Last week 7 hikers died in Zion National Park (the last one we went to in Utah), when the canyon they were hiking in experienced flash flooding. What a terrible way to die. When you see Zion, you understand how dangerous a place it can be when it rains. The “Virgin” river created the epic canyons of Zion, and it continues to this day to wield, and show the power of water. The river looks harmless, and calm, but deceiving. Even the park doesn’t try to hide it; at the last stop of the canyon shuttle bus there is a hike called “The Narrows”, and you do so at your own risk, as the canyon becomes more narrow, and dangerous as you go on. As spectaular and incredible as it is, it’s a strong reminder of how powerful the earth can be.
One of the most popular and spectacular hikes in Zion is called "Angels Landing", named such because it's so high up, only angels were thought to have made it up there. To get there you climb a mountain with 21 switchbacks, parts of the path are only a few feet wide, and you have to walk next to a sheer cliff while holding onto only a chain for parts of it. I wish I could say we did it, but it’s on the list for next time!
I also experienced my first (and last) pumpkin beer. Oh and on our way to Zion, we wanted to visit another natural hot spring, but instead we ended up in this dead end town, at the bottom of some mountain, and in what I think was an old hippie convent. The “hot spring” pool was empty and dirty, huts you could rent falling down, and there was a gorgeously dead taxidermied deer to greet us at the entrance. It’s safe to say we left pretty quick; who knows what could have happened at twilight :P