Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5/3 Zion National Park

I have been here a couple of times before, but still can't resist coming back here and taking more photos.  The scenery is incredible because the campground is right next to the river that forms this canyon, with the high red sandstone canyon walls looming over on both sides.  Other benefits that make this an easy place to return to is that the campground is within walking distance to the visitor center and the extensive shuttle service that goes both up the canyon and down towards Springdale, the small town on the other side of the river.  In other words, it is an easy place to park and not have to drive anyplace.  And finally, it is cheap because I get the senior rate at this federal facility! 

Hard to tell from this photo, but this is a huge campsite that backs up to the Virgin River that forms the canyon.  There is a paved raised sidewalk about 80' behind my site that goes directly to the visitor center, which is nice.

This picture was taken from the paved sidewalk behind my site.  Beautiful view in every direction!

This time I am here for a whole week.  It is a good place to continue resting my back and getting some things done.  And, as a matter of fact, I spent most of yesterday on computer maintenance.  My old reliable computer slid and got its screen damaged a few weeks ago, but it seemed to be working fine. However, a couple of days ago, the bottom of the screen started to flash and vibrate, so I got out my backup laptop that I had not used for a couple of years and spent about 12 hours yesterday downloading updates and then updating it from Windows 8.0 to 8.1.  It is a very slow computer, so I was up until 2:30 am staring at the screen, waiting for the updates to install. 

So this morning, after sleeping in, I headed out to the visitor center, shown below.  

Nice shuttles!  This is the one that goes up the canyon. They run about every five minutes.

More photos of the valley.

 I walked about a quarter of a mile to Weeping Rock.  It is an easy walk and I am still careful of my back.  Water flows down through layers of sandstone until it hits a layer it can't seep through, so it flows out through cracks and creates a dripping and damp area. 

 A couple of mossy plants growing along the inside of the cliff area at the seep.

The white thing in this photo is a sleeping bag and maybe a tent hanging from ropes.  Up at the top of this photo, you can see the climber who owns this stuff. Looks like a lot of work to find a camping place, to me.

At the end of the valley, the canyon narrows and you can walk for a mile on a paved trail along the river into what is called "The Narrows."  Some day I'd like to walk through the river beyond the place where the path ends, but it has been rainy lately so the river has too much water in it and it is not very clear, so you would not be able to see where to walk.  Last time I was here it was September so the river was more shallow and clearer. 

The mule deer are very tame, and if I had wanted to, I could probably have reached out and touched this one.  Now, is this deer pregnant or what????

This is one of the rock squirrels in Zion.  They are about the size of an Eastern Grey Squirrel, but have different coloring.  Not only are they friendly, they are positively brazen and will climb on you if they think you have food.  They also bite, so the advice to please not feed the wildlife is good advice here. 

And some wildflowers.

It always amazes me how blue the sky is when it is not full of pollution.

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