Fare Thee Well, Dear Zion…

I am the last of “the Red Rocks Gang” to leave Zion.  Like the last leaf dangling precariously from the bare bones limbs of the cottonwoods long after they have dropped their brilliant golden color for the season, I am reluctant to let go.

Each goodbye has taken a piece of me.  It is like pulling the bandaid off one hair at a time.  But none stung as badly as the “final goodbye” because it signifies that we have cheated just about all of the last bits of sunny, golden autumn out that we are going to get.   It is now December, approaching my least favorite time of the year, and everyone has moved off in their own migratory directions. After leapfrogging with friends since early summer, I am about to test my mettle once more as a solo sojourner.

I have an ache in my gut and a lump in my throat that makes it tough to breathe.  I try to remember the tips handed off on the trail and apply them to going through the motions of leaving this place that has touched me so deeply, chiseling walls of sandstone in my memory and painting a vermillion landscape across my heart.  “Watch every footfall.  Keep your center of gravity low.  Make contact.  Slow and steady.  And remember to BREATHE.”

I have written more blog posts from Zion than any place I have been to date, indicative of the gifts that this area has to offer, and I have only hit the highlights.  But as my dear cave diving friend Van used to say, “If you don’t leave, you can’t come back.”
Fare Thee Well, Dear Zion, Fare Thee Well.

“If I had wings….like Noah’s Dove
I would fly up the river to the land I love
Fare thee well, Dear Zion, Fare the well…

One of these mornings, and it won’t be long
You’ll look for me, and I’ll be gone
Fare thee well, Dear Zion, Fare the well…”

~ Dink’s Song, Joan Baez Version, Edited

Photo courtesy of Box Canyon Mark

Photo courtesy of Box Canyon Mark

Checkerboard Mesa

IMG_2746The Perfect Boondock


River walk behind boondock spot.

River walk behind boondock spot.


Sunset on the BLM.  Winnie is the lone white wolf.  ;-)

Sunset on the BLM. Winnie is the lone white wolf. 😉

Sunset over Watchman

IMG_2749 IMG_2754 IMG_2758 IMG_2760

14 thoughts on “Fare Thee Well, Dear Zion…

  1. You’ll be back! I’m looking towards a springtime visit as an introduction for BJ, and hopefull back in the fall after the Green River trip. Hope you’re enjoying toes in the sand right now.

  2. Beautiful photos, I especially liked Watchman at sunset. I’m guessing you will make it back to this magical place and will most likely find a fellow even friend there as well. It is a magnet of like minded folks.

  3. Zion is a magical place. We spent a month hiking there two years ago and look forward to spending more time revisiting and discovering new adventures. We did get over for a few hike this fall. Following your visit with the gang was great fun:) Best wishes for your future travels. Hopefully, we will meet up sometime this winter!

  4. Sniff, got something in my eye…
    Next time, the West Rim…top to bottom, and, perhaps, the Subway…top to bottom…repelling waterfalls, wading emerald pools…a shaded, sunrise to sunset slot canyon sojourn through layers of time.
    Snowing here in Lovely Ouray…what else is new.
    Box Canyon Mark

  5. The break, if thats the right word, with your Dad will give you some time and opportunity to plan next years adventure itinery. For me planning the routes and looking up what I want to see and visit is a huge part of the fun. It may be different for you when you’re on the road as you have the time and the flexibility to just up and go where ever the fancy takes you. But you are very kind and take all your readers along with you.

  6. I can’t wait to visit Zion. Your photos and your words are exquisite and always make me yearn for more. Thanks for taking me there through your eyes. Safe travels to you.

  7. Great photos of Zion and the Watchman. I enjoyed the detailed post of the hikes you completed while exploring the Zion area. With your experience, you will be leading the next group of hikers and telling them to not look down and breath easy.

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