Zion Canyon, part 2: Salt Lake to Zion

Monday began with some sister-time for the three of us.  We were interested in seeing Great Salt Lake, but of course it was nothing special for Jon and his family, because they had lived there for years.  So since Mr. and Mrs. G. had some things to do before we left for southern Utah, us girls decided to spend the morning seeing Salt Lake.  (“Mr. and Mrs. G.” sounds weird to me, but in the interest of internet anonymity, I’m going to say that instead of their whole name!)  First we have the obligatory three-girls-taking-their-own-picture shot.  The lake is behind us, really!  🙂

Our first stop was a place called Saltair.  It is basically a ballroom on the lake shore.  We learned that the old Saltair was actually built over the water in 1893.  A few decades later it burned down, and they build the current Saltair.  We went to the gift shop and then walked out onto the beach.  The beach was a strange texture, crispy and salty.  We felt like the lake was still far away, and we weren’t wearing proper foot attire to walk across crispy, salty, damp beach to reach it.

So we went a little farther down the road and found another lake-front stop, which was much closer to the water.  The smell of brine and lake life was even stronger here, and the beach was less crispy and more beach-like.  I wonder if the Saltair beach area is usually actually water-covered, because it was such a different texture.

We found our way down to the beach and enjoyed the brilliant sunshine.  There is nothing like desert sunshine.  The sky is so much more blue in Utah than in the midwest.  My theory is lack of humidity.  My sisters seemed to agree.  🙂  It’s beautiful, and I love it.

I did not make this rock display of my initials.  The beach knew we were coming.  Or, someone else with the initials DB visited this beach recently.  Both valid options.  🙂

The beach (or the recent visitors) also left us another lovely rock display.

The birds enjoyed themselves, too.  🙂

In the afternoon, we headed south.  Salt Lake City is in a valley between two mountain ranges, and the valley widened and shallowed gradually as we progressed south.  We enjoyed the view between naps and conversations during the four-hour ride.

We arrived at our hotel in Springdale, UT, which is a tiny tourist town surrounded on three sides by Zion National Park.  The town is basically in the southern end of Zion Canyon.  The views from all our rooms were magnificent, as you can see.

After settling in at the hotel a bit, the hikers of the group ventured to the entrance to Zion National Park to take care of our park passes and familiarize ourselves with the shuttle that would take us to and from the hotel.

As always, we were distracted by things we had never seen.  We later discovered this plant is yucca (I think), but we saw it all over Springdale and the park. 

From left: Megan, Amy (Jon’s sister), me, Sarah, and Jon.  Excited to begin hiking tomorrow!

There is no bad view in the park, the town, from the hotel, anything!  I was struck all week with the idea of how small I am, in size and in time.  My lifetime, or even the lifetime of the human race so far, is nothing compared to how long it took this canyon to form.  You can see the history of the earth in the side of the rock, in the colors and shapes and designs.  Pictures cannot do it justice.  A few days can’t do it justice.  I have a feeling people could live in Zion Canyon their entire lives and not become complacent with the majesty and the beauty of it all.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 14:31:24

    Yes, Dawn, those are yuccas. They even grow in the midwest! I’ve seen them with creamy white flowers, but it looks like the same plant with a different colored flower.


  2. Betty
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 03:27:12

    “more please”! I want more about vacation. Thank you!


  3. Sarah
    Oct 08, 2010 @ 22:10:15

    Do you see the straight hair in August?? That means that there is NO HUMIDITY in Utah!!!! Woo-hoo!!!


  4. Trackback: Zion Part 4: Angels’ Landing and Emerald Pool « Dawn’s Place

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