Day three – River Walks and Rainbows

In The Narrows, Zion National Park

By Bev

Carl was up so very late editing pictures last night that we slept in until the ungodly hour of 8:00 a.m. What a blessing. We had several early mornings in a row, not to mention miles of hiking and driving (well, it was just Carl doing the driving, I probably logged a few more miles hiking however). Although the sunrise opportunities weren’t going to happen today, we knew we wanted to go out and get a good feel for the layout of Zion Park. I made some chicken sandwiches from the last of the roasted chicken I had brought with us so we wouldn’t have to take a lunch stop and after a quick Latte, banana and protein bar, we were on our way. Oh, well, except for that whole loading the Rover thing….it is getting a bit easier every day. Zion Park has a wonderful shuttle bus system that significantly reduces traffic and dangerous emissions. In fact, you can’t actually drive to any of the main attraction sites, but rather you pick up a shuttle bus at any of multiple locations and they come around every 6-7 minutes.

The Narrows, Zion National Park

We had been given a tip to definitely go up The Narrows at Zion which we also knew would require hiking up the river. As many of you already know, Carl is particularly careful (as he should be) with his Camera equipment. That is one of the main reasons we unload everything out of the vehicle each time we stop. So, I knew this hiking up river would not necessarily be top of his list in terms of activities since he would be carrying EXTREMELY expensive equipment up river. However, we also thought there could be a fantastic opportunity for some great pictures. So, away we went.

The Narrows, Zion National Park

I make that sound so easy, but frankly, it’s not. We must first open up 6 different bags of camera equipment to determine what we should bring with us. Then we have to decide what equipment Carl will carry and what overflow will be put into my backpack (along with nuts, 4 bottles of water, my purse, sunscreen, etc.). Next comes the layer of sunscreen – faces, necks and ears and then double checking all the locks to be sure the vehicle is secure. NOW we are ready.

A father and daughter cooling off in The Narrows, Zion National Park

We head to the visitors center, grab a map and jump on the next shuttle bus to The Narrows. The hike to the river is about a mile and then the path ends and you must then enter the river to continue the hike. We were well prepared for river trekking and walked right in and headed upstream. The current wasn’t particularly strong but there sure were a lot of people with the same idea we had. As we made our way up river we came across one area that was significantly deeper than we had encountered so far. Deep enough to reach that spot that causes a very sharp intake of breath (just for me since Carl is much taller). I imagine the water was around 55 degrees or so. Brrrrrrrrrr.
After about 30 minutes of wading and plodding Carl suddenly remembers that my purse is in my backpack and in my purse are both iphones and our passports. Carl pointed out that this was likely the riskiest, most dangerous thing we had every undertaken. Beyond the expensive equipment he’s lugging up river I think this thought was just enough to send him over the edge of risk aversion and we decided it was time to head back. Water and electronics is a bad combination. I did, however, remind him that this is Carl and Bev’s Great Adventures, not Carl and Bev’s tiny adventures….
Nonetheless, it was an incredible adventure and I wouldn’t have chosen another way to spend our day at Zion. It was back to the car and after a couple of chicken sandwiches; we were off to Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon - Photo © Carl Amoth

We made it to Bryce long before sunset, but it is important to note that you have to get to sunset LONG before sunset, particularly if clouds are rolling in and threatening to change the entire landscape. Let’s just say I found this out the hard way and was strongly encouraged to quickly devour a bowl of chili for dinner so that we could get to the canyon in time.

It is a good thing we did since the very moment we arrived a rainbow appeared over the canyon and then a SECOND rainbow appeared next to it. It was a unique sunset and all the more dramatically changed because of the clouds that rolled in. That is the absolute beauty of photography; it is the unexpected that often provides the greatest opportunity for an enlightened experience. Ahhhhhh…..
(I’m still bitter about the chili dinner though…..)

Double rainbows - Bryce Canyon - Photo © Carl Amoth

Tomorrow – Sunrise at Bryce…

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