Friday, August 28, 2009

That's Cold!

Friday dawned bright and early for us cross-country travelers.

zion, 8.09

With a projected temperature of 109 degrees it was looking like it was going to be a hot one. Lucky for us we were planning on hiking up the Virgin River in Zion more commonly known as "The Narrows". Water temperature, mid sixties. The river itself meanders for approximately 16 miles and cuts through Navajo sandstone canyon walls up to 2000 feet high. The Virgin River contains the tallest cliffs of the narrowest canyon found anywhere in the world. Though a strenuous walk the only real danger is the possibility of flash floods. If a wall of water should come down the river there is no place to escape. But with a forecast of hot and sunny, flash floods were of no concern of ours.

Zion allows very little car traffic in the park itself so we boarded the bus and headed for the Temple of Sinawawa.

zion, 8.09

After getting off the bus we then had a one mile hike on the Riverside Walk.

zion, 8.09

"The paved River walk trail winds along the cliff wall for 1 mile, and leads through marshes, hanging gardens and numerous springs before it ends abruptly at a point where the river spans from one cliff wall to the other. From here it is either get wet or go home."

We decided to get wet.

dave, virgin river narrows, zion, 8.09

It looks like Dave almost got wetter than he had planned on.

dave, virgin river narrows, zion, 8.09

I learned from Dave's good example and was extra careful with my river crossings. That water is cold!

carrie, virgin river narrows, 8.09


dave, virgin river narroows, zion, 8.09

There are three important things we had learned from hiking the Narrows a few years ago. Despite a cloudless sky, very little of that sunlight reaches the canyon floor. It may be 109 but it is nowhere near that warm down in the canyon. Long sleeves are welcome. Second, good shoes are a must. Third, walking sticks make hiking the river much easier. Some use fancy hiking poles and some like us use sticks that have been left for use by previous hikers.

dave, virgin river narrows, zion, 8.09

We slowly made our way up the river. And I do mean slow. It is slow going for us. The rocks are slippery and the current is quite fast in some places.

dave, virgin river narrows, zion, 8.09

Time for a break.

dave, virgin river narrows, zion, 8.09

to be continued...

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