Sunday, January 1, 2017

Birthday Trail Ride in Zion

 Oct 28, 2016. I gave myself a birthday present and went for a trail ride in Zion National Park along the Sand Bench Trail. It was a half-day trial ride. My friend from work ended up coming with me, and her husband joined us in Zion (he works in St. George). There were only 6 people total who went on the ride with us.  It was the last Friday ride of the season.

 Beavers are active and do a lot of tree damage along the Virgin River and the big cottonwood trees. They (the beavers) don't build dams because the river floods too often, but they do burrow into the banks of the river and live there.

 We saw some deer along the way. They looked a bit scrawny to me.

 Most of the photos that I took had dreary gray skies, but we were sprinkled on for a few seconds. AND, we saw a rainbow in the canyon--something our guide said he never sees!
 I think if you squinted really hard and used your imagination, you could see a hint of rainbow in the photo above.

 See how skinny this doe is? She had a fawn with her, one that was probably still nursing. There is plenty to eat here in the park for them.

 The Zion tunnels are the dark dots in the far-away walls of the canyon.

 Lori Beecher and me. We drove down from Cedar City together. 

Simply Stunning.

 Our guide.  He had a loud voice and chatted all the way, telling tales and describing the geology of the park. I honestly don't remember the names of these peaks; all I know is that it was gorgeous.

 Wildflowers, Cactus, trees and rocks.

 Fall in Zion.  It is early fall down there. Most of the trees had not turned yellow yet, but it was crisp and nice and cool, overcast, not too hot... just right for a ride thought the park.

All of the pictures loaded backwards. These last shots were from the start, when we first got there and I walked over to the lodge to use the facilities while awaiting our departure time.  I think that there were people climbing the rocks above the lodge, but I could never spot them.

Approaching the corrals from the lodge. It's such a pretty time of year and a gorgeous park.  Full of people, but still really nice. I'm glad it is practically in my back yard.

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