Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

“Zion is Sanctuary”

Desert Bighorn, Zion NP

If you’ve ever been to Zion NP you’ve probably heard the phrase “Zion is Sanctuary”.  It’s an expression that’s been around at least as long as the park itself.  And it certainly fits.  Aside from Acadia NP in Maine, it was probably the first park we ever visited.  Not surprisingly, it’s still our favorite.  We never tire of seeing it.  Part of the reason for that is the sense of “sanctuary” that one gets in this place.  It just feels “safe”.  Well, if you don’t consider some of the idiot humans who wander through.  Some of ’em are just plain nuts.

If these creatures could talk, they’d probably say the same thing.  We’ve seen them before wandering around in the park, but never this close.  We spotted bighorns 3 times in Zion on this trip, actually.  I’m guessing their numbers are gradually increasing.  Like American bison, they were fairly rare as recently as the 1960’s.  Now the herds are slowly growing again.  This one certainly wasn’t concerned about my presence (although I wasn’t as close as it looks).  Which is a good thing given those nasty looking horns.

Right now we’re “resting” in Las Vegas.  And it’s very hot (upper 90’s).  But at least I have reliable WIFI here.  It was very spotty over the last week in both Springdale, Utah (Zion) and in Page, AZ.  Some days it worked and some days it didn’t.  Ain’t civilization wonderful?


4 Responses to ““Zion is Sanctuary””

  1. Cedric

    We loved Zion NP when we went there too. So much so that we stayed longer than we had planned. I remember the bighorns but I don’t recall seeing any idiot humans. We must have been lucky 😉

    • Paul Maxim

      Zion is one place that always seems “new” to me. It’s never the same, and we’ve been there a number of times. But man, it can get seriously crowded. You have to find your way to places that no one else goes to.

      Your recollection about not encountering any “idiot humans” reminds me of something my daughter-in-law said the other night. We’d just walked out of a Las Vegas casino and she noticed the full moon. “Dad”, she asked, “do you think it’s true that the full moon turns some people crazy”? “No”, I replied. “They’re always there. The full moon just illuminates them at night”.

      Actually, they’re readily apparent during the day as well. One day I was driving down from the Zion tunnel (on the switchbacks) and I came around one of the sharp curves. There, right in front of me, was a young woman kneeling in the road taking a picture of some flowers growing on the side of the road. She was squarely in the lane. And then she didn’t move. She glanced at me for a second and went back to her picture-taking. For a fraction of a fraction of a second I thought of not hitting the brakes. Heck, she might even have been eligible for a “Darwin Award”.

      • Cedric

        Idiot-humans are definitely not an edangered species. We visited Zion back in 87 so quite a long time ago. It would have been around March or April, I don’t remember exactly but as I remember it the park wasn’t crowded. Of course that could just be a false memory as my brain tends to shut out people when I’m in nature. Or maybe we just got lucky. I’ll try to find photos (assuming I’ve kept some) and see if they reflect my memories or not. In any case, it is a beautiful NP. One of my favourites.
        By the way, I like your definition of lunatics: regular idiots illuminated by the moon. It’s about time we stopped blaming the moon 🙂

  2. Paul Maxim

    In my opinion, you were there at just about the right time. March and April can offer some interesting photography (even snow is possible) and the crowds haven’t arrived yet.


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