This is actually a photo from the previous day.
Shawn snapped this shot on the Riverwalk, and I really liked it, so I wanted to share..
Also from the previous day, I think this photo quite effectively captures the hot, dry, sunny, relentless heat of the Pa'rus trail that we took back to the visitors' center.
The following photos are a montage of our attempts to use the timer
on Shawn's camera to get a picture of the two of us together
on the Pa'rus trail...
The first time, the camera fell over right before it took the picture.
The second time, it went off too early
(note Shawn's hand near the camera and me standing all by myself).
Third time's the charm. Thank goodness!!
OK--for real, we are at the third day of the trip now!
This is Shawn on the morning of our anniversary. He is wearing the fanny pack that we purchased the previous day. We will not be caught in Zion Park without water again! And... today, we have an agenda planned!
The first item on our agenda: a visit to Weeping Rock. This is a very easy hike up to a shady glen where an outcropping of rock weeps and sheds a mist down over lush growth on the side of the mountain.
That's me up there, sitting among the moon lilies, of which you also see a close-up.
They were just beautiful.
They are also incredibly poisonous.
This is the view looking straight up.
Of course, in real life, you can see the background mountains better.
It is so amazing when you see all that growth on the vertical sides of the canyon,
growing right out of the rocks.
These tiny columbine were blooming under the mist, like a fairy land.
I loved how beautiful they were,
but I also loved how respectfully all the park guests treated them.
It was an amazing thing on so many levels.
After Weeping Rock, our agenda directed us to a slightly longer hike,
the hike to the Upper Emerald Pool. It was only a 2 mile hike.
That's nothing, right? And just look at this gorgeous canyon view!
Off to a nice, fresh start!
On the way.
Further along the way.
The trail became steeper, rockier, and hotter as we went along. I noticed in our picture files that we took fewer and fewer pictures as the hike progressed and the going got tougher. A rocky, uphill hike in full sun on a 105 degree day is not an easy hike. It just isn't.
And then Shawn got a nosebleed. We don't know whether it was the altitude or the dryness, but something broke loose, and the nose, it began to pour out blood.
Shawn had one tissue. I, being the organized and prepared mother of four that I am, had zero. At this point, I was not taking any pictures at all. We tried to figure out whether to turn back or continue to the Emerald Pool where, conceivably, Shawn could rinse himself off. It was also almost certainly the closer destination at this point. I begged a tissue off a fellow hiker who was already on her way back down, and we trooped on.
Funny, how all our photo choices are of the lush green areas
that were not particularly typical of the desert terrain.
Ha! We are getting better at this camera-timing thing!
Before we began our descent, Shawn wet down his shirt in the pool, and both of us wet down our caps. It was a very hot day. I was a little nervous because we were getting low on drinking water. But what goes up must come down.
This is the path down, and it was much easier going down than going up.
At one point as we descended, a mother and her daughter passed us going the other way. My husband, being a self-denying-gentleman-type, stepped out to the right to allow them to pass him easily on the inside.
In so doing, he lost his footing and began to fall down the side of the canyon. I screamed. He threw his body back to the left, trying to get his center of gravity over solid ground, and landed hard on his left shin, scraping a fair amount of skin off. Grasping the solid ground, he pulled himself up and back onto the path. This, while I stood and screamed. The woman and her daughter stopped to watch and see if he was all right.
I held tight to his hand after that, and told him over and over how sad I would be if I became a widow on my 25th anniversary.
He limped, but made very light of the situation.
We decided to go back along the Riverwalk path that we'd done the previous day. Surely we'd find a place where he could rinse the dirt and blood off his leg, and we could relax and have a little snack.
Shawn, getting ready to have an energy bar.
Soaking his feet, having a drink, taking a break.
Then we got back on the bus. (Thought I'd include this shot since we actually spent a lot of time on these buses seeing sights like this.) The day's agenda had one more item: The Patriarchs. We rode until the bus narrator told us, "This IS the Patriarchs."
The patriarchs are three peaks named by the Mormons after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Shawn took this lovely shot of the view.
Later, we cleaned up and went out for our anniversary dinner. We tried out a Springdale restaurant called the Whiptail Grill. Oddly, people mostly all want to eat outside, even though it is 98 in the evening as it cools off. It really is not uncomfortable in the shade, especially if you have a cool drink.
Shawn waiting for his food...
and me, waiting for mine...
Shawn's entree: a whiptail steak burrito. These photos don't give you any perspective on how huge these dishes were. This food was so good!
Unfortunately, Shawn got his second nosebleed of the day in the restaurant, and could not get it stopped. The staff was very kind about it, but eventually, after burning through about 40 napkins, we made a getaway. Fortunately, we had a microwave back at the lodge, so he enjoyed his dinner later, when he felt better.
And that was our 25th anniversary. Perhaps it was not Shawn's best day ever. My tough day was yet to come...