Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finding Paradise

Well, the route from San Francisco to Zion is not as clearly defined as you might imagine. Initially, I was going to go this way then that way, then I really thought it would be cool to stay at one of the big hotels in Vegas ... which is one.) expensive, and two.) not possible if you're me. I went that way. I ended up in Beatty, NV. Let's all imagine that some of the bling was missing, not to mention the girls. I followed the general advice of Abbey, and the very specific advice of the bar man at the stagecoach and turned East before the "Spaghetti Bowl", which is what I swear he called Las Vegas. I am probably better off because of it.

Zion is still where I left it. It seems crowded, and busy. Go figure. And I am still having trouble finding it. I had a plan to expose my inability to find it through a series of pix, and despite a lot of blogsnot™, I have managed it.

Springdale, Utah is an interesting place. I find it to be some tourist art extravaganza. It reminds me of the wilderness, with a hot tub, laundromats, RV's, and berry pie. And a petting zoo.
Maybe tomorrow I'll go find Zion.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Planes of Heaven

Virgin River Cattails. 4x5" Polaroid.

Or is it plains? I was in Springdale UT and talking to a young man about the name Zion and what it meant, and he told me that like Kanab, it was one of the "plains" of Heaven. Ok, well, ... that works ok for me. Is that what Moab is -- One of the plains of Heaven? Moses went from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo. God swept Elijah from the plains of Moab to Heaven in a chariot. It seems we might be close. close enough to get swept up.

The countdown has started. I am packing and making the final arrangements for ten days in canyon country, in the plains of Heaven. I'll be two days in Zion, two in Paria -- featuring bucksin gulch and a place called "the wave", and 3 in Canyonlands NP near the confluence of the Green and the Colorado Rivers, in Abbey's country -- in Chesler Park and at Druid Arch. I'll wear my Colorado River hat all red and brown with red rock like a badge of honor. I'll pack extra light and take the mini tripod, and dry bag everything like I was a river veteran. I've been rereading Abbey, and thinking of the river spirits. These are seriously classic wilderness hikes, in the hallowed canyons -- the very cathedrals of Heaven.

The quicksand laden, wet, impassable without swimming, magically lit, cathedrals of Heaven. Watch your step, and don't believe everything you read. There's a place referred to as the "Cesspool," that I will get to swim in. Cathedrals of Heaven.

It's been raining here, it's suddenly fall. There a wet and chill in the air, and now I worry about exposure and being wet in September in Utah. And that it might rain this week or last in Southern Utah, making me really earn my Slot canyon badge by swimming and by it freezing and me floatin' my pack across a still pool ... or two.

Falls in Zion Canyon. Digital Photograph

In my mind I am both ready ... and not.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Matkatamiba Canyon, near the confluence with the Colorado River. 4" x 5" polaroid. Notice the hack job on the mat; it's my first in a few years. I think I might be getting ready for a show.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007