Utah 2010 Trip

Saturday, October 16


Sometimes the old standbys work. Today was one of those days. We shot sunrise in the area behind the old Visitor Center as the West Temple and Altar of Sacrifice were lit by the rising sun. There were scattered clouds in the east, so the sun had to find its way between the clouds. It wasn't a sunrise where the sunlight slowly worked its way up the walls of Zion canyon. Instead, the sun would find an avenue between the clouds and paint the sandstone with warm light for a few minutes until it was interrupted by the clouds again. Sunrise was a series of glimpses of what it could be.

Towers of the Virgin

After sunrise, we drove to the new Visitor Center to sponsor another bighorn sheep. Last year we adopted "Crash" and "Ronan." Crash was my bighorn. Carol adopted Ronan, who was named after her nephew. This year, we adopted Frank Abbott, which was named after one of our favorite people. The real Frank Abbott celebrated his 90th birthday while we were on vacation, so we thought it was appropriate to adopt a bighorn in Frank's name.

The sky up Zion canyon began to clear, so we decided to catch the shuttle and see what we could shoot in the main Zion canyon. The first stop was the Court of the Patriarchs. We've always enjoyed this area. The Virgin River flows slowly through an "S" curve that reflects the canyon wall. We each only carried one lens because we were taking the shuttle, and that limited some of the shots. After shooting along the river, we crossed the bridge and walked up the Sand Bench trail. This was a new area for us and led us up on a ridge that provided a whole new view of The Patriarchs.

Court of the Patriarchs

The Pulpit Our final stop was Temple of Sinawava. Shuttles rolled up and the area turned into a zoo. Most of the riders headed up the trail toward the Narrows. We walked in the opposite direction to shoot The Pulpit along the Virgin River. The challenge was that we were shooting at an angle back towards the sun. The bright sun helped to make The Pulpit stand out from the canyon walls and added depth. There was no sign of any of the leaves changing, but it's still a great area.

We caught the shuttle back to the Visitor Center and just sat back and relaxed. By the time we returned to the Visitor Center, every parking place in the park was taken. Every parking place in Springdale was taken. It was crazy. We escaped Springdale and returned to our campsite at the Zion River Resort.

We drove in to Hurricane for lunch, I was hoping we might be able to find a place to watch the Nebraska game. No such luck, but we had a great lunch and didn't have to watch Nebraska get beat. They certainly picked the wrong game to have four dropped passes that would have been touchdowns.

We returned to camp, got cleaned up, and started packing everything up to be ready to leave early tomorrow morning. The crowds in Zion and the impending storms were too much.