The Quintessential Zion Experience

This blog post has a great title because it includes rarely used letters like qand z. Anyway, I just returned from a trip to Zion, Bryce Canyon and Death Valley National Parks. One night in Bryce Canyon the water in my water bottle turned to a solid chunk of ice and in Death Valley the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. So I experienced a cold night and extreme heat.

In Zion National Park I tried some canyoneering in the Narrows which was the highlight of my trip. First I had to rent a drysuit, neoprene socks, canyoneering boots and a thick wooden pole. I thought the water would be really cold, and I wouldn’t last long, but I was determined to give it a try. The equipment allowed me to wade up the canyon with my camera pack and tripod.

In the Virgin River I had to negotiate my way through the occasional deep pool, over and around large boulders and make crossings in a fast current. The last thing I wanted to do was fall over with my expensive camera and lenses. After three hours I reached the Narrows where it was only about ten feet across and the sandstone walls of the canyon towered a 1000 feet above me.

You have to be very careful when you go into the canyon because there is the danger of flash floods. If the flow of water is more than 150 cubic feet per second the national park will shut down the Narrows. You can’t outrun a flash flood. I had three days of sunny weather with no chance of precipitation and it was reassuring to see nothing but blue sky above me. I became quite comfortable standing in the current with my tripod and taking images of this beautiful canyon. You can see some of my photos in a new portfolio I created on my website.

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