Utah has all sorts of surprises… Today we hiked a short but steep trail called Angel’s Landing within Zion National Park. We were all proud of ourselves and I was especially proud of Niki for doing the hike. But we were humbled…Hiking amongst us was a 67 year old lady with her daughter, 9 year old twins, a family with one 2 year old and one 2 month old baby in harnesses and get this – a lady who was 6 months pregnant! And there were 2 rock climbers climbing up the rock face.
The hike had spectacular views and there were portions of the trail which perched us rather precariously about 6000 ft. above sea level. The fall would be cushioned by jutting sandstone! However there were chains to hold on to in some areas. The day started off very cold with freezing temperatures but as we hiked up, the sun warmed up the day and so did the exercise. We were boiling!
Here is the last ridge that we crossed to get up to the top of the trail..
We have been doing some exploring in Utah’s national parks. Bryce Canyon is a small but beautiful national park with a landscape scattered with ‘hoodoos’. Elevation of the park ranges from 8000 – 9200 feet.
Our day today ended with some wildlife viewing. We saw a family of big horn sheep. Though they are elusive creatures, they were not shy posing for our camera.
The best part about these national parks – no cell coverage!
A first for me was star gazing. The sky was dark and littered with billions of bright stars – brighter than anything I have seen ever before in my lifetime. We saw 5 ‘shooting stars’ within a span of 2 hours – quite amazing! I thought it was a feature of being in the back country but have since learnt that the skies over Utah are exceptionally bright.
Sad to say but we missed the lit up sky which was caused by a meteor hit. Per the astronomers at Utah State University, the rocky meteor was traveling at 80,000 miles when it hit the earth’s atmosphere about 100 miles above us. A big miss but I remain contented with my star gazing experience.