Southern Utah w/Joe's Parents - October 1-5, 2008

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Introduction note: My parents (Ron & Marilyn Lustik) took a trip to Las Vegas and decided to let me (Joe) show them some of the attractions of southern Utah. My older sister, Maria, and her youngest son, Alexander, were late additions to the group. We all met up at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, then took a rental mini-van into southern Utah.


October 1:

Our first stop was at Zion National Park. We took the shuttle into the park. At Maria's coaxing, she, I and Alexander all went on the challenging Angel's Landing hike. We made the round trip in a fast three hours from the valley floor to the top of Angel's Landing. The summit is about 1500' above the valley floor, and the route there involves some amazing cliff-side trails.

Click on thumbprint photos to see them enlarged.

Angel's Landing is at the very top of this cliff. The approach is through a canyon to the left up a switch-backed trail, then along a knife edge.


Maria on the approach path.
Beginning switchbacks.
Marilyn & Ron rest below.
Zoomed in on Marilyn & Ron.
Alexander, Maria, & Joe go on ahead.
Tight switchbacks.
That knife edge is the trail to Angel's Landing.
Maria (orange) and Alexander (blue) are in the middle of this photo.
Maria & Alexander on their way up.
Joe (yellow).
Alexander & Maria following the chain.
Alexander & Joe.
Two side by side boxes (outhouses) in the center of this picture mark the top of the switchbacks.
Alexander & Joe on the summit of Angel's Landing.
The view south.
The view north.


October 2:

We awoke early and watched the morning sun bathe Bryce Canyon with light.

Morning coffee on the Bryce Canyon rim.
Bryce Canyon hoodoos.
Ron & Marilyn.
Marilyn, Ron, & Maria
Marilyn, Alexander, & Maria.


We continued west from Bryce Canyon to the town of Escalante. We picked up box lunches and drove down to the Devil's Garden in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument for a picnic. After lunch we all walked and climbed among the odd sandstone formations.



The real adventure came next when I led the group through a couple slot canyons. I had been through Peek-A-Boo and Spooky slots in 2006 with a climbing friend. My memory of their difficulty had faded a bit. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to take my parents through them. I am so glad that Maria and Alexander were there to help. Everyone kept a great sense of humor as we treated it like team-building exercise.

Marilyn at the entrance to Peek-A-Boo Slot. We had to push and pull each other up this inital section.
Marilyn & Ron (just his head).
Alexander & Maria.
Alexander - stemming.
Resting . . . again.
Near the top exit of Peek-A-Boo.
The entrance to Spooky Slot.
Loosing skin on Spooky's warts.
Joe, Ron, & Maria.
Alexander - stemming again.
Ron & Marilyn.
Ron exiting Spooky Slot.


October 3:

We continued our exploration of southern Utah. We started our day with a high drive (9700') through Dixie National Forest where the Aspens were already turning a bright yellow.


We drove east through Capitol Reef National Park and stopped at an overlook where the Colorado River begins forming Lake Powell.


We also stopped at Natural Bridges National Monument to see the large sandstone arches there, like the one below.


We finished out sightseeing for the day with a side trip down to Monument Valley, though it was a bit grey.


October 4:

We spent our last two nights in Moab. From there we visited Arches National Park on a cold, wet, and dreary fall day in the desert. Our weather had been fantastic until this day, but we were all overwhelmed enough by all the other sights that nobody really complained about seeing Arches in the rain.

Alexander & Grandma.
Joe, Grandpa, & Alexander.



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