that all but close overhead.
At an impasse, Bobbie clamored up the rock face to look for a route around and through. It proved too dangerous, so she was helped back down by John Q.
Though defeated, we were elated to have found, quite by chance, another treasure and had it to ourselves. Collectively, we surmised that there must be a thousand such places in Zion, and that we've only scratched the surface of finding them...in the middle of a National Park, no less.