Tag Archives: family time

Featured Photo: Hoodoo Heaven

Featured Photo:  Hoodoo Heaven  (Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah)

A few years ago, I took my three kids to southern Utah for a week of hiking and adventure. Our most cherished luxuries lay in the physical challenges, the stunning views and the fresh water we carried (everywhere!) on our backs. This photo was taken in Bryce Canyon National Park where a sudden hail storm turned a simple hike amongst the hoodoos into quite an adventure! To read more about our experience, click the links below.

MORE: Hoodoo Heaven (Bryce Canyon National Park)

MORE: Utah’s National Parks



“Hanging Gardens” (Zion National Park, Utah)

UTAH:Zion National Park; Weeping Rock Trail; beneath the falls

Zion National Park Visitor Information and Map

A “hanging garden” in Ohio would require a shepherd’s pole or sturdy tree limb, but in Zion National Park, we found such gardens trailing from the edges of sheer cliffs. The Weeping Rock Trail was an easy stroll that provided identifications for some of the intriguing plant life we had admired during our park stay and ended beneath a dripping cliff resplendent with blooming greenery.UTAH:Zion National Park; Weeping Rock Trail; hanging gardens

We wondered “Why…”

And “How…?”

UTAH:Zion National Park; Weeping Rock Trail; beneath the falls 2

Zion’s majestic peaks are comprised predominately of porous sandstone, a tangible reminder of their sand dune origin. This sandstone absorbs rainfall with the thirst of a giant sponge. The moisture then trickles down through the rock layers until it reaches impenetrable slate. With its downward path now cut off, the water flows out horizontally, eventually reaching daylight at cliff’s edge, a process that can take hundreds of years! According to our shuttle bus driver that afternoon, one sample of water was determined to have had a journey of 4000 years from absorption to its reappearance as drips down a rock wall!

UTAH:Zion National Park; Weeping Rock Trail; golden columbine in water

The rather elegant result of the sandstone’s perch upon slate is the hanging gardens, whimsical oases that dangle from a desert wall of solidified sand.


Zion National Park Visitor Information and Map

Zion National Park (Utah) Park Website

Canyons and cliffs in vibrant “rainbow” colors! Hike and climb your way through rivers, slot canyons and up radical cliffs for a “view” in every direction…
Springdale, UT 84767-1099
Park Hours: Daily (except December 25); call for seasonal hours
Entrance Fee (valid for 7 days): $25.00/private vehicle; $12.00/bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian($25.00 family cap) Annual Pass available

View Larger Map

More on UTAH…

Springdale Things To Do


Catch of the Day

Usually I prefer my shrimp unfrozen, but ocean fish aren’t impressed by delicately sauteed prawns. They want bite-sized chunks, fresh or frozen, off the menu and without too much of a wait. And so I found myself jamming frozen shrimp onto a fishhook at the end of a long boat pier in Key Largo when we explored the Florida Keys.

In the past few years I’ve done more watching than actual fishing, but it all came back to me. Kind of. My son’s interest in catching some of the legions of fish with which we’d been swimming persuaded me to overcome my slight squeamishness regarding the bait. The sky and the ocean waters were glazed by two of my favorite shades of blue. And if I didn’t breathe too deeply of the fishy odor, I found the frozen shrimp a bit easier to manage than my old standby: wriggling night-crawlers.

The best I can say regarding our catch that afternoon is that we were in the vicinity of many fish. We did see one leave the ocean on another boy’s line, but a nearby pelican had the most success of us all in plucking fish from the water.

But it was time well spent. Although my fishing skill ended abruptly at baiting the hook, my son appreciated the effort (meaning he didn’t have to bait my hook). And my daughter’s photos of my bait-hooking face (which is best described as a hopeful grimace) were slightly horrifying which translates to funny (i.e. memorable) in my family. Best of all however was our lack of success -which meant I didn’t have to unhook anything to toss back into the water!

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