Today we return to Zion for our second day of exploring.
We drove the 35 minute trip from our RV park to the park entrance. We parked our car in the Visitor Center parking lot and caught the free shuttle. We got off at the Lodge drop off spot which is about 1/2 way up the canyon. We found great seating in front of the Lodge and ate our sack lunches. View of the front entrance to the Lodge. Can you recognize the person seated furthest to the left? This is where we ate our lunch. Pretty nice for an outdoor lunch!
After lunch it is time to get some exercise and do some sight-seeing. We choose the Emerald Pools Trail.As we start our hike at the base of the creek, Diane's eye spies these flowers!! She just can not walk by flowers.
As our trail takes us higher the views of the Virgin River get better.
Sego Lily, Utah's state flower. Diane said it was blurry because I was getting frustrated with her taking so many pictures.
A break in the trees lining this part of the trail gives you the upward views we see as we continue our hike. The path to the Lower pool is paved.
Not too shabby for an amateur hiker.
As we round a corner we hear water dripping from above.
If you look close, you can barely make out the water hitting the rock on the right side of where Diane is standing and then falling into the pond below. This is the Lower Pool. Not too much water in it at this time.
Again, you can just make out this small, fine, waterfall coming down from above the cliff face. The snow is just starting to melt, so the waterfall may get better in a few days.
We walk under the overhang through this damp area to the other side. The spray feels good because the temperatures were in high 80's to low 90's.
Can you make out the water droplets hitting the rock with the yellow and green moss?
From the other side of the overhang we look back at the small waterfall dribbling over the outcropping.Higher up we come across the Middle Pool that is feeding the waterfall we walked under a few minutes earlier. The path from the Lower Pool to the middle Pool is sandy and not paved.
Now comes the tough part. The well maintained trail we had been on turns into a much rougher hike. Diane had to stop every 10 to 15 seconds to catch her breath. Her fibromyalgia really affects her breathing in extreme conditions.
Lizards block our way at every turn, but we move on un dangered.
Some might be afraid to walk past this sentinel guarding this trail, but not us!
Diane looks this monster in the eye and passes by cautiously.
But seriously, Diane has been trying to get a shot of his beautiful blue belly.
Safely past the sentinels; we continue our climb, and look down upon the valley below.
After another 1/2 hour arduous climb we come across a community of colorfully dressed natives frolicking along side this beautiful emerald pool, The Upper Pool. We have reached the end of our journey. This place was very refreshing and cool away from the sun.
From this high cliff, another small dribbling waterfall feeds this pool high up in the mountain.
Diane said it took 3 pictures to show you the falls from top to bottom.
Diane is surprised to see this women who had carried this 2 to 3 week old infant, all the way up the trail in a front baby pack carrier.
Diane took this picture because this was the scariest part of the trail so far. Straight drop off where you have to climb down to get to the Upper Pool. This girl is casually walking down the stair path.
At last, I call to Diane that it is time to make our way back down the mountain, before (Miller Time) it gets dark. She asked me to stand where the girl had just walked down from, a minute ago. This is good enough!
Unfortunately Diane has discovered a recently undiscovered flower!
I pretend to see the sun setting and urge Diane to come along as we back-track through the Middle Pool.
Middle Pool drop off.
Looking down, I remind Diane we have a long way to go and a short time to get there.
The path is flat but it drops off sharply and there is no vegetation to catch a fall. A look back at the Middle Pool ledge. On our way down we continue the trail loop.
I can see the Virgin River below, and it encourages me to press on.
Unfortunately, Diane has found some specimens to document.
With my encouragement we continue to make headway to the waters below.
Diane captures my serious commitment to reach the safety of the valley before darkness (and Miller Time) fall upon us.I can just barely make out the encampment (Park Lodge) from where we began this expedition.
Diane and I walk single file away from the edge, hugging the canyon wall. Soon two young twenty year old's walk passed us, side by side like they are walking on a normal sidewalk. Then a couple with young children asked us to take their picture as all four of them stood with their backs to the cliff. Somebody is crazy and I don't think it is us.
When we first started this hike, you could take it up to the right or to the left. As we ponder which direction to go, some stangers told us the trail to the right was easier, going up. With the sheer drop off's at the end of the trail, I don't think we would have gone much farther, thinking it just would get worse. But we have to continue to get back down now.
This part of the trail needs some repair. I see the bridge which spans the river below and is our only means of reaching safety to our car on the other side. If only we could make it before darkness falls.
As we trudge on, Diane receives a phone call from her daughter, Alisha, and sits down on the trail, with her back up against the wall to talk. (Wait a minute, we are suppose to be far away from civilization?). A passer-by on this part of the trail is amazed to see Diane talking on her phone way up here. He quickly whips out his phone only to quietly curse under his breath that he doesn't have any bars.
We continue our decent keeping the life saving bridge in view.
Unfortunately, oh you know the rest of the story. She say's these are pink and the last one's were yellow.And of course she has to get a close up!
She say's she likes the orange with the red earth.
I am learning patience's!
And more patience's
Yes we finally made it down to the river just before darkness fell.
On our drive home to the Nest we pass the beautiful Quail Creek State Park.
There is a small RV park along the shore that has a few camping sites. Diane wanted to come here and bring Mallery, and go swimming but it cost $8 for a day pass. Camping for a 35 foot or less RV is $13 a day. Give me a break!