Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zion National Park


Blog writing has taken a backseat to all the fun Betsy and I have been having with my mom, dad, and sister.  We were elated when my sister said she would come join us for hiking and sightseeing in the red rock world that is this part of Utah.  Zion NP was her bucket list of places to see and it worked out great that she could break away from her family and play with us.  And then my parents accepted the invitation to come and join the three of us.  Yea!
Mom, Dad, Lora, me, and Betsy
The Zion Canyon region of Utah is remarkable.  The stagnant red rocks and gray cliffs look docile but the ecosystem is dynamic and constantly being worked by the meager-looking Virgin River which can blow a mighty punch.  It is the Virgin River which gives life to this Utah desert.  The landscape is alive with green pinyon and juniper trees that dot the landscape and the expansive azure sky warms the soul.  As the sun moves across the sky, the rock faces and outcroppings take on a different look.  Warm sunrises and sunsets illuminate the rocks and provide a glow that has drawn many tourists to this area for over a hundred years.   

The Virgin River lazily meandering through the canyon.  
The view from our RV park.  The following picture was taken a half hour later as the sun was setting.

Zion means “promised land” and for thousands of years, man has inhabited this hostile land.  The Ancestral Puebloans, Southern Paiute people, and Mormon pioneers came to the region and farmed the land on high plateaus and river terraces.  Life was harsh with frequent flash floods, inclement weather, and little rainfall. 

 Mukuntuweap was the first name given to the park when it was established as a National Monument in 1909.  The fledgling monument received little visitation as it was virtually inaccessible.  An improved highway and an expanded rail line by Union Pacific dramatically improved access.   By the summer of 1917, touring cars were able to reach Wylie Camp, a tent camping resort that comprised the first visitor lodging in Zion Canyon.  In 1919, a Congress designated Zion as a National Park thus increasing the parks status and draw for visitors.  Later, a rustic lodge and improved roads lured more and more visitors.  Today, Zion NP is one of the top ten visited National Parks in the country and it is easy to see why.  



















3 comments:

  1. Great photo of you guys with the family! Zion is a special place, I along with two girlfriends did lots of hiking there in late April this year. Couldn't hike to the Narrows as the river was running too fast. Enjoy your time there.

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  2. So great to see most of the Walters gang together! Everyone looks great!

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  3. Great pictures! We had so much fun too! We are going to go back really soon also.Thanks for letting us be part of your family for the weekend.

    Zion National Park RV Camping

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