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Sunday, December 1, 2019

It Takes A Superabundance Of Photos To Wrap Up Zion

Saturday was Jello-set to be D-Day from Southwest Utah. I say "Jello" because after a record-breakimg 160 days without a drop of rain, the skies opened up and delivered record-breaking amounts of moisture...inches upon inches seldom seen in high deserts. With all that rain came cloudy, cooler than normal weather. And it just kept getting colder and colder and colder. 

Normally, this would be of no consequence. We'd just pack up, store the Rv, and head home to Lovely Ouray for our annual 45 day Christmas sabbatical to snowshoe in the mountains. But this year we were set to host a family Thanksgiving reunion in Springdale, and wouldn't you know it, major blizzards began rolling across the west...just in time to snarl the busiest travel week in the year. Utah was not spared, not even way down south in little ole Springdale, gateway to Zion. 

Suffice it to say, we awoke to several inches of sloppy wet snow on D-Day...the day we had to pack up to leave, the day we had to empty the fridge into our too small cooler, the day we had winterize the Rv, the day we had to get said Rv into storage, the day we needed to pound out 8 hours behind the wheel in order to get home. 

Surprisingly, we were on the road by 11 AM. Even better, the roads weren't too bad. We hung the cruise control on 84 mph and made it home in 7 hours. So here I sit in my recliner-by-the-hearth...putting off shoveling and plowing snow, writing this fall wrap-up post for you.

Let the extended slide show begin:  

A hike with Kelli and Caleb. Started out sunny...but turned nasty.

Nephew Darin and I chased "light" after a day of hiking Snow Canyon...

It's been several years since Bobbie and I braved Zion's main corridor. But with family there, we thought they needed to see  and do a few "interior" hikes.

Nephew Darin

Left to right: Bobbie, great niece Maia, great nephew Owen,  niece Anita,  Nephew Brent.

Left to right: Brent, Maia, Kelli, Bobbie, Owen, and my son Caleb.

A day of hiking in the cold and rain calls for a hearty meal at Oscars...home of the biggest burger you can't get your mouth around...

A cold windy day spent hiking in Snow Canyon...

Lava tubes

Caleb and Kelli, scrambling around on fossilized dunes like a couple of kids

Let's see what's down there...

Darin's wife, Tracey, and Caleb's wife, Kelli.

Kelli...balancing act :)

One cold day it cleared off enough for Caleb and Kelli to tackle Angel's Landing. Just a few days prior, a girl fell 1,000 feet and died on this climb. Needless to say, we told them to BE CAREFUL.
Angel's Landing
Kinda "airy"

Trail narrows toward the top. Doesn't bother Caleb (above) or Kelli (below)

From the top!

Our last hike was a cold, snowy, muddy trudge.

Afterwards, we all crammed into our Rv for a second Thanksgiving dinner.

That's a wrap on our Thanksgiving reunion. Missed my big Brother, Dan, and his wife, Elaine...along with assorted other great nephews and nieces. Love to all of you.
Peace out,
mark and bobbie...home for 45 days in Lovely Ouray!


  1. Hey Mark, great photos as always, sure looked cold to us though. One curiosity question, in that final group shot, it looks like the inside of Jim & Gayle's old (now yours) Lazy Daze, am I right? Glad you made it home ok through all that weather.

  2. Don't your knees get cold? Beautiful pictures, as always. There didn't seem to be that many people on Angel's Landing. Did the cold hold off other people from climbing it? It looked really cold. Good thing you're from Colorado.

    1. My knees and legs are cold blooded, I guess. It's my upper body I have to bundle up. I think the snow and ice paid a role in fewer numbers...but fewer numbers in a place like Zion is a relative statement. There were still long lines of cars at the entry stations in Springdale.
      Colorado Kid :)

  3. Mark I know the weather put a big damper on the family reunion but it made for some of the most BEAUTIFUL pictures of the year! Glad you went thru the main corridor and got all those great shots of the more familiar scenes which are just as beautiful and especially the "chasing the light" shots at the end.....outstanding work.

    Well we have 3 more storms lined up off the Pacific so I believe you will be busy with that shovel this December, better rest up :)
    From Sonoma County with Love to all


    1. Thanks Doug and Al. Aways appreciate you comments and that you let us know what your weather is doing :)


    2. I agree about the BEAUTIFUL photos and the "nasty" weather making those photos even more super-beautiful, great shots! And the family time together is the icing on the cake :)

  4. What a great way to get together with your family. Sure wish I could get mine together like that.

    1. Everyone sacrificed to make this happen...hours on the road, flying/driving, braving the weather. Love my family!

  5. Enjoyed the Zion photos.Glad to see you made it back to Ouray safely. Looks like you all made the best of the unpleasant weather. That Johnson crew is a tough bunch!

    1. thanks...
      And all the whining I did did not do a thing to improve the weather (sigh)

  6. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place! Makes me want to plan a return visit to Zion real soon.

    1. Thanks Linda...I'm enjoying your trip down into the Grand Canyon, waiting to see if you make it back out :)


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