Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 144 - Utah Rocks - Verizon Zionists - Can You Hear Me Now God?

Zion Canyon
Before visiting Zion National Park, I didn't have a real need to know what Zion meant.  I knew that a Zionist was said to be a Jewish person trying to return Israel to its Jewish state but didn't understand the meaning behind the word.  Zion means Heaven or Utopia. One can interpret this to mean that the Jewish people want Israel to return to its Jewish state of peace..i.e. Heaven. After visiting Zion National Park, I can see how it got its name. John Wesley Powell discovered the Park in 1872 fleeing religious persecution for being a Mormon.  The original name was Mukuntuweap National Park.  John Wesley Powell felt that a man didn't have to be in church to worship God so he named it Zion and President Taft officially changed the name in 1926.

Upper and Middle Falls of Emerald Pools
There is more than just rocks at Zion and as I said to Steve, at this point in the journey I was a little "rocked out" so it was a nice change of pace.  The park itself is very well designed.  We noticed that no unauthorized vehicles enter the park, which is super for the environment.  The visitors stop at the visitor center and take a shuttle that runs throughout the park and stops at designated stops.  I was  more interested in seeing water at this point so we decided to go to the Emerald Pools. (A mile hike straight up!) There are three, the lower, the middle and the upper.  The water wasn't flowing so much the day we went so the photos we took show a small, steady flow.  I have managed to copy some off the Park website to show you what it would look like in a heavy flow.  We wanted to hike the Narrows which is a bigger slot canyon than the one we had done earlier but we found out when we got there that you need to have a permit to go up there.  In any given moment flash flooding is a concern, so they need to know how many people are up there at ANY given time. So they only issue a limited amount daily and they didn't have anymore for that day.

At all the other stores I really didn't find any souvenirs I wanted but at Zion it was like being a kid in a candy store.  I bought my shirt that says "Utah Rocks" which has been the theme for the Utah blogs.  I bought two books, one to identify wildflowers and the other the birds.  Of the 291 birds in Utah, 207 of them live in Zion.  Zion is different than the other rock parks as it has more trees and wildlife.  The Virgin River which created it provides the life to these wonderful natural plants and animals.  While waiting in line at the store, a gentleman told us that the age of 62 any senior citizen can buy a $10 Annual Pass and visit ANY park in the United States.  How great is that?  We had to pay $25 per park/per vehicle.  Now we knew why so many people were older than us were here.  There were also about 36 nine-year-olds which drowned out the sound of the waterfalls when we went up there.  Needless to say we were all relieved when they left.  Excited that they were learning at such a young age to appreciate nature.  Thank God the teachers or otherwise brave soles of the Adults did the right thing to expose these children to such beauty at a young age.  I believe it helps them as they get older really know the value of being a part of the ecosystem.

Green Building Concept - Click here to see building
Even the Zion visitor center practices this concept. It is self-maintained without using any energy. It has a cooling tower where water keeps it cool and the windows are made so the sun keeps the lodge warm.  Thus not using any energy, a "Green building" nor putting any undue hardship on the environment.

Cottonwood Seeds
Something really interesting happened as we got off the shuttle at our stop.   It looked like snow out.  Upon closer inspection, it was little dandelion-like seeds flying around EVERYWHERE.  It was the seeds of the Cottonwood trees.  The trees only do this about two weeks out of the year, but due to the elevation difference between the mouth of the canyon and the other end of the canyon, it lasts about six weeks as the temperature rises up through the canyon.
Zion on Earth gave us a window into the view of the wildlife that may be in heaven, we got shots of a Canyon Wren, a Collared Lizard, a Rock Squirrel, a Mule Deer (within touching distance) and a Lazuli Bunting. For us it was heavenly because we were truly one with nature at Zion. All of us have a little Zion in us after this experience. 

Canyon Wren

Lazuli Bunting

Collared Lizard

Falls from the Middle Pool

Mule Deer

Rock Squirrel

The rock stairs for one mile, some are not this flat!

Falls from Upper Pool

View coming back down from the Upper Pool
At the last stop of the shuttle is the Welcome Center which shows a movie every half hour.  It tells of the park and how it was formed.  Across from the center is a rock that sports a "bridge."  The plaque shows you a sign of a tiny little man standing on this huge bridge.  His name was Crawford and the photo dates in the early 1900's.  I call him Crazy but never-the-less the Bridge is now named Crawford's Arch.

When we were leaving a man asked what cellphone carrier we had because Steve was getting a phone call and he heard his phone ring.  As I explained to him it was Verizon, Can you hear me now?, I heard Steve's boss "releasing him from his job."  Firing someone over the telephone while they are on an approved vacation...just another example of Corporate America not doing the right thing.  For us it was ok as being one with nature, we knew everything was going to be just right and eventually God would return us both to more heavenly jobs.  In the meantime, we'll be waiting and enjoying the view God sends our way...Can you hear me now? We're listening...

Crawfords Arch- from their website

Waaayyy Up there - Crawfords Arch

Crawfords Arch
Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. ~ Isaiah 64:10

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