2021 Vacation: Day 7 - Red Rocks and Zion National Park

 Today we enjoyed beautiful scenery and pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones. 

We started out exploring the Red Hills Desert Gardens in the cute little town of St. George. The boys were not excited about the gardens, but they gamely wandered through with me while I enjoyed the scenery and took pictures. 

Chaparral Sage

We then left the garden area and headed up to Pioneer Park. We climbed up on the boulders for a while and then we found a slot canyon to explore. Luke was the only one of us to shimmy all the way to the top. 

After a few hours, we knew we needed to get on the road to Zion. We wanted to have time to grab lunch before rappelling. We pulled into town with plenty of time so we ate lunch and then explored the town a bit. We all really enjoyed one of the local rock shops. Gabe bought a chunk of obsidian.

At about 20 til 2 we headed over to the guide shop to meet our guide. We rode with him for about 30 minutes to the outskirts of Zion, Lamb's Knoll. Once there, he had us put on our gear, grab our bags, and then we started hiking. 

The hike itself was a challenge. It was steep and brisk and had us all gasping for breath. I did manage to get a few quick shots, but I was mostly trying to catch my breath.

Once we arrived at the top, our guide gave us a lesson on how to tie knots, how to best hold the rope, and a few tips on rappelling. Then it was go time. We started with a training rappel which was just high enough for us to get a feel for what we'd be doing and then we did three more after that. 

The hardest part for me was the initial going over the edge. Everything in my body was saying what a bad idea it was. Also, I was shifting a lot of my weight onto my hips and by the end I was in a lot of pain. 

Ben and Luke were fearless and had no issues. Gabe and I had to put on a brave face and push on through. 

I ended up going first several times so that I could get pictures of everyone coming down. Which was good for my nerves anyway.

At the last stop, we ended up in a canyon with only a narrow opening. I was mystified about how we were going to get out because it didn't seem possible to squeeze out the narrow. It turns out that was exactly how we were going to make our exit which was an adventure in itself! The bottom of the canyon was taller that the bottom of the crevice which meant we had to step off the ledge, wedge ourselves in the crack, and shimmy down to the crevice floor. I was like, "What!?" It was challenging, but fun.

We finished up with a drive back to the guide hub, said our goodbyes, and then grabbed some food at the local grocery store. The route to our Airbnb had us drive through part of Zion so we were able to see some of the interior, which was nice. I'd love to go back some day during the off season and spend more time. 


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