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I am an Air Force wife and mother of three precious gifts from God. I enjoy learning at home with my children, and the many adventures this life sends our way. So stop by often to visit, and check out what the Five Nomads are up to.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Wonders of Zion.

I've been trying to figure out how to put this post together for a while. I have two problems, make that three. Problem number one; my husband needs the computer for work. Really, isn't blogging more important than studying??? Second, it was so beautiful, so wonderful. How do I tell you all we did and learned without boring you. . . Three, well there are three of them. AND they keep interupting me!

Here we go: When the Mormon settlers back in the 1800's found this area, one man settled with his family to farm. He named it Zion, saying he had finally found a safe haven after all of his years of struggle. I couldn't agree with him more. After the endless hours of desert plains, coming into Zion was quite a feast for our eyes.

The General, Bubby, Princess & I out in front of our hotel. We were waiting for the bus. They have a wonderful shuttle system that takes you from your hotel to the park entrance. Once inside the park there is another line that goes around the park. Cars are actually not allowed in some areas. It has significantly reduced the noise and pollution. I loved the convenience, and riding on a bus was a treat for the kiddos. After 2 1/2 days in the van, a bus without seat belts was a welcome relief. Oh, did I mention this whole shuttle system is FREE!

Here's Princess with the flower she drew for me. She thought it was so cool you could draw with the rocks.

You see the canyons of Zion are Sandstone. Depending on your belief; young earth theorists say thousands, old earth believers say millions of years ago this part of the country was a huge sandy desert. After which the area was covered by a shallow ocean. The sand was cemented together by the calcium and other things of that nature (sorry I can't remember exactly the term) that leaked down through the layers. After the ocean dried up the area was once again a desert, only this time more of a high plains desert. Two major plates of the earth's crust meet here, causing some upheaval, which gives us mountains. Finally you have the Virgin River flowing through, along with wind erosion you are left with the beautiful canyons we see today.

After lunch we headed into the park for a hike. We rode the bus to the end of the line, getting off at Temple of Sinawava to hike on the Riverside Walk. It is an easy little hike, with a paved walking path.
These two rock formations are called the Altar and the Pulpit. Maybe that is why they called the area the Temple. Anyone know for sure?

I was surprised to see all of these beautiful flowers growing out of the side of the canyon. While walking along the river, you have to remind yourself you are in a desert.

Of course wading in the cool mountain waters was the favorite activity for the kiddos. You can see Bubby has entered the "it is impossible to get a decent picture phase". All of my children go through this stage. It lasts until they are around 4 or 5. Please bear with me.

These little fellows were all along the trails. They would just lay on the path, once I almost stepped on one. They were so tame, they creeped me out. I could just see one jumping up to bite the kiddos. No, I'm not crazy for thinking that. We saw an impressive picture of a hiker's hand all stitched up. Apparently, the poor guy thought since the squirrels were so tame, he'd share his lunch. It did give me some serious credibility with my children.

These three peaks are named Isaac, Jacob and Abraham. Apparently a Methodist pastor visited Zion in its early days and named many of the areas. One especially challenging hike goes up to Angels' Landing. I can see how some blur the line from worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.
On our second day our hiking destination was the Middle Emerald Pool. The first half was very easy. The second part up to the Middle Pool was a little more challenging, but well worth the effort.
The waterfall we hiked under.
The General standing by the Middle Emerald Pool. They named them the Emerald Pools because the green algae looked like emeralds in the brownish red desert.
Before we knew it, our time was up. It was time to leave this beautiful oasis. Driving out of the eastern part of the park we passed by The Arch.

Then drove through the tunnel. It was about a mile long, and was built back in the 1930's by blasting through the sandstone. Quite a feat for that era.

As we drove on, the canyon slowly began to fade away. Good bye Zion. Your riches are so great, we will be back to explore again another day.

If you would like to learn more about Zion click here.


  1. My favorite National Park (so far) that I've visited. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. How beautiful! I've never been there, I'll have to put it on the list.

    But, ahem. You are not allowed to blog until you've answered my very important decorating questions.

  3. I would have to agree . It is by far my favorite.
    Lorri, I've been working that post for days. I just HAD to finish or I was going to go crazy. I will get on the decorating next.

  4. 1.did you ever think of #3
    2.our foundation is local sand stone--fun to draw on not fun to clean up-but it has lasted for this home for 109 years and is still very solid
    3.I'm a young earther
    4.thanks for the info, just right not too much or too little
    5.I was bit by a chipmunk when I was a kid--and have never grown out of that goofey photo stage, could be a reaction to being bit by a wild ravenous creature
    6.That was so so cool thanks for sharing!!