Colorado Plateau Trip: Day 10

Tuesday May 11, 2010

Despite the threat of rain overnight, I chose not to use my rain-fly. There were no clouds at sunset, and I slept under the stars much of the night. Early that morning, just before my alarm sounded, a single drop of water hit me in the forehead. I put on the rain-fly, then made myself breakfast.

A light drizzle fell in the valley — hardly enough to form a puddle. I decided to take it easy, and head up to the high country on the east end of the park. As I gained elevation, the temperature dropped. Soon, the rain became snow. It was very light at first, but the clouds closed in, and the snow picked up.

I had the park to myself. I wandered around, enjoying the countless streams and waterfalls that formed as the silent snow fell. I visited my favorite little churro tree, and several of my other newly scouted locations. I was not inspired to shoot, that part of my trip was over.

I couldn’t help but think of how fortunate I was to be there. All over the US, most people were at work. They were cubicle hamsters — spinning an endless wheel of stress and deadlines. Yet here I was, standing in a fleeting winter wonderland in Zion National Park — my lungs full of fresh air.

The clouds broke, unveiling a winter wonderland. Beautiful snow laden bushes dotted the brilliant red sandstone hillsides.

As the sum emerged, the snow was quick to melt. Pine trees rocked in the gentle breeze, shedding snow with each sway. I took a few shots with my 6×17 camera, but without a scouted location, I was just kidding myself. There was no way I could capture such a fleeting moment.

I had a good feeling about this trip. The countless hours spent wandering through slot canyons and over desert terrain would certainly bring fruit to my effort. I could relax now, my images existed in latent form. This brief snow at Zion was icing on the cake. It was not mean to be captured — but merely to be enjoyed.

I’ll be posting a full recap of this trip, including lessons learned in the coming days. Thanks everyone who has taken the time to follow my journey on this trip.

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