Denise Goldberg's blog

Red rocks glowing
Glimpses of Zion National Park

Saturday, January 17, 2009


A start, a journal written by Rover...

Greetings and bounces!

Denise said that I really should introduce myself before I start talking about our trip. My name is Rover. I'm a little red dog, and I travel with Denise. I jumped into her panniers just after she started her journey across America on two wheels, and I've been traveling with her ever since. I contributed a couple of journal pages on our trip to Death Valley late in 2007, and you know what? I decided that creating pictures with words can be fun.

I've been whispering to Denise every day, telling her that I want to write a whole trip journal, not just a couple of pages. This trip is only three days, so I figure that this is a good journal for experimenting. Don't you think it's a good idea? This way Denise can concentrate on taking pictures, and I'll work on stringing all of the words together. Oh, this is going to be so much fun!

Oh look!

I was playing with our baby computer - an ASUS Eee - and I thought I'd see if I could grab a photo of me sitting next to Denise's big camera. And look, you can see a reflection of the screen with a picture of me and the camera in the camera lens.


This is really a better picture of me. Denise took this one as we were tramping up Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park.

Table of Contents

For now, please use Blogger's list of posts in the sidebar to follow my trip in reverse sequence. I plan to flip this blog on its head so that the posts flow from oldest to newest (like the table of contents in a book), adding a real Table of Contents and a Page by Page sidebar entry, and adding (better) next and previous links at the bottom of each post.

I probably won't be able to make these changes for the next several weeks.

...Denise, January 16, 2009

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's that quiet click I hear?

Denise was pretty busy playing with her camera as we wandered. She walked, I pranced, and the camera kept clicking away.

There are photos in this journal, but there are more in Denise's photo galleries. And you can view the photos in her galleries splashed across your whole screen if you'd like - just click the slideshow button in the upper right of the photo gallery window.
Oh, if you're in the gallery slideshow, you can get control of your computer back again by moving the mouse and clicking "return to gallery" or by just clicking the Esc key.

Denise created four photo galleries for this trip, one for each wandering day, and one for shots that crept in as we walked in Springdale in the evening.
You can enter the photo galleries at Red rocks glowing - June 2008, or you can go directly to the individual galleries:

Curious to see other places that Denise has wandered over the years? Start at and join her wanderings! If you are curious about any of her photos or wanderings, you can sign Denise's guestbook here or click the Questions? Contact me link on her photo pages. You can leave me a message at either place too.
And yes, this is still Rover writing. Denise promised I could write the entire journal. I wonder if she'll let me write the next one too?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Zion curiosities

As we traveled on the park shuttle buses, we listened. Many of the drivers chatted as they drove, and one actually played a recording that he had made about the park, and about the formation of Zion Canyon.

Remember that wonderful map that I bought for Denise before we headed west? A good chunk of the details that we absorbed from listening to our shuttle driver apparently came from the information on that map. (Or possibly someplace similar - I bet there are many sources for the same words.)

I found the descrption of the Grand Staircase very interesting. It's the area between Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. What I found fascinating was that "the bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion, and the bottom layer at Zion is the top layer at the Grand Canyon".

Most of the rock that we saw in Zion are Navajo Sandstone. According to the information on our map, the steep cliffs are from 1600 to 2200 feet thick. Apparently they are the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world.

Shades of red sandstone combined with the erosive powers of the Virgin River created sheer beauty.

I found this quote in the National Park brochure for Zion National Park, credited to John Wesley Powell, 1895, to be very fitting:
"All this is the music of waters".

Monday, June 9, 2008

Heading home

Well, we're heading home for a few days anyway, until our trip next week to Acadia!

We're at the Las Vegas airport, waiting. Our plane is here, sitting at the gate, with a scheduled departure at 4:05PM. When we arrived at the airport the monitors were showing an estimated departure at 4:50PM. Why the delay? Apparently there is a line of severe weather in the midwest stretching from Chicago into Texas, and all air traffic to the northeast has been put on hold.

Maybe if the flight leaves later we can go through calm instead of crazy air. That would be a good thing because Denise really doesn't do well on roller-coaaster flights. She already took her normal Dramamine. I wonder if I should suggest that she take another one. What do you think?

Denise borrowed our baby computer for a bit, and guess what? She discovered that McCarran Airport has free wifi access. Nice!

We're in the air now, late, but not too late. We took off at 5:10, which probably puts us in to Manchester at a little after 1AM. I'm hoping for smooth air (for Denise, I like roller coasters!), and for a big push from a tailwind. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Oh look - I popped up to the window at exactly the right time to see the Grand Canyon. Wow! That's really big, isn't it? It's funny, Denise told me a story about when she was there, standing at the North Rim, absorbing the beauty. She overheard someone saying that they didn't like it because it was too big. I suppose some people could see it as overwhelming, but it's so beautiful! And that was looking at it from really far away.

Denise visited the Grand Canyon before I started traveling with her. I think I'd like to see it in person. I know Denise has bunches of places on her travel list; I think I'll ask her to add the Grand Canyon to that list too.

I wonder what time it is on the ground underneath us. Denise switched her watch back to eastern time, and it's 10:00PM at home. I think we're floating over Nebraska right now, or just east of there. The sky above us is still light. The puffy clouds underneath our airplane are just starting to wear shades of pink. Oh, it's fading away, becoming gray. What an odd vantage point for watching the sun set, an airplane window.

Home again... The big bird landed only a half of an hour late even though we left Las Vegas a good hour behind schedule. The wind gods were kind to us and gave us a bit of a push.

Time for sleep, and for dreaming of our next trip...

I thought I'd pose with this wonderful bronze character near the visitor center.

You did want a parting photo of me, didn't you?

Photos: Following the river

Wind blowing

Crash! The window blinds were flying. Denise & I woke in the middle of the night to the sound of wind howling. She popped out of bed to figure out what caused the big noise, and she adjusted the blind so it wouldn't crash against the windowsill again. Back to sleep... The wind was still howling in the morning when we greeted the day.

Breakfast first, then off to the park!

It was a non-trail start to the day. We jumped off of the bus at the Court of the Patriarch's, wandering up a short path for a good view of the peaks, and then down to the river to watch the water smoothly flowing, then tumbling over rocks.

We started down the road, heading in the direction of the visitor center, the park entrance. The first half of our jaunt was along the road, a road without traffic. There were the shuttle buses, some folks wandering on bicycles, and an occasional service vehicle. For the most part it was very quiet. Down the road, looking, absorbing the sight of the canyon walls changing color as the sun inched higher. We stopped a lot, sometimes to look at the colors behind us, sometimes to sneak down to the river to watch the flowing water, sometimes to follow the flash of color from the wildflowers.

At Canyon Junction, our feet led us to the Pa'rus trail. No more cars! Just other people looking, absorbing the beauty. We crossed the river several times, floating across some sturdy but still pretty bridges. At one point Denise just stopped on the bridge and stared at the river. She stared, and smiled. There was a bird flitting about, dipping down closer to the surface of the water, flitting up again. It looked like a hummingbird, but it was big. There are nine varieties of hummingbirds that hang out in Zion. Of those, there are six that flit here in the spring, and only some of them hang out in the area near the river. I know Denise has a bird book at home. I hope that I can figure out which of the hummingbirds we saw.

Oh, we saw little hummingbirds all week, on all of our hikes. We only noticed one of the big birds.

We walked a little further, still along the river. A big bird flew by, a big but familiar bird. It was a great blue heron. Those birds hang out in a lot of places, don't they?

Hey look! What a beautiful bird that is, with bright blue wings, almost like an artist's painting. Denise had to look a a few times. She kept seeing that splash of bright blue, but when the bird landed, prancing on the ground, looking at us, well it almost looked like its face was gray. That bird had a very fitting name too - it was a bluebird.

Before we headed out, we had another smile moment. As we walked slowly through the exhibits outside of the visitor, we paused to watch skittering lizards playing games. They were playing in pairs, but the pairs kept changing. Running, looking at one another, changing directions, They were moving so fast that Denise couldn't catch them with her camera. Funny and beautiful.

All too soon it was time to end our visit. I know we'll be back again; I don't think Denise will ever take Zion off of her list of must visit again places.

It was hard to get a photo of one of these beautiful birds. I wish that we were a little closer, and I wish that we could have stayed in this one spot watching the bluebirds for longer. But I'm so glad we were able to share some space with this blue-winged creature.

And what a fabulous shade of blue!