As we reluctantly leave the sunrise over the Grand Canyon we angle Northeast to Navajo Bridge crossing the Colorado River and inching ever closer to the heights and frights of Zion National Park. One of the highest bridges in the US crosses the upper Grand Canyon just below the Glenn Canyon Dam. It consists of two spans – one for vehicles and one for pedestrians … not me!
The short trip to Zion rambles through smaller canyons and crosses a desolate desert region punctuated by an age-old oasis – now Pipe Springs National Monument. This is the Paiute Indian Reservation, a historic Mormon settlement, and a US Cavalry outpost. Zion calls!
Whereas Grand Canyon was a sight from the top, Zion you see from below looking up to cathedral spires dancing in a blue sky. The cliffs rise thousands of perpendicular feet and making you dizzy despite being anchored to firm ground. Water from the Virgin River carved these deep, colossal canyons and you can only imagine the thoughts of early pioneers as they first encountered these immense heights.
Where the Grand Canyon is immense, Zion is relatively up close and personal. In many areas the sunshine can be counted in minutes – the sitting and gazing in hours. Why do places like this exist? To capture our thoughts, free our minds, expand our emotions? Whatever… The visit to Zion will never be forgotten always residing in hidden crevasses behind the eyes – resurrecting in dreams and idle moments.
Leave we must and just up the road from Zion is a spectacle no less captivating – Bryce Canyon National Park. Like Zion, Bryce is a new experience for us and I am not sure my brain can assimilate two overpowering vistas in one day. But try we will.