This trip really starts with two friends of my son, Alex and Evan. Alex works in a bike shop and gave my daughter a vintage Schwinn Varsity bike to go off to college with, and he would not take any money for it. Evan works at his father’s powder coating business, and together they worked on stripping and buffing an old propeller spinner (mine had cracked) so I wouldn’t have to buy a new one. I felt I owed each of them something.
So off we went to Zion National Park for the weekend, one of my favorite places in the world, with Alex, Evan and my son. We left right after school on Friday and I timed it so we would land about dusk at St. George, Utah. Why dusk? Nevada is one of the most mountainous states (in terms of actual number of mountain ranges) and very desolate. In between each mountain range are dry lake beds or sage desert, not bad for an emergency landing. Although engine problems are very rare, it is much preferred to be able to see where the mountain ranges are, and where the dry lake beds are.
A great introduction to Zion is to hike the fantastic Angels Landing trail, and also to hike the Virgin Narrows in the water. Angels Landing, to me, is second only to hiking Half Dome in Yosemite as the best day hike I’ve ever done. I also wanted to do some canyoneering, but with school schedules and homework that wasn’t going to happen.
I met a gentlemen at the top of Angels Landing who asked where we were from. California I said. He said that he was from Salt Lake City, only four hours up the road. He was feeling pretty good and it would have been rude to tell him that with the hour drive to St. George and the two hour flight home, we were as close as he was. So I just let it go.