Come to Zion, come to Zion,
And within her walls rejoice.
This was the most amazing day. There are no words for the breathtaking vistas, views, canyons, rock formations, and arches in Zion National Park. I took about 200 pictures today, and they are all perfect, even the ones taken from the car window. I couldn't stop shooting.
We stayed at Zion Lodge, which is the only non-camping accommodations inside the park itself. It was dark when we checked in, so imagine my gasp when I opened the blinds this morning to see this:
We had breakfast in the main lodge's restaurant, then started out our day at the Visitor's Center. What this actually means is, Ed and the girls gathered maps and information, and read the stuff in the Visitor's Center while I hit the gift shop, and made some savvy purchases. A sun hat for Poppy, a monocular, a stack of postcards, National Parks DVD set, and three of these thermometer/compass keychains for the girls.
Best purchases ever, by the way. The girls checked our direction and temperature all day, and just loved their souvenirs.
By now it was late morning so we headed to our first hike: Canyon Overlook. Up the switchbacks, through the Mt. Carmel tunnel, and up the trailhead we went.
Now something to know about our girls is that they love rocks. They love to collect them, throw them, and most of all climb them. They are basically never happier than when climbing on big rocks. Luckily we were able to do a ton of bouldering today.
Tilley hat for Ed.
We threw rocks for a long time, but eventually made our way back to the car, with lots and lots of rock climbing on the way. I had to decide early in the day to not care what happened to their clothes.
This should have been the most exhausting day for me, too, on my feet hiking almost all day without much down time. I found it strange that I was actually not as tired at 10 p.m. as I have been other days, and this was the first day in five or so that I haven't had a headache. All day as I soaked in the views, I thought, being here is good for the soul. I think it's been good for everything.
No surprise bag, not a travel day
High Point: Hazel & Ginger - everything. Poppy - rock climbing. Ed - Canyon Overlook hike. Kari - Riverwalk hike.
Low Point: When we thought we'd lost Poppy. We were on our way back on the Riverwalk, and Ed was rock climbing with the big girls. I thought Poppy was with him on the other side, but he came around and asked where she was. We looked all around, then up and down the trail in both directions, calling her name. I ran along the trail and found her, around a bend, walking precariously along a stone wall, teetering with a 12-foot drop behind her, and smiling at me. Luckily she lost her balance in favor of the trail, and I scooped her up and rocked her until my heart slowed down. The look on my face had scared her, so she started to cry, and we just rocked and rocked.