Monday, September 29, 2008


After the attempt to reach The Subway, there was some doubt in my mind if Cathie would be all right to attempt the next hike we had planned. We have wanted to hike to Observation Point in Zion for several years after having failed to complete the hike on a previous visit. Starting in Zion Canyon, the trail zigzags its way to a point overlooking most of Zion. It is an 8 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 2148 feet! After a day of recovery from the Subway attempt, Cathie skipped the medication that made her dizzy and gave the go ahead.

We set the alarm for an early start and were hiking by 7AM. You must take the Zion Shuttle to the trailhead. The shuttle system in the park works really well with busses running every 7 to 8 minutes beginning at 6:45 in the morning until 10:00 PM. The trail to Observation Point is maintained with no boulder hopping involved. What is involved is a steep climb for almost the entire 4 miles. There are beautiful views on the way up, which were especially nice with the rising sun shinning on the mountain tops and cliff faces.

After climbing 2-1/2 hours, we were rewarded with the best view in Zion. Luckily Cathie made it without experiencing any of the problems she had a couple of days ago. She climbed the entire 2148 vertical feet, while I made the extra effort and climbed 2149 vertical feet, climbing the last foot twice. We were the second couple on the top on this particular day and shortly after we arrived, the other folks started back down. We were left in the solitude with a never ending view for 30 peaceful minutes before other hikers started to arrive. We decided to head back down as it was getting too crowded at the top.

Going down the steep trail presents its own problems with sore toes and knees. Almost to the bottom, I discovered another problem. It was my own feet getting in the way. Cathie said my body actually skipped down the trail as I did a header, landing on my face, stopping the downhill slide with my knees. Imagine the surprise of the startled German tourist as I came to a stop in a heap at his feet. My first thought was that I broke my glasses. I wasn’t worried about broken bones as they are covered by insurance, but the glasses…..

There are several good things about my fall, as I try to find something positive in just about everything. The bloody areas on my forehead, nose, arm and knees were a point of conversation for everyone on the shuttle back to the visitor center. Not wanting to admit that I tripped over my own feet, I started making up stories of heroics on my part, like how I saved a small child from certain death who was falling over the edge. It was also a humbling experience for me, as it is usually Cathie who does the falling down.

After four nights in the tent, we are now the guests of Susan and Mike at the Rockville Rose B&B. The B&B is a short distance from Zion’s entrance and we would highly recommend this establishment for its comfort, great breakfast and engaging hosts. We’re here for two nights before heading to Moab.





1 comment:

Erin said...