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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 3-We go Hardcore Utah

I woke up refreshed having had a good solid nights sleep. I must say the pull out couch beds the Desert Pearl Inn offers is a very very comfy sleep. I was well prepared for that intruding middle medal bar that always sticks in the lower lumbar region but this bed had none of that...Dustin crawled up with me and went to sleep immediately so I wasn’t the only one who shared the same thoughts evidently.

I woke up and hit the market for luncheon meat. Was very happy to see the Sol Market was very reasonably a matter of fact must of the places in Utah are very fairly priced. I was semi prepared for the maui style price markup but as so far I have seen none of it.

I picked up some ham, turkey, and Monterey jack along with a few other odds and ends courtesy of the bargain bin that featured some butter scotch pudding and powdered wasabi which I found curious but then again-wasabi in Utah is probably about as popular as the guy wearing the rainbow afro wig wearing the full sized “the end is near” sign in downtown St Lake. I got a kick that I saw Salted Nut Rolls in the candy section-long having been one of my guilty pleasures when Im in Nebraska.

We made the free tram to the park and made our way all the way to the top of the hill to see the legendary stretch of Zion known as the Narrows. Basically you walk up the middle of the river and the farther you walk the taller and narrower the canyon walls become. We walked to the end and the mouth where the narrows begins having made the 45 minute trek in 90 degree not quite at midday heat. There were several others making the trek as well so it was a slight relief to know that we weren’t in No Mans Land.

Taking off my shoes and socks I stepped foot into the Virgin River only to find it was ice cold...I am talking a foot numbing style of cold where the muscles in your foot start to ache within seconds of stepping foot in the water. I put my socks in the backpack, put my shoes on and just walked into the river with my shoes. I figured it was hot enough where the shoes would dry quickly and also allowed me a bit more mobility as I did the Virgin River Hop Skip and Jump over various rocks and boulders. I heard later that the hike through the narrows could take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending on your pace. I will make this trek at a later date once Dustin gets past his “Im Tired, Carry Me” stage.

Alex, Alex, and Alex take in the view.

We made our way back and while the Kids made no attempt to disguise their wish to head back to the Inn for lunch and pool time Tomoko and I wanted to make one more stop at the Weeping Rock. It was an easy 15 minute or so hike from the shuttle stop albeit almost entirely uphill. At the top the Weeping Rock was just that-an Overhead of Rock that had water dropping through it.

The overhang had carved a staging area below that hikers were standing under. Along with the cool water feeling good on my head, it sounded like it was raining-not a waterfall or babbling brook sound but a sound just like a soft gentle rain. The semi cavern was well shaded and I couldn’t help but think had I a nice cot there would be no better place for an afternoon nap then this. Alex completly soaked his Angels hat while Dustin did his best to lean as far over the wall as possible to reach one of the thicker streams in spite of the fact there were plenty of drips well within arms reach and even well before the retaining wall. I think he was doing it just to scare Tomoko.

A picture I snapped during my "Ansel Adams period" which lasted about 5 minutes.

We made it back to the Van and back to the Inn and had a late lunch. I really wanted to take a nap but it wasnt to be. We finished lunch and I took the kids to the pool with tomoko joining me later in the jacuzzi which was set up perfectly as I could clearly watch Alex and Dustin as they splashed around in the pool. Whoever designed the pool area deserves a mega thumbs up. As a matter of fact I should use this space to throw mega props to the Desert Pearl Inn....everything was top notch. The pool was right in front of our back door and the river was only a 2 minute walk from the front door. The kids said they wanted to play in the river so making our way into the water and once again feeling the ice cold Virgin River water; it was a short trip to say the least.

Old Man River....the virgin river that is.

We stayed in the river less then 10 minutes and went back to the room for a brief rest. The brief rest turned into 4 hours of doing nothing and I loved every moment of it as we all went to sleep early.

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