Page, AZ – Zion National Park, UT
One of those older gents with many stories found us the night prior and somehow finagled us into a breakfast (finagle meaning I’m consistently filled with guilt and worried that people are lonely, thus we had to go).
He drove us through Page, AZ and gave us the grand tour. It took 30 minutes. He brought us to a diner that was genuinely delicious with superb coffee. He gave us postcards. He offered us housing if we ever visit again. He told us everything to do within 50 miles, ranging from the spectacular (Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell) to the spectacularly dull (the dam parking lot and new McDonald’s). The whole thing lasted roughly four hours and we hit the road with great fervor.
Zion is instantly stunning, much like Yosemite. The cliffs are endlessly multi-faceted, multi-colored, grand. The religious naming comes as no surprise, Zion is a spiritual experience.
Sometimes I try and see all of something. Ultimately an act of futility, I pick a snapshot of something — a square inch of a panorama, a patch of bark on a tree, a scab of lichen on a rock — and stare at it for as long as possible. Sometimes this lasts a few minutes, sometimes an hour. Often, I walk away feeling like I’ve seen more than I’ve seen in weeks of walking through streets and halls and databases. Often I feel more intimate with what I looked at, like I know it better than most, though incompletely.
Zion is one of those things where if you pick one direction, one vista, one square inch of rock, you still can’t really see it all. The beauty has too much depth for me to see. It’s sort of tragic, but ultimately magical. Zion is proof of magic.
This sensation rolls in as soon as you roll past the park entrance.
We stopped and stared then walked and stared then stayed and stared (the Canyon Overlook Trail is a shorty with a biggy view at the end, do recommend).
We camped outside the park, in the mud, and slept well. The crowds were only beginning to amass for the holiday weekend, so our fear was relatively subdued and our excitement swelled, for now.