Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zion: Day 1

John and I have spent the last two days in a Zion whirlwind. We were last here three years ago -- almost to the day -- so we spent the little time we have this year doing scenic drives and short hikes.

The view close to our campground:

On Saturday, we tried to go to a part of the park that we missed in 2008, Cedar Breaks -- but the elevation there is 10,000 feet and the roads are still closed due to snow. We were able to drive part way, though, and found the winter has left a few things to be fixed:

First, a huge, bus-sized boulder lost its perch and landed very close to the road:

And second, this tree was uprooted and is now precariously tipped over the road:

Arriving in main part of the park, we stopped for a close up view of the Checkerboard Mesa. The horizontal lines were made by different layers of ancient sand dunes that were stacked by wind and "cemented" by minerals, and the vertical ones were created by expansion and contraction due to temperature and moisture changes.

As we drove on, we were lucky to spot these mountain sheep. Can't see them? In the first photo, look directly above the green tree where the arrow is pointing. The next two images are zoomed in. We only spotted them because they were initally running across the rock, and the motion caught our eyes.

More photos from Zion in the next post.


Sharon Del Rosario said...

Great photos of the sheep! I still have your Utah geology book. Hope you can catch us in AK!

Roadrunner said...

Great pictures. My husband and I were there years ago, I think we stayed in a Lodge?