Denise Goldberg's blog

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A deer surprise

It was to be a short day for walking, even with the extra hour that jumped out of my back pocket. And yes, I did switch my watch to Pacific time this morning to avoid inadvertantly losing that hour! Walking, traveling...

A chilly morning greeted me, chill air topped by clear blue skies. Instead of eating breakfast in my room again, I piled on the layers and ate at my outside table with a view of tall red rocks enhancing my meal. Another good breakfast prepared my feet for walking. Today's feast was quiche, English muffins, blueberry muffins (that jumped into my daypack for a mid-day snack), and wonderful cantelope & strawberries. Happy traveler, happy stomach. As much as I am happy with cereal and fruit for my normal at-home breakfast, a B&B breakfast is a nice change in pace.

This turned out to be the perfect place for me to experience some warm temperatures. This morning's weather forecast called for 5 inches of snow at some of the ski areas close to Salt Lake City. That forecast made me very glad that I'm playing in a large state with very different weather patterns in the northern and southern regions; snow and high desert. What I am accustomed to as summer weather is probably a little cool for the folks here, but I like it.

My biggest puzzle of the day was figuring out where to walk. I didn't have time for the trails that really appealed to me, and the shorter trails that I hadn't already wandered on this trip didn't call out to me for some reason (not a rational reason, of course!). So - I hopped on the bus and jumped out at Court of the Patriarch's. The sun was hitting the tops of some of the peaks while the area along the river was still cast in shade. The contrasts were beautiful, and I decided to just walk back from there. Sunshine, shadows, more sunshine... Walking along the empty road, wandering down by the river, listening, looking...

I jumped onto Pa'rus trail at Canyon Junction and followed that back to the visitor center. By some dumb luck I took a quick side trip to the museum - bathroom break, wouldn't you know? As I walked down the narrow trail leading to the museum, I startled a deer, and the deer startled me. It was so quiet, and all of a sudden I heard a thrashing sound. I looked forward to see a beautiful deer bounding across the trail. I stood still, and so did the deer. We had a bit of a staring contest and then she moved on. I looked to the right, trying to see where she had come from, and found two more deer across a small stream. They were quite happy to stand and watch for a few minutes too.

The end of my walk meant the end of my visit to Zion. I'm sure I'll be back again, I just don't know when. I wonder if I'll ever find a place that I like where I am willing to live with only a single visit. Somehow I don't think so.

Traveling, driving... heading out of the park, red rocks still evident. Speeding through Utah, and then the northwest corner of Arizona, beautiful scenery. The rocks tilted up, red, high above my head, road winding down. I had all I could do to stop myself from pulling over to the side of the road and leaping out of the car with my camera. No, Denise, that would be very bad behavior. After all, this is an interstate highway, and even though the speed limit has dropped to 55 from the 75 miles per hour norm - because of the curves and these beautiful hills - that doesn't mean it's ok to stop. (And you're right, I didn't stop!) Almost as soon as I entered Nevada, the interested terrain stopped; the land flattened, desert, scrub, rolling terrain.

Flying... Somewhere just east of the Rockies. I looked out of the window to the north to see what appeared to be a small plane in the distance, heading to the west. Distance does funny things to perspective though; I'm sure that what I saw was a reasonable sized jet and not a small plane. It was an interesting vision, and one that was repeated again a little bit later.

Flying east into a darkening sky... changing time in the direction that I find difficult... For some reason I have very little problem adjusting to the time change heading from east to west, but when I return to the east my body typically rebels. My flight lands tonight at 11:45. Getting up for work in the morning will be interesting.

My weekend escape over, it's time to turn my imagination to the puzzle of where my bicycle and I will travel later this year. I wonder how long it will take to decide. (And yes, that is a good problem to have!)

Yes, there are more photos from my wanderings this morning. You can see them at A last morning's walk, Court of the Patriarch's & south.