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To paradise and back

Colors, shapes, texture, pattern, smell, sounds, views, breathtaking cliffs, overhangs that are still in the process of erosion, deep canyons, unparalleled greenery in a desert, lightening followed by thunder at the count of 5, yellow and black snakes, red sandstone and white calcium carbonate, winding river 4000 ft below, weeping rocks, weird rock formations, steep drop-offs, refreshing stream crossings, 31 miles on foot where no car can claim space, sun casting humungous shadows on the canyons, fiery houseflies that have been trained by mosquitoes to bite, scampering geckos that love to scamper, soaring falcons with high gorges in the backdrop, spooky trees charred by lightening, the first light at dawn after sunrise, scary ledges, mental and physical endurance, howling echos, awe-inspiring scenery, checkerboard mesas, hidden canyons, tempting freezing springs, shocking wildflowers, blooming prickly pear gardens, no other human in sight, undigested maggi noodles, zipped up in sleeping bags refusing to wake up, welcome solitude, eyes spoilt with all the beauty, no ceiling- just the sun and the stars, no AC- just the howling canyon winds, no Coke- just the sweet water from the virgin springs, no TV- just an IMAX view of the surrounding canyons, no seat belts- life was on a roll!

A complete understanding of geology, ecology, biology, geography, paleontology and whateverology is due. Till then, Iíll take it that there is indeed a God.

Joe Braun has explored this place sand particle to boulder and has some awesome photos of Zion. So I'm attaching his photos of all the hikes we did. As far as I can tell, photos hardly do justice. His were the best of the lot. I do need a better camera and maybe a photographer to tag along too. Hey Joe, how you doin?

We did the West Rim Trail (backpacking in the backcountry), Angelís landing (one of a kind hike- I still can't get over it), Observation point, Emrald Pools.

Narrows was also in our agenda, but the park authorities closed the trail as the river got too deep due to snowmelt. Bummer! Next time for sure! So we eneded up hiking in the Bryce Canyon instead. We werenít disappointed. The hoodoos are to be seen to be believed.

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