I’ve Been To Zion
Posted by Nancy on June 18, 2008
Of all the interesting and beautiful things we saw on our trip to Utah, Zion National Park stands out as the most spectacular. We were fortunate enough to see it from ground level as well as from the top of te mesa on the day of the funeral.
Speaking of the funeral, you know the guy had a life-long reputation for being a serious pain when his brother said at his funeral, “Everyone has to be good at something, and Wally was one of the finest troublemakers Hurricane has ever seen.” That was encored by the mortuary director naming all the pall bearers, then adding, “The honorary pall bearers will be the Washington County SWAT team.”
But I digress from the topic at hand – the park.
I can’t remember all the particulars of the geology, but Lolly’s dad explained how this section of Utah is where the Hurricane Fault (bigger than the San Andreas), the Colorado Plateau, and the Great Basin (I think I have this right) all meet, and the topography is wildly different just by looking off in different directions. He said the locals have an explanation of why there is desert, mesas, sheer cliffs, etc. so close together, and that is: when God was finished creating the world he had lots of left over stuff stuck to his hands, so He just shook it all off in this area. Sounds as good as anything to me.
Geology students come from far and wide to study the area. I learned a lot while I was there, like how rivers create big gorges by eroding outwards through soft underlayment rock and then the rock above shears off vertically due to lack of support. This would explain the Grand Canyon, which is only a few hour drive from Hurricane, as well as parts of Zion National Park that have been carved out by the Virgin River.
I brought books home for some grandkids explaining some of the forces that created the park area, and maybe I will read them before I pass them on.
About 1930 a local boy and a visiting Methodist minister decided the formations should have names, so they went through the park naming them. The photo above is the back of one called “The Great White Throne.” Unfortunately, my batteries died when I tried to get the other side of it.
I also didn’t get “Angels’ Landing,” which may be the one you see on commercials with people standing on top of a narrow mountain precipice. The guide said the walk out the last part of it, a horizontal path with sheer drops on both sides, is only about four feet wide.
No way. We saw people walking back and forth up there though – teeny, tiny people about 1,000 feet up. Teeny, tiny crazy people.
Below is “Brigham’s Wives.” It is called that because it looks like women standing there with their long dresses, or so they say. It is outside the park. Lolly’s dad commented that poor Brigham did have some mighty homely wives. Yeah, but he also had those others…
The last evening there we rode about eight miles out into the desert to see the dinosaur tracks. They were discovered about 1980, and there are over a dozen of them from two kinds of dinosaurs. I included feet in the photo to give some idea of size.
We flew in and out of Las Vegas and didn’t even drive down the strip to see what it looked like. Neither of us cared – we had better things to look at.