This is our new favorite National Park. It’s a little more in the middle of nowhere, but it shares a lot of Zion’s beauty without all the crowds. We were there Memorial Day Weekend — which set a new record for number of visitors — and we still felt like we had the place to ourselves.
On behalf of my son, I apologize to all the lizards who now lack tails.
Did you know there was a guy who jumped into a 200° F hot pot at Yellowstone to rescue his dog? When they pulled him out his last words were, “That was stupid. How bad am I? That was a stupid thing I did.” When they pulled off one of his shoes, the skin of his foot came off with it. That’s one of many things I learned in the perfect coffee-table book Death in Yellowstone, a gift from my brother-in-law.
My mom’s parents, Owen and Verona Slaugh, spent time in Yellowstone on their honeymoon in 1940 –
Here’s (one side of) a couple of Owen’s 3-D photos from the 40s:
My dad’s family were also frequent visitors:
I was in high school during the fires of 1988:
Fires of 1988
Bison in the smoke – fires of 1988
Welcome to West Yellowstone Barbee Que – referring to Bob Barbee, the superintendent of Yellowstone during the fires of 1988
Burnt trees after the 1988 fires
Fifty-seven years after my grandparents, Wendy and I honeymooned in Yellowstone as well –
Wendy and Justin in Yellowstone – 1997
Justin and Wendy in Yellowstone – 2014
We’ve had a few family reunions there over the past few years. I try to make a video each time:
I never take my dog. But if I did, I wouldn’t jump in after him. That would be stupid.
Angels Landing is a tall rock formation in Zion National Park in Southern Utah. It’s an awfully fun hike. It’s about 3 hours roundtrip and the views get progressively more impressive as you go. The last half-mile gives amateurs like me a little taste of the thrill of the mountain climbing I’ll never do. It’s just the right amount of dangerous. There are huge chains to hold on to and there’s only one short section where you can see straight down both sides of the trail.
Adding to the excitement is a sign that informs you of six deaths on the trail since 2004.
If you’re curious, you can find links to articles on each death at Wikipedia.
My first ascent was in about 1995 when I worked at Jacob Lake Inn at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I took this photo of my feet dangling over the edge and displayed it in the convenience store as “Photo of the Day” for a couple of months. I miss those shoes.
A couple of years ago, I met up with a couple of old friends to celebrate surviving 40 years on earth by risking our lives on the hike. The most dangerous part ended up being almost missing the last shuttle of the night from the trailhead back to the campground.
In 2011, I went with the young men from our ward and encountered a rattle snake on the trail –
On the last visit (May 2015), I found this guy playing the didgeridoo at the peak –
You should go. Just be careful when you back up for photos.