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Watercolor by Peg
(Click to enlarge)
Another Canyon we loved, St Elena in Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. We hiked about a mile or so up the canyon at sunset. We were the only people there, and that is Mexico across the Rio Grande.


Google Places and Platypie

Canyons: All Grand

June 5, 2012

Zion National ParkYesterday in Zion National Park, Utah, we had the most wonderful hike I can remember. There was no lobster1 at the end of the day and we didn’t even miss it. We hiked a mile down an accessible path to the Narrows, waded into the Virgin River and walked along  in the  shaded water between canyon walls thousands of feet high -sometimes so close we could touch both sides. The water was quite refreshing - read chilly - and at times it came up almost to my waist. Clumsy soul that I am, I refused to carry my Canon 5D II, but I did carry my iPhone in a zip-lock baggie. Bernie, surefooted, intrepid soul that he is, carried a full backpack with extra camera lenses, my camera and a lot of apples.

The first two-hundred yards, there were many other people hiking the river near us. As we waded deeper into the canyon we saw fewer and fewer hardy souls. Early on, parts of the channel  became much deeper and these pools would be full of children laughing and double-daring one another to perform more and more astounding feats of bravery.

Using our walking poles to aid us in wading along the rock strewn bottom, we worked our way up about a mile into that the quiet, deep canyon. We forded small rapids, rested on tiny sand patches in shallow caves under the towering red walls and stood thigh deep in the water and just looked around in wonder.

Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, we are just a couple of water babies. The previous day’s hike, an attempt to reach Angel’s Landing to see a pair of California condors took place up the side of a cliff under a blazing hot sun. Two and a half miles in we decided the condors could wait for another day. A much cooler, possibly overcast day. Climbing in 100+ degrees heat was not for us. With maturity we have gained a modicum of good sense.

Zion National Park

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On May 20th we were lucky enough to find ourselves in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. We followed the ranger’s recommendation and parked at Panorama Point under clear afternoon skies to wait for the annular eclipse. We had read that you can get shadow shots of the eclipse with a long lens, so we were ready to project that onto a photo of the Point we had printed in the camper on the spot. We also taped a half pair of solar viewing glasses to our 300mm lens with electrician’s tape. About 35 people showed up to watch... very pleasant. The camera lens projection theory was a complete bust, although the man next to us did a sterling job with a pair of binoculars on a piece of paper. The pictures with the torn solar glasses and the tape were... well we just could not believe how well they came out.

Capitol Reef National Park

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Bryce Canyon National ParkI can barely write about Bryce Canyon National Park because a good part of the time I was teetering over the canyon floor as I was either descending into the canyon or I scrabbling and clawing my way out. I have created my own syndrome. I have empathic acrophobia. It used to be if Mike or Liz leaned over the edge of anything high, I would get week in the knees. I have extended this to include any random stranger who leans over the edge of any high place...that stranger can turn my knees to jelly. In hiking Bryce Canyon, I found my elbows were starting to display symptoms of jelly-elbowitis. My “suffering” could not take away from the sheer exhilaration of the beautiful abyss.

Bryce Canyon National Park

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Not part of this trip, but a few years ago in we spent a winter week in Grand Canyon National Park. It rained, it snowed, it warmed up slightly, then snowed again and there were rainbows. Cherishing the memory that we were almost alone there that winter, we decided to forgo the huge June crowds and not return this time. 

Grand Canyon

On to Las Vegas. Air conditioning, bright lights and old friends flying out from New York City to meet up with us.


1 From 1976 until 2009 we hiked in Acadia National Park in Maine for a week in the summer.  All those years we had large lobsters for dinner every night we were there.

Enjoyed your pictures, we visited colorado and acadia national park years ago so it was nice to see pictures you took. Although we did not hike I am not that brave.


Hank and June

Hey amigo, I see you standing in that clear water in those fabulous canyons at Zion and turn bright GREEN with envy. We’re drying up again and heating up way too quickly here in Austin. So glad you’re having such a great time.

Sure enjoy the pictures and blog, so keep on keeping on!

Your friend and fan,


How apt! Two aged innocents finally wading together into THEIR personal stream! It makes the weak weep...


So glad you enjoyed Zion, Capitol Reef and Bryce...the Narrows was closed as the river was too high when we were there, so we have hiked vicariously via you....thank you!


Wow, there is not many words that could state how and what your photos captured.  will never in my lifetime be able to see any of these or do what you did in the canyons. You have brought to me something unbelievable, and I appreciate that so much. 

Whoops, one thing though, can you really wade in the Virgin River if your not a Virgin?

Luv you both and your outstanding trip through the canyons.


OK, Now I'm jealous! Lobsters every night! You cooked them yourselves, right? Jane defers, but Simon and I have two or three a year at the Cape. We've taken to buying them at BJs and breaking all rules for sweet & tender, sharing a large 6-7 pounder that is delicious.

The canyon shots are too beautiful. You guys are really living it up and I hope you start to send some depressing blogs out soon to balance things out.
Feel free to include even minor annoyances, such as shortness of breath, severe leg spasms, or even better -- lack of sanitary conditions. That will make me feel much better about being home centered.

Although, I got to tell you, the park never looked better. Google, our 6yr old cocka-poo (I hate saying that scatalogical breed name) takes me for a walk most mornings and I've been photographing tree people. I recently found Tony Bennet's face protruding from an old bulbous osk at the base of the Delacourt theatre.

Lots of news here to share. But mostly, we are very,very blessed and I'm growing old & fat, while Jane doen't age and Simon is now taller than me. This of course allows him to give me all kinds of wonderful teenage backtal that I am very grateful to enjoy.


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