One Day in Zion

A dramatic walk of red rock cliffs above a scrubby desert with large dry bushes. Another view of the red rock cliffs of Zion national park.A cluster of thick red sandstone columns are surrounded by sloping hills of rough red rock and dark green scrub bushes.

On the lower left corner, a section of road. Above the road and cars, a dramatic red wall formed of rock rises straight up. Chunks of rock are missing, as if someone took a huge chisel to the side of the cliff in places.

After a long drive through Utah, we spent a full day at Zion National Park. After dark, we went back to stargaze. We stood in the dark until our night vision improved, surrounded by rocky cliffs and a canopy of stars. Moonlight cast shadows on the ground. Mule deer grazed just outside the campgrounds, staring at us with wide-spread ears as we passed by.

I love the city life, but time in nature fills the spirit up like nothing else. ❤️ I’m so glad we came.

Yet it’s been a strange time to travel. When we left Seattle a week ago, the COVID-19 outbreak was limited to a small group of cases at a nursing home in a neighboring town. But since then, more cases have appeared and local governments have done a hard turn into mitigation strategies. It’s been shocking to see how quickly it’s all unfolded. Tens of thousands of workers are working from home, local events have been shut down, and I hear our always-terrible traffic has disappeared.

On the whole, I’m proud of my city and state. Government, business, and individuals are coming together to make things safer in an uncertain time. Emerald City Comicon is postponing next weekend’s event, prioritizing public health at what I assume is a high economic cost.

I see lots of good choices being made in Washington State in a time when good choices are difficult. It’s been too long since I felt anything positive about government and industry. So I suppose that’s a thin silver lining to come from all this.

Here on the road, we’re reducing risk as best we can. Every hotel room gets a thorough sanitizing with bleach wipes before we settle in, including all knobs, switches, and remotes. We wash our hands a lot, and carry hand sanitizer in our pockets. I wipe down our cell phones too, and we’re avoiding crowded areas. Our biggest risk comes from eating out, probably.

Over the next week, we’ll swing west, and then north, gradually making our way back to Seattle to hole up in our condo. There, we’ll dine on my stash of frozen burritos while I finish my book. And I’ll fall asleep thinking of Zion, shining silver and black in the moonlight.

This place won’t be leaving my heart anytime soon.