Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock and Menu Falls. Zion NP

On Saturday, it made sense to go a little deeper into the park. Today, I parked the toybox in-park at the visitors center at a picnic area, so that I could shuttle up and grille lunch and take a break whenever. This proved to be a winner and what I would do the rest of my visit. They do have a campgrounds in-park, however, no showers, so I saw little benefit to staying there. Mosquito cove was much more secluded and for the serious campers (my kind of place).
Emerald pools are formed by seepage through the sandstone peaks, and from springs. There are three pools at different elevations, and of diffenent sizes and characteristics. Doing all 3 is the right way to go, although the hike to the top pool is a bit strenuous. This was a nice hike, but as I progressed up the pools, the crowds got thicker :(
A little insight into human nature here. Out on the trails, people gravitate to those secluded little nooks, ONLY when someone else has found it first ;'). I had spotted a nice little pool hidded at the middle pool area, and in ten miuntes of watching, noone else paid any mind. Once I made my way in, spread out my camera and lunch, settled onto a log, and got comfortable...Here they come! Munchkins ;'). And then the parents... And, "oh, that big boulder right there affords a lot of privacy for an outhouse"... SHEESH!!!!!
So, let me cut my peaceful little rest short and trudge up to upper pool. Certainly that will be more secluded since it requires a bit of harder climbing. Yeah, right. I can only descibe it as looking like a scouting jamboree with about tourbus loads thrown in for good measure. On my way out, I ran into a couple from Australia, and the man said "oh, we thought you were with some of the cubs"... (australian for kids?). This couple were my highlight to upper pool, which, BTW, would have been an awesome spot.
Weeping rock is similiar to the water source of lower emerald pool, but has more "hanging gardens" and would have a more dramatic waterfall if the rainy season had been productive.
I de-boarded the shuttle at Big Bend, an s-curve in the canyon and a climbers haven. I walked to "Menu Falls", which the park seems to want to keep secret. I suspect it is due to no parking, shuttle pullout ot walkway along the road for access. Nice little waterfalls. The name supposedly came from being featured on the front of the lodges menu 50 years back.
After the falls, I continued on to the end of the road, Temple of Sinawava. I met up with another walker on this part of the trek. Ron works at the lodge, and, come to find out, has taken a similiar journey in life to me. He has worked with consessionaires for the last 15 years, starting in Yellowstone. He tried to talk me into going with him back to the lodge, where they were currently hiring. He made a good case of it, settle for a couple of months in the park, cheap room and board and a paycheck to boot, while I explored the park in depth...I had to appreciatively decline, just not ready for that yet, but it is reassuring to know that I have options like this available when the time comes...

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