Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weeping Rock

Temperature 38 degrees, kind of put the morning visit to Zion on hold. However, after lunch the temperature was in the upper 60's, and we were off to ride the shuttle.

I guess it was Easter break for area schools, because the Visitor Center parking lot was full. We had to take the shuttle from the town of Springdale to the Visitor Center to pick up the Park Shuttle. This photo was taken at the Grotto. Several of Zion's more popular trails begin or end at the Grotto Picnic Area

Near Weeping Rock. There is a paved, uphill trail leading to Weeping Rock. The sandstone absorbs water, and continuous water "weeps" out of the alcove, keeping lush hanging gardens moist. The weeping is from above where Echo Canyon, a slot canyon is located.

There are other seepage areas resulting from the "spring line" between the two rock strata, kayenta and Navajo sandstone, but Weeping Rock is an impressive one. (Note the small stream of water just above the woman taking a photograph.) The weeping is from above where Echo Canyon, a slot canyon is located.

An impermeable shale makes up the floor of the slot canyon and this prevents water from being absorbed into the ground. It is forced to find a place it can penetrate, such as the sandstone at Weeping Rock. This is not a quick process. The water has been in the rocks for many, many years.

The Great White Throne is a magnificent white topped monolith and perhaps the most famous of all Zion National Park landmarks. W. H. W. Evans was the first to climb the Great White Throne. The attempt was made on June 27, 1927, but he fell on the climb down. The rescue team found him barely alive.

The name, Great White Throne, was given by the same Methodist minister, Frederick Fisher, that named Angels Landing and the Three Patriarchs. Fisher felt that the monolith was magnificent enough to symbolize the throne of God.

The Virgin River has gnawed through native sandstone to create the incredible scenery found in Zion Canyon. The river itself now serves as a natural corridor for exploring the park.

Sharp sandstone cliffs soar 2,000 feet above a labyrinth of narrow canyons cut through the soft sandstone by the Virgin River. In places, the deep canyons are barely 40 feet wide.

I'm enjoying trying to see a scene in black and white before shooting it in color.

I guess I enjoy this because black and white photography is so much harder to compose. I hope this is of interest.

There are several easy, self-guided trails along the river, as well as more challenging hikes where the river and its tributaries cut through narrow canyons.

And there is also the following invitation from the Park's web page: "Take an adrenaline-pumping hike that ends with a sheer vertical drop."

Or not.

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