Day 15: Friday, August 18
MT. ZION NATIONAL PARK
To ease traffic congestion within the park, a shuttle system is available to take visitors to the most popular areas – for free! We rode the shuttle which brought us to the Canyon Visitor Center and from there we boarded another shuttle which toured us around the main attractions of the Zion Canyon. Then, we had a walking tour of the park in the morning. This time, we were looking above us at the giant rock formations and the cliff-and-canyon landscape.
The large, white flowers scattered on the canyon floor is known as the Sacred Datura and blooms only at dusk and dawn.
In the afternoon, I went out for a walk alone and came by a farm owned by a man named Don. My dad was actually there before me and he befriended the owner. Don had pet elks and bisons. A little while later, the rest of my family came by.
Don allowed us to pick peaches from his tree. An aunt and I chased and took pictures of pretty hummingbirds hovering over big flowers in vain. All I got were pictures of colorful blurs.
I bought this Indian figure made of polyresin and cost me, I think 70 bucks. I thought it was cool and I wanted it when I saw it. It had an etching of the crafter’s name behind it. Ta-da! I found out, when I removed the price sticker on the bottom that it was made in China. Hurray.
Day 16: Saturday, August 19
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
It is located in southwestern Utah. Contained within the park is Bryce Canyon. Despite its name, this is not actually a canyon but rather a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. It is distinctive due to its unique geological structures and protrusions and monoliths which were called hoodoos by the Indians. The red, orange, white and green provide out of the ordinary views. The canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1875.
Bryce is at a much higher elevation than the previous canyons we’ve visited. The elevation reached to 9000 plus feet. But we did not stay there for long. The others were raring to go to Las Vegas to play in the casinos. According to my uncles, ‘you’ve seen one rock, you’ve seen them all.”
It reminded me of the Ankor Wat. The amphitheater looked as if there were many giant people made of rocks standing and sitting together. They looked like giant fetishes. According to some legend, they were thought by the Indians to be giants who were made into rocks by the gods because they were evil.
The rocks in Bryce are more pointy and jagged like turrets of gothic castles and ancient Asian temples. They seemed sharper and harsher than the soft, graceful lines of Mt Zion. They were more vivid and showy compared with the mysterious aura of the Grand Canyon.
Bryce Canyon’s serrated design gives it a different, kind of more creative and energetic impression. Like if the canyons were really caused by aliens, as some theorized, it felt as if they had a harder time carving the Bryce Canyon. Grand Canyon and Mt Zion looked effortless and graceful. Mt Zion reminded me of the Chinese paintings of mountains.