Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Salute to Diana!!







I arrived at Mount Carmel Junction and found the nifty piece of ground near the gravel pit. I found a nice level spot and announced to my doggies that we are "home."
The next morning I unloaded my motorcyle and headed to Zion National Park. I parked the bike at the visitors center, then hopped onto one of the trams that shuttles touists up the canyon. I disembarked at the The Grotto stop and headed for the Angels Landing hiking trail. My first mistake was not doing my homework and reading up on this hike. The second mistake was not changing out of my biker boots and into more appropriate hiking footware. The third mistake was hiking this trail!! My friend Diana told me about the scarey part of the hike where you have to hang onto chains because it was so scarey and steep. I guess I missed the part about the 1.5 miles, 1000+ foot elevation climb of strenuous hiking before you even get to the scarey, chain part. Well, I made it to the chains, and just so I could say I did the chain part, I did about 10 feet of the chain part. By the time I arrived at the chain part I was totally exhausted and I had develped huge blisters on both my heels. I'm sure I could have continued on for the last .5 mile of the hike if it weren't for those nasty blisters. SO, A SALUTE TO DIANA FOR GOING THE DISTANCE!!! YOU ARE MY HERO!!
The next day I did the SENSIBLE tourist thing and visited the Human History Museum, boarded the tram, rode to the end of the canyon, diembarked once to hike the .5 mile trail to the Weeping Rock, then returned home not totally exhausted.
The highlight of the visit, besides the spectacular scenery, was riding my motorcyle the 20 miles from the east entrance to the Canyon Junction, along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. The journey involved riding through the 1.1 mile unlit tunnel. The tunnel was blasted right through the rock during the 1920's, opening July 4, 1930. The first day I rode through the tunnel I missed, by about 10 minutes, riding through the tunnel with about 30 other Harleys. Boy would that have been a roaring, memorable experience!!!

After two days at Zion N.P. I headed toward the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. On my way I made a stop at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. I arrived just in time for the 3 pm tour. The tour lasted 90 minutes. The sanctuary consists of 3800 acres, plus another 30,000 of leased BLM land. Many of the animals are eventually adopted, from mules, donkeys, horses, pot belly pigs, birds, and of course cats and dogs. We got to visit and play with half dozen of the cats housed in a special facility for cats with Feline Leukemia. Then we headed on to one of the Dog Houses where we got to pet and receive kisses from one of the big beautiful Akita mix pooches. If I was a homeless dog or cat this is where I'd want to live!!!
All caring humans are encouraged to visit for a tour or to volunteer, or donate. www.bestfriends.org


At 5:27 AM, Blogger Desert Diva said...

I visited Zion National Park earlier in the summer. I didn't do the "scary" hike because I have a fear of edges (heights). You're so lucky to have this time to explore without the crowds and the heat.

I took my RV (it just barely fit) through the tunnel you rode through. The park ranger was going to measure it, but she said they had one just like it earlier in the day.

Zion is such a beautiful place. I agree that Diana is a great hiker (as well as photographer). Safe travels to you...

At 7:11 AM, Blogger sally said...

Next spring I might visit the rest of the Utah National Parks I haven't visited yet.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Randy & Diana said...

Wow! Thanks for the salute! Now I have to admit that the first time I went up the Angels Landing trail, I didn't go to the top either. You kind of have to work up to it. Next time!


At 1:44 PM, Blogger sally said...


At 8:47 PM, Anonymous roamingbarbara said...

I didn't go to the top the first time either - actually I watched Diana go the rest of the way that time. But since then have done it twice. I'm sure those slippery boots didn't help. It really is worth it. :-)

At 6:22 AM, Blogger sally said...

Gee, now I guess I'll HAVE to do it someday. THANKS ALOT!!!! :-)


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