One of the first really cool places that I got to see when I was out west a few weeks ago was Zion National Park. My gracious hosts, Eric and Lu, were kind enough to cart me up there for a day.
Zion, for those of you who've never been, is a canyon surrounded by steep sandstone cliffs that just can't help but be awesome.
This one is known as "The Sentinel".
They've got cactus, too. Me being from back east, I was fascinated and immediately got stuck by this one because I just had to touch it and see if they were really sharp. (It was.) And this one is flowering. Isn't that special?
These three comprise "The Court of the Patriarchs", and they're named for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob respectively left to right. And yeah, it was the Mormons who came through and named most of this stuff. Utah, remember?
Even the parking lots have fantastic views in Zion.
And here's the Virgin River that runs down the middle of the canyon. The water is so clear that it looks like it's not even there.
The scrub pine at the base of the cliff give some idea as to the scale of the cliffs. Those are full-sized pine trees there.
"Hey look--a lizard!" Eric and Lu got a chuckle out of my excitement at seeing one, but it's not like we have these things running around West Virginia.
One of the shots I took when we were hiking the trails.
Here's another lizard. Cool, eh?
More cliffs and cactus. It was a hot day, but no humidity so it was kinda neat.
One of the trails that wound around the cliffs.
That Virgin River again.
Some of the trees down at Angels Landing. We had this sopt to ourselves because no one else seemed to want to get off the crowded buses here and hike down to the river.
The water was so inviting that I just had to follow Lu's example and wade in to cool my feet foot.
Temple of sinawava. This is as far as the buses take you. You can walk up a trail another mile from the bus stop to get to here, and if you're adventurous and properly equipped, you can head further up the river to some serious trails that we sadly had neither the time nor the gear for.
They got deer here, too.
At least two deer.
We only spent a day there but it was a fantastic day and I'd reccomend it to anyone who finds themselves in the area as the hiking is easy and the scenery is spectacular.