On the heels of a precipitous, quad burning pilgrimage to lay hands on the alter of the East Temple, yesterday found the Gang slogging up and down a seemingly endless series of deep sand knolls—sand so fine that the next step in its evolutionary destiny is to become dust—a sand as fine as the air we breath, so fine that it filled our shoes and penetrated tightly woven socks. It's one discouraging matter to find it necessary to stop and pour sand from one's shoes, a more disheartening matter entirely to pour sand from one's socks. Searching for inspiration to endure, Suzanne and I invoked scripture. Finding legs no less on fire, I made the leap from Jesus to Zig Ziglar, "What you get by achieving your goal is not as important as what you become by achieving your goal." Sometimes Mother Nature requires us to labor and toil in order to indulge her best kept secrets. What did you think, She was just going to serve them all up at a roadside turnout? Look what happened the the Grand Canyon. Is that what you want Grasshopper?
There were reports of some pretty big gusts from the RV boondock camp down the road yesterday morning. Suzane had to pull in her slide, and door mats were swept away to the Big Abyss, while scarcely four miles east at the Five Star Luxury RV Resort, a guy could both spit and pee into into the wind and get nary a sprinkle on his Crocks. The closer one camps to Hurricane, the closer one gets to hurricanes.
Most of you know by now that I have a puppy love crush on Nature's "fire and brimstone" country in and around Zion National Park. Whether it's the stark color contrast of red on white against blue or the vivid eagle-eye focus dry air and elevation lends to this particular region, my "cup" runneth over but as yet, is never full. It sets my spirit free; it soars as I wander great heights and depths awash with the outlandish strokes of a frenetic artist.
Discretion is the better part of valor when your single track turns into a shortcut to heaven (or the other place). Dismounting is an integral part of mountain biking, knowing when and where can be the difference between living to ride another day or taking a year off to heal.
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 :))
It was a cold, dark day in a canyon that knows how to keep its secrets. . . . But from the confines of an antique Lazy Daze RV, one man tries to find answers to life's persistent questions... Guide Noir, Explorer Man.
It takes more than a cold, foreboding day to stymie hardy hikers. After an all night rain, we feared the clay gumbo around these parts might be too slick or sticky. But the soil was apparently thirsty enough to assimilate the moisture and was only lightly dampened, which aided traction, something we were going to need where we were headed.
The Rv Gang enjoyed a great group hike in the Chinle/Coal Pits portion of Zion yesterday; had it all to our lonesome selves. From left to right: Gayle, John, Ellen, Bobbie, Laurelee, Debbie, Suzanne, Jim (or at least half of him), and Lynne. I'm seldom in my photos, so you'll have to go to the individual Gang's blogs to see your's truly. Conspicuously AWOL is Boonie, who refuses to set foot in a National Park, even when assured that there will be no one else around.
Weather in canyons, over time, expose sedimentary layers formed long, long ago—thousands of millenniums—back when mankind was but a gleam in God's eye. Those colorful bands hold amazing stories to those who know how to speak and read Geology, which, unfortunately, I do not. But one doesn't need to know how things came about in order to appreciate their existence, any more than one needs to know the principles of internal combustion in order to drive a car. I may not be able to grasp the precise science—the geological "handwriting" on the walls, so to speak—of all the slot canyons we clamber through, but I do recognized and appreciate grace and grandeur when I see it, particularly when it's swirled with colors that dazzle the senses... grooved and smoothed and polished by Father Time into a work of art.
On the heels of a solo mountain bike ascent up The Flying Monkey, on a day when the mercury topped out over 80, I was ready for a casual day, maybe take a little stroll up one of Zion's nameless canyons and photograph some blushing maples. I'm seeing a lot of red lately—rocks, canyons, leaves. Nothing like Nature in a little red dress to get one excited. Off we go, rubber legs and all.