Going It Alone

I write a lot about the physical aspect of going it alone on this blog, but rarely delve into the emotional aspect.  People often recoil at the notion that I am traveling/hiking/biking/kayaking/RVing alone.  I recently had a man stop me on the trail just to ask if I was hiking alone.  He remarked that he was seeing more and more solo women on the trail, and did I think it was because of “the book?”   I replied perhaps, but I have been hiking solo 20 years before Cheryl Strayed wrote the “Wild.”  In fact, traveling alone is Continue reading

Seeing Zion in a Different Light

I only planned to stop in Zion for a few days, just long enough to say a quick “hello” to my friends and revisit a few of my favorite places.  I came with my usual “list:” Ride my bike to the end of the road, stopping for soft serve ice cream at Zion Lodge.  See a couple of movies.  Spend time with my favorite cottonwoods along the Virgin River as they turn from green to gold.  And hike at least one trail I’ve never hiked before.    But once I arrived, so did Indian Summer.  Continue reading

On Mesas and Mountain Bikes

It was tough few weeks here in Zion for the mountain bike contingent.  Both Bobbie and Chris had flat tires.  Mark had his chain break while grinding up Flying Monkey Mesa.  The only bike that hasn’t broken is my “vintage” Trek with the rusty bike chain and raggedy old seat.  😉  It has made three very respectable rides fifteen miles up the Scenic Drive in the Zion canyon and back.

But it’s not a mountain bike.  And it has no suspension.  Or disc brakes.  Which means it’s Continue reading

Taking Time on Thanksgiving

I recently read an article in my NPR newsfeed suggesting that instead of “What,” we should be grateful for “When” this Thanksgiving. The premise is based around “time,” that rather than give thanks for things or even people, instead we be more appreciative of time.

It’s been an odd year for me where time is concerned. It seems as if the days are either flying by as fast as the cartoon version of pages flipping off the calendar, or as slowly as my blood red pen waiting for midnight so I can cross off yet another day. There has been no in-between for me this year. Continue reading

Not-So-Hidden Canyon

Hidden Canyon is a popular hike along Zion National Park’s main Scenic Drive.   The 1,000 ft elevation gain and exposed areas are cause for its “Strenuous” rating.  It’s also one of only two hikes I turned back on last year, so it was on the radar to explore this year.   The hike starts out with an aggressive maze of relatively steep switchbacks, up some sheer canyon walls with the aid of chains, and finally reaches a small canyon where the “official” trail ends and the scrambling begins. Continue reading

Pentimento

noun, [pen-tuh-men-toh] Painting. The presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

(From Wikipedia) “A pentimento is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent.”IMG_6425 Continue reading

Impermanence

There’s nothing like losing two immediate family members and attending three family funerals within the past six months to make one ponder “impermanence.”    When I used to see places like “Tripod Rocks,” I would ponder the probability that they would still be standing this time next year.  After the loss of my brother seven years my junior followed by my Dad, now I wonder if I will be… Continue reading

Many Pools, Many Favorites, and Many Memories

I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite hike in southern Utah.  I have loved them all.  So many different personalities from the cold dark canyons of Buckskin to the sunny warm glow of little Snow Canyon.   Each one has something spectacular to offer, though it’s not always about “The Destination.”  Some offer an ever changing variety.  For this reason, if forced to pick a favorite, the “Many Pools” hike in eastern Zion has to rank way up there.   It’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates; Continue reading

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Now back in the shadow of Zion National Park, I have to say, it feels good to be back.    As I have moved at a fast clip through Southern Colorado, down the Green River, and across the southern state of Utah since July, this stop has been a bit of a “carrot” at the end of the stick.  I have looked forward to just “parking it” for awhile.  No more route planning, campground research, navigating unfamiliar territory, hitching and unhitching.   Just a couple of weeks to relax, visit with friends, and make my favorite time of the year, the autumn season, stretch as long as possible. Continue reading