No free time these days. Extra hours on the wind farm at work and plenty of other extracurricular activities taking precedence over keeping the Internet world informed. We’re putting our house up for sale later this week. The coming weeks should be plenty hectic. Trying FSBO first and going from there. We finished up a few last minute projects and cleaned like crazy a couple days ago. You can check out a slide show of our clean house at the link below:
It’s no fun selling into a buyer’s market. Somehow twice in a row we’ve bought in a seller’s market and sold in a buyer’s. If we can break even with our purchase price plus the cash we plugged in over the past couple of years I would be thrilled. If we can just break even to our purchase price after buyer’s agent commission and closing costs I won’t complain too much. I just have to keep telling myself not be too emotionally invested in all the hours of manual labor we put into this house (boy, that’s one fine looking tile shower) and keep the faith that the next home purchase will be drastically under market value.
So anyway, as much as I would like to write up a thorough account of a truly superb Zion to Grand Canyon vacation a couple weeks back, I think you’re going to get the Cliff Notes version. I’ll get to what I can get to.
Landed in Las Vegas, met Mark at baggage claim, snagged the rental Hyundai, and headed for our room at Binions ($21 total for the room, Vegas, baby, Vegas). We drove around the city a little bit on the way to the hotel and later wandered through the hotel casino and gawked up at a light show just outside, but otherwise kept out of trouble (have to save the topless vampire show for another trip). Here’s the classy daytime view from our hotel.
We woke to gray skies and snow in the forecast for Zion. Snow? You’ve got to be kidding. You can’t fight the weather though, so we put on the game faces, grabbed some groceries while we had our pick of large chain stores, then headed out on I-15. Mother nature offered some hope as we hit pockets of sun in the empty expanses to the NE, but by the time we reached St. George fat snow flakes were splattering on the windshield and we decided to wait out part of the storm in a Chili’s smack in suburbia. Delaying the inevitable with salty food and comfy booths. We hit Zion a little after noon, picked out one of the few remaining campsites, pitched our tents, then caught the shuttle bus up to the Angel’s Landing trailhead at the Grotto. Pictured: looking up at the pinnacle of Angel’s Landing and gorgeous red rock walls.
Apparently most people don’t like hiking above precipitous cliffs during snowstorms because we met very few other hikers on the trail and those that we did meet were long gone by the time we topped out. I suppose that’s one blessing of record low temps (literally, it really was unbelievably cold).
Five miles roundtrip with 1500 feet of elevation gain, this hike marched us across a narrow rock fin near its upper flanks, steps away from a 900 foot drop on one side and 1200 feet on the other. Heavy duty hand chains were used for support on some of the more exposed sections. The summit offered spectacular 360 degree views of Zion shrouded in mist and snow.
We stayed at the summit long enough to lose any warmth built up from the hike up, waiting for tiny pockets of slightly blue sky in hopes of a little sun for pictures, then it was back down.
Back at camp peanut butter and jelly for dinner went down easy. We warmed up in the car for a bit while making a firewood run, then built a one-match fire that smoldered nicely into the night.
That’s all I’ve got for now. At some point there will be a ridiculous number of pictures in the photo section of this site. Also five more days to recall when I have time, including an amazing backcountry Zion hike to the Subway and a truly perfect three days stomping around backcountry in the heart of the Grand Canyon.