It is 108 degrees in Zion, Utah

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Uneventful day moving on to Zion, eventful if one considers the sudden swarm of tourists and a heat as almost belonging to another sun. The goblins and the hoodoos are now almost just a distant memory, only hoping that they still will be there when we return soon, as I know we will. They are part of today’s Blog from too many pictures taken that day and none today! Sometimes I question my own decisions about the timing of our destinations. It seems always too early and at the same time "that" urge to move on takes over.


It amazes me reading my own past entries how this Journey is changing and taking a Life of its own. Seeing… Almost not enough to just see a goblin, I have to see at different times of the day taking on different colors from the sun’s own daily Journey from east to west. Its personality changes at its waking hours and at almost its down time, they are the moments that cannot undo my sights upon them. Light! We did take a short ride today to see my Friend Michael Fatali, truly a Master of Photography, he uses Ansel Adams camera, a man who does not need any introduction. We had met last year while here and he had taught me my first lesson: "patience". Such a simple word. Today the emphasis was on "light".


That is what he does, waiting for the light, the right light, his light. Sometimes for days for that one shot on his large format camera. No Photoshop, no digital manipulation but his talent in the field and in the dark room. For the first time myself I felt as I have finallycaptured a bit of the moment at Devil’s Garden, just a bit. Seeing that golden glow on the rocks, the sand and the trees… the warmth, and yet, this is just a screen with so many others maybe not calibrated as this one unable to capture the same effect. Prints are nice.


From Escalante it was all downhill and the increasing warmth was being felt with every mile going by. Traffic increased and suddenly the wonders of Zion appeared. I realized I had forgotten how gigantic these rock structures were. From hoodoos and goblins one can touch to thousands of feet high cliffs, tunnels and a road that is a masterpiece of engineering. The 6 mile Scenic Canyon Drive is closed to traffic. Parking lots are actually full all day and shuttles are busing everyone around saving much fuel and pollution. Shuttles… meaning this time around… no dogs allowed! Same on the trails. I don’t think we will stay here in Zion itself too long as I get real tired of the "no dog" rule.


Going west from here 14 miles, is the little town of Virgin and Kolob Road goes on north from there 23 miles to Kolob reservoir perched at 8100 feet with free camping, something we will check as if all goes well it will get us out of this sardine box and heat all at the same time! So this is where everyone is at! Now I discover. Will keep Burr Trail, Hell’s Backbone, Devil’s Garden and many more of the less visited sights under cover.



I read a nice "saying" the other day by "Ruth Ann Schubacker" and I quote "Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons". Some of my daily gifts are the e mails and comments that I receive. And once in a while, for reasons so obscure to me, someone, only way to say it… is not very nice! As I quote "As for buying a piece of tranquil land then making an eyesore out of it by building a dwelling just to show off the land to the folks who are already "trying" to enjoy the peaceful beauty of it makes no sense. Don’t you think you would appreciate the beauty of the land if you just visited it once a year or more? There is nothing more disturbing than to be looking at endless beauty only to have it scarred by billboards, trash or rundown dwelling." No comment!



On the other hand, Marty and Cathy which I helped a while ago with a flat tire, unsuccessfully I must say, the couple who turned down going to get them one of my tires but instead opted for the high price of being towed, wrote me a very nice e mail, as I also quote…

"My wife and I recently returned to our home in Santa Cruz, CA, from our great Southwest road trip on the 1150 GS.  Just wanted to express our thanks to both you and Spirit for your welcomed roadside assistance as we were floundering with a flat tire en route to Bryce Canyon about 3 weeks ago.  While the tire wasn’t salvageable (I must have compromised the sidewall as I was slowing down to get off the road) and the bike needed a long tow back to Cedar City, we were able to get another tire that performed nobly for the remainder of our 2500 mile excursion, making the whole trip a bit more eventful and altogether a great and successful experience for us. When I mentioned about you to my motorcycle enthusiast son, he had already heard of you from Cycle World or another publication.  Also, a B & B proprietor in Springdale said that he had met you as well. But that’s certainly not surprising because you two sure do get around.Thanks as well for the tip about the self-vulcanizing tire plugs.  I just ordered some through my local source." Followed by a very nice invitation to their home… I would need another Blog on its own if I started publishing all the e mails and comments we receive from all the nice readers we have. And by the way… Spirit never helped with that tire!!!



Next week has a goal… Trying to make appointments with Doctors, eyes and the always fun Dentist, all in St George while we stay we our Friends near by before getting out of civilization again in Southern Texas. Has to be done. The last night in Escalante also was a gift with no ribbons this time, wide open for us to enjoy… I will only post one!


Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", organized also in "States", some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. I still have 20 T shirts that need to be sold at cost, $20 including shipping… redundant? The only way I can then switch to SmugMug’s Merchandise. These are the sizes left.

With the "ADV" (Adventure Rider") logo:   2 XXL ~ 4 XL ~ 2 M 

Plain:  2 XXL ~ 3XL ~ 5L ~ 1 M ~ 1 S

Your participation toward the site is always welcomes and accepted through the "contribution" button above… 321 colorful Chapters with many destinations for $1 a month?… now more than ever. Help the site stay alive.

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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4 Responses to “It is 108 degrees in Zion, Utah”

  1. The Artful Adventurer Says:

    You captured the light alright, and its counter point, shadow. You blend them well.
    and, 108 degrees? are you kidding me, don’t know how you do it, but glad you do.
    thanks for the photos and prose, mark and bobbie.

  2. sean m tanko Says:


    Didn’t even get a chance to ask you for your name on Saturday the 16th when we were chatting at the Kolob Levy. I was with my two kids and my buddy. We are from Las Vegas and were staying up in Kolob. I kicked myself as you rode off because it wasn’t until after you and Spirit left that I wanted to ask you if wanted to eat with my family and I down at the Kolob Retreat center. We had our annual dinner with all of the other residents.

    Anyway it was great chatting with you. I will check your website from now on to see what you are up to.

    Be safe and watch out for the crazies on the road


    Sean M. Tanko

  3. Cindy Says:

    Hello Ara,

    I just can’t imagine your photography being any better!! You are a truly talented photographerand i find your work breathtaking! I know you have mentioned it somewhere on your blog before but I would love to know what camera and lenses you are using.

    As I said before I don’t know why some people get enjoyment by raining on your parade. Never ceases to amaze me.

    I got the t-shirt in 2 days!! I was going to hang onto it for a Christmas gift for my brother but after seeing it I immeadiately sent it to him!!! I can’t wait for him to get it! He will love it. A few years ago he was taking a bike trip from New Orleans to the Pacific Northwest, where I live, when he had a terrible accident out of Montrose, Co. on HWY 50. He doesn’t remember what happened but he ended up down a long steep embankment. I flew to CO and by the time I got there he was on a vent and in bad shape. The bike he had worked so lovingly on was totaled. I flew him home with me to recover as he is a single guy and no family in NO. The next day after we got to my place he was on eBay looking for a new bike!!! He made me promise not to tell our mother! Ha ha! The next summer was Katrina and he evac’d on his bike as he was at work when he had to get out. He spent a month traveling again as he had nothing to go back for. He still lives in NO and all is well again for him.

    Take good care ~

  4. Wandrin Says:

    My compliments on your photographic eye and ability to catch the lighting and scenery of the southwest. Words are not adequate to describe the effect on me. Thank you.

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