November 12, 2011
Still here in Zion treating myself to a nice homemade breakfast at the local coffee house--beautiful little place owned and operated by a young married couple from Illinois. Everything fresh and baked in house, good coffee, good photography, good music...perfect little joint! Im planning to leave around lunchtime for points north. Yesterday I did a 7 hour hike through Echo Canyon in Zion National Park with the guys I met here, one of whom is an expert climber/canyoneer. He treated us to a spectacular climb and hike through a massive canyon with multiple slots and rappels, the first one of which was easily 400ft as we used most of a 200m rope! We meandered through steep undulating walls of rock, waded through streams and pools, and negotiated over, around, and sometimes inside, water filled holes of various size and depth, often on belay or self-belay. We exited the canyon late in the afternoon at Observation Point and Weeping Rock, down hiking on a steep zig zag trail to the parking area, with the green floor and red walls of Zion Canyon and the winding Virgin river below us, the whole thing peppered with the colors of fall: yellow, magenta, and pale green. It was one of the best days of my outdoor life and I will not soon forget it!!! I am so lucky to have come on this trip, to this class, with this group of people, and in this special, special place! A little side note: Bill our guide, knows only 8 other people who have entered Echo canyon in this manner. That would make me the 11th person to do this rappel, and on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century, ha!
I will send some photos soon. Hope you guys are having a good weekend!