The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

posted in: Beauty, Pages, Places | 0

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It’s spring break and here I sit in my new travel trailer in the heart of the Grand Staircase, Zion, Utah.  This breathtaking canyon is even more incredible than I remember it from my last visit over thirty years ago. I learned today that Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon make up The Grand Staircase, a geologic “staircase” with Bryce at the top, then Zion and finally, the Grand Canyon at the bottom.  Through millions of years of water erosion, the process of freezing and thawing, and the layers of various rock types, the resulting cliffs, slopes and terraces descend over 7,000 feet over a 150 mile distance.  Each area revealing colorful layers of earth, the oldest of which are found in the Grand Canyon at 230 million years old. Here’s a link to more on The Grand Staircase.

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Emerald Pools, Zion, Utah

What really impresses me outside of the astounding natural beauty of Zion, is how the NPS appears to be taking care of this national treasure.  Access into the Canyon is only aboard shuttle buses, which are part of a well designed transportation system making it very easy to get around the park and the town of Springdale, at the west entrance to the park. The result creates an uncluttered, noise and exhaust free environment in which to enjoy the splendor that is Zion. I spent Easter day hiking to the Narrows, Weeping Rock and the Emerald Pools.  My feet and back were spent after walking close to seven miles!  But, so worth it!

Speaking of Springdale, did I mention the abundance of rock shops here?  Utah is simply a rock hound’s paradise and it was good to refresh my memory with names and characteristics of some of the common minerals of the west. I had a great time  exploring them and searching for new stones for my jewelry.   Only one shop had cut cabochons, but I found the prices to be fair so I stocked up.

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Trail view to Emerald Pools, Zion, Utah

The colors of the earth are so warm and wonderful in all three parks.  I think I will try to duplicate them in some fused glass to include in my jewelry making.

This is my first big trip in the new trailer and as a life long camper and outdoor enthusiast, it feels as if I have finally surrendered to the lure “glamping,” aka glamor camping.  Not sure its glamorous, but certainly more comfortable.  I’m becoming more confident towing my 24′ home on wheels and feel a new sense of freedom.  My old trailer was a pop up tent trailer, very small and considerably more work to set up and take down.  Not sure I’m cut out for paved parking lots with hook ups, so I’ll seek a balance with plenty of dry camping in wilderness areas.

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Cedar and Clover wait for the “ok” to charge into the Virgin River. Good girls!

 

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