After getting down from Fine Jade, we packed up our stuff and headed into Moab for a tasty salmon burger before we hit the road towards Zion. I know, seafood in the desert ain't the brightest idea- at least it wasn't sushi! Jen took the long haul trucker shift and almost got us there that night but we decided to crash out somewhere north of Cedar City up a dirt road that probably would be an ideal site for a Unabomber type shack.
Once we got to Zion we were blown away. The colors are going off right now; the maples are popping out in greens, yellows, oranges and reds. I had previously been excited about jumping on one of Zion's classic moderate wall routes and doing some longer free climbs, but after so many days of punishing enduro climbing, a little bit of R&R sounded a whole lots more enticing. We did a little bit of climbing, getting in a route called the Headache which is 3 pitches of near perfect hands- a really nice way to finish off a nice long climbing trip, but mainly we just hung out by the river, and drank lots of coffee during long lazy mornings.
The coolest thing we did by far was definitely walking up the Narrows from the Temple of Sinewava. The Virgin River cuts a massive gorge through the soft sandstone, creating a narrow chasm that funnels the rivers- the Narrows hike takes you up into the maw of this gorge. Maybe 75% of the hike is in the water, and with a temperature of 46 degrees, it might be worth renting a pair of neoprene booties and wetsuit bottoms if you go. We didn't, but then again, we are very, very hardcore.
|This guy was just out for a stroll too!|
All good things must come to an end at some point though, so we said so long to Zion and headed back home via Death Valley and the Saline Valley hotsprings, an idyllic hippie oasis which takes a good amount of motivation to get to, but is a great place to unwind after a long road trip.
|Yep. That's the kiddie pool.|
|Inyos in the background, palm trees, and lying on the grass- pretty much what everyone thinks of when they hear Death Valley.|
|That's right, a Koi Pond too.|
|And it's still Nevada, so if you want to drink beer and sit on the hood, that's cool.|
Stoked to have had such a great trip and climbed so much rock during the last month and a half, but am looking forward to seeing the snow start to pile up out front.