Monday, July 30: Zion
Not the same
This was not one of my better days. It almost seemed like the weather was purposely trying to thwart me.
When we got up and had breakfast, it was solid overcast, and the forecast was for potentially heavy rain. So we decided to just take the shuttle around and see local things.
So we took the shuttle to Weeping Rock. While we were there, it started sprinkling on and off. We then went to the end of the road and started hiking the river walk. At this point it was solid overcast but not raining. I tried some hand-held waterfall pictures, and the light was low enough, but I couldn’t hold the camera for long exposures.
So I left Michael playing in the sand and Amy birding, and I took the shuttle back to get my tripod (and an umbrella for Amy). So by the time I got back and started taking waterfall pictures, the sun came out! It was now too bright for good waterfall pictures.
Amy and I hiked to the end of walk and then returned. It was now rather sunny.
So we caught the shuttle back to the lodge and had lunch. We wanted to do a local hike, which pretty much meant the lower emerald pool trail. Mike decided not to go, so he was just going to run around the lawn in front of the lodge. We put sunscreen on, and left.
As Amy and I crossed the bridge over the Virgin River, we could see dark clouds south of the canyon, and we heard some booms of thunder.
We got to the lower pool over a trail that was wheelchair compatible. It was rather underwhelming. The “waterfall” looked more like a heavy rain over the edge of the cliff. We hiked back, but halfway back it started to rain. Just before the bridge, out came the rain gear. By the time we were crossing the lawn, it was raining heavily.
We expected to find Mike in the gift shop or the front lobby, but he was nowhere to be found. So I hiked through the rain to the cabin, expecting to find him on the porch (he didn’t have a key card). To my surprise, he was *inside*! Apparently when the rain started, he had gotten a key card from the front desk and then ran to the cabin and got in.
I got out Mike’s raincoat, and we hiked back to the lobby, although I had to run back to get my camera to get some pictures of the low clouds floating past the canyon walls. Then we got some ice cream cones (now that it was 75 and wet, rather than hot and sunny :-).
I wasn’t too wet, except for the lowest foot of my pants. Now we are in the lodge auditorium watching the news/Olympic coverage (and I’m typing this up).
As I started saying, this was not a good day for me. I came in expecting this to be a high point of the trip, as I had so much fun here 25 years ago. Unfortunately, this means that I had a bunch of preconceived notions about how things would go, and they are not going nearly that way. I was ready to deal with 100 and sunny, not 75 and raining.
Another part of the problem is that what you would do and the schedule you would keep as a college student is very different than that of a family with a young child. In particular Michael needs more sleep than we do, so we really can’t stay up for the “campfire” program and then get up early to get an early start to the day.
Weather-wise, the problem right now is the monsoon. There is a large high stuck over Texas which is baking that state. But the clockwise circulation around that high is funneling this steady stream of warm, moist gulf air right over southern Utah, right where we are.
With the uncertain weather, I really don’t know what to plan to do for each day. It seems at least for today that when I planned for rain, it got sunny, so then when I planned for sun, it started raining. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.