Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the land of milk and honey

We met up yesterday in Salt Lake City for our eclipse road trip. I managed to catch drinks with Joyce and Nate after a show and then today, we headed south to Zion. 
Chris and I were last here ten years ago. For Denise it was longer, on a bike tour. Adam was still little, so he's getting to experience it for the first time as an adult. 
The slot canyons are jaw dropping. 

We went on a short but challenging walk to an overlook. You can see the natural arch forming. The sandstone erosion is caused by rivers, winding their way through the desert canyons. 

We dubbed these stacks the beehives. (Utah is the beehive state. To Mormons, beehives represent cooperation and industry of honeybees.)
After dinner we listened to a talk by Ranger Brian on endangered species: tiny desert tortoises and Mexican spotted owls and bighorn sheep, which are on the rebound and which we saw. He ended by talking about conservation especially the national monuments under attack thanks to a Department of Interior review. These include Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Escalante Staircase, and Bears Ears. 

We could see the Milky Way walking back to the car. Unfortunately all the pie shops were closed. Looking forward to a lot of great hiking tomorrow.