Next up on our list of amazing places to earn a tiny Junior Ranger badge was Zion National Park. Brad & I had visited here in 2008, but seeing it again did not feel repetitive. The valley is so breathtaking.
For this visit, we split up the girls to hike with us. Brad & Sunny did a longer, more difficult trail, and Coral & I hiked an easier trail to an emerald pool. Every one of us had a blast under this arrangement, so I think we will try to explore the parks this way more often.
The trail that Coral and I hiked was to an emerald pool, which due to the sky color and time of day, was not particularly emerald. But the trail was beautiful as it wound along the canyon floor, with trees holding their final autumn-colored leaves on either side of us. Occasional small streams came trickling down from the canyon side and made lovely background music. There were quite a few moments when we came around a bend in the trail and could suddenly see a grand view of the golden red cliffs in between yellow birch leaves, rising up from the canyon floor in striking, unimaginablly sheer rock facades. It’s no wonder that each people group who has settled here has given these stones names after important figures from their spriritual beliefs. This place is definitely Holy.
Our trail took Coral & me under a small waterfall which was absolutely delightful, and completely illusive in photographs.
We sat on a cool rock in the shade to watch the water and the people coming along the trail (most of whom have to stop and appreciate how cute Coral is…can you blame them?) to complete some Junior Ranger book pages. I would say on average at least twice at every destination, Coral stops a stranger to compliment them on some part of their outfit or physical appearance. “Your pants are really cool,” she said to a young woman as she hiked by us in crazy-colorful 80’s style leggings. “I really like your blue bag, ” she commented on an older lady’s purse. She’s always been so focused on other people…even asking me how my day was at the age of 2. Needless to say, she makes friends everywhere we go.
We rounded out our day in Zion with a short hike to weeping rock, a shuttle ride of the full loop, and a chance to see petroglyphs for the first time in my life. It was another wonderful, full, long, snack-filled day that put us back at home long after dark, blissfully exhausted.