ZION NATIONAL PARK
21-22 April 2018
~ Ayla Nereo, Code of the Flowers
In the thickets, after dawn, there comes a slow rustle… a deer emerges. She appears out of the forest, dappled in shadows, following a river of grass down to its source: the wide, green water of the valley.
I watched that river become a small winding snake below me as we wandered up, up, up along the canyon’s edges, along maple shaded valleys, escaping the rising sun, till we burst forth onto a narrow ridge of stone that hung above the valley. Teetering, a little terrifying, but absolutely awe-inspiring, this was Angel’s Landing. Walking with my heart in my mouth, crouching to touch solid ground, slowly we made our way, inch by inch, along the jagged shard of the Earth till there was only air in front of us. The view was like nothing I have ever seen before.
Afterwards we cooled our feet off in that green river. I remember the silty mud at the riverside, silky soft, and the meandering conversation we had with two newfound friends.
Elsewhere, tucked away in the sides of the cliffs, there are several small emerald pools, their hues ranging from deep green to clear gold. They are still and sparkling at the edges, but near the cliffs a series of rushing waterfalls carve out dark spaces, where the sun’s rays cannot enter. It was hot, at midday, and the cool spray of the falls was so refreshing! We ran through the mist and puddles, laughing a little, on the search for flowers and deer prints.
maple and elm leaves.
scarlet penstemon and yellow erysimum flowers.
teeth marks on an old tree, evidence of a nearby beaver.