Bryan and I are tag teaming on the blog today – I’ll start the writing, while he sorts through the pictures and videos, then we’ll switch…
Phew, Carmela quote of the day “If the level of fun on a vacation can be measured by the number of bumps, bruises and sore muscles, I’d say we have been having excessive amounts of FUN!” Getting up and out of the condo today was severely slowed down by our level of impaired muscle movement – in the past week we’ve done canyoneering, hiking up river in the Narrows, then went to Cowboy camp and rode horseback for over three hours (see previous blogs) so sore is a bit of an understatement – but we didn’t let that get in the way of going back to Zion National Park today!
We made the 1 ½ hour drive into the park one last time and started our day with an easy hike (0.5 mile round trip) to Weeping Rock to get our muscles warmed up. Let me tell you, even a short hike in 96 degree sun can be taxing, but the view was well worth it! Weeping Rock, named perfectly, is an indentation on the sandstone cliff face that has water streaming out of it. The cool thing is despite the fact that it is nearly 100 degrees out, it hasn’t rained in over a week and we’re in a dessert – there is Weeping Rock, dripping water that is estimated to be over a 1000 years old (yes really 1000, that’s not a typo!).
After Weeping Rock we made our way over to the Grotto trail head and hiked about a 2 mile loop up into the canyon to check out the Middle and Lower Emerald Pools (picture above to the right). This hike only went up in elevation ~200 feet but man the heat takes a toll on you! After having watched a woman earlier in the day pass out, we stopped for water and small amounts of food frequently. The trail was very sandy, with steep drops as we hiked along the edge of the cliff until we finally reached the first pool (we tried to capture this in the picture here – do you see the tiny white dot? That’s a person on the other side of the cliff on the second half of the loop trail). The views along the trail and at each of the Pools were worth ever sweaty minute!