Monday, June 1, 2009

Southwest Trip--Day 5

We woke to another amazing day in Springdale: cloudless skies, mid-80's and a nice breeze. Breakfast at Oscar's was first on the agenda and then it was time to get our day on.

Since Tuesday, the super steep hill that I believe the locals call Cry-Baby Hill had been taunting me. Mocking me. Calling me. I decided that I'd ride up it for no other reason than to give a proverbial bitch-slap to this geologic aberration. With no granny gear, the climb was tough, but invigorating at the same time. It took me less time than I had anticipated to make the climb, but once to the top, I took another trail that lead me out to the end of the mesa to I could look out to see where I started from. If you see a tiny white dot in the distance, that's Jean in the Rav4 patiently waiting as I battle inanimate land formations. Needless to say, the ride back down was brief.

After a quick shower, Jean and I made our way back to ZNP for hiking and photographic pursuits.

With no major hikes on the agenda, we took the shuttle to the end of the park (Temple of Sinawava), hiked in to the beginning of The Narrows, and then hiked back on side trails along the Virgin River. The lighting was tough for amateur shutterbugs so it was mostly an exercise in overexposed pixels. We'll eventually learn!

After another visit to the lodge, and more fluids, were made our way back to town and back to the B&B. It seems like it's becoming tradition to catch an X-Men movie while on vacation as well, so we turned our brains off to watch Wolverine. I also got to try a local Zion Brewing Company beverage--the Polygamy Porter (with tag lines that say, "You can have just one," and "take some home to the wives." Once back at the B&B, we did a little packing/organizing to prepare for our eminent departure and took some time to try out some star photography. I should note that when I went out to get the camera (after having it out for about a 30-minute exposure), I thought I was going to die.

Here's the scene. Pitch black night, me walking in an unfamiliar yard with eyes still unadjusted for the darkness. I'm unstrapping the camera from the fencxe that I had it set on when something large--knee height--and hairy, brushes against my leg. My mind screamed "what the F--- was that?!?!" Fortunately, I didn't squeal out loud. It was only Dexter, one of our host's dogs coming by to say "hi," but for a split second I had no idea what it was--mountain lion or skunk of unusual size...

When my heart rate settled back down to double digits, I was finally able to fall asleep. The next day, our B&B hosts got much delight from this encounter.

No comments: