The first half of the day was sunny and warm with only a few small sections where our boats drug bottom. Other sections of riffles were really fun at this water level. The low water exposes rocks and boulders that are usually below the surface. The obstacles create narrow waterways that are really fun to navigate if your kayak is maneuverable enough.
The scenic byway through Zion Canyon itself had some of the most incredible opportunities for photography. Particularly the Court of the Patriarchs allowed for some great shots of the giant peaks here that jut up into the sky.
Desert View road was worth the time it took to make the drive and take the stops at viewing points for sure, but it wasn’t until the evening trip on Hermit Road when the sun was setting that the canyon really showed it’s “true colors”
Right off, the two best features to me are the nice vertical space construction. There is plenty of room for two people to sit up and play cards or organize gear inside the tent. If you ended up caught in a driving rain, this is the tent to have where comfortable living space is concerned. Also, the dual side doors makes it easy for each person to get in and out without trampling an unsuspecting tentmate.
It’s Fall now and apparently quickly turning into Winter with the temperatures dropping so quickly! This is my favorite time of year for backpacking and kayaking. It’s also the time of year that I begin to fight my number one outdoor battle…getting a comfortable night’s rest! I’m going to dedicate some blog space and gear testing time during this cold season to the pursuit of a comfortable night’s rest in cold weather.
I have to be ready at all times to carry or alternately chase after a 25 pound bundle of energy. Thank you Chaco USA for understanding and making these Z2s especially for the thrill-seeking Mothers of toddlers. What? You made them for river guides? The box must have said River Rats, I thought it said Rug Rats. Well, I would never have known if you hadn’t said something
Some of the other great things are that it weighs less than any other water storage method I know. Platypus says that it actually weighs 80% less than a hard bottle of equal volume…every ounce counts. Also, it’s BPA free and I’ve never noticed that “plasticky” taste that I often get from hard water bottles.
I arrived planning on a put-in and take-out from the same location, but was surprised to see a decent current and thought better of that option. Near the “headwaters” at the base of Table Rock Dam, the current is enough to present a fairly serious obstacle to a single access float. While this made it a fun quick ride and a great spot for viewing many varieties of fish in the clear fast waters, it meant that we needed a shuttle service.
If I can’t manage a good night’s rest, I find myself dragging groggily around camp rubbing my eyes and gradually convincing myself to continue on with the planned activity. Since I simply CANNOT sleep well when I’m cold or uncomfortable, the ProLite mattress has dramatically tipped the scale in my favor.
My friend and I were happy to spot a young cow elk grazing in the bottomland beyond Ponca and made a note to check out the viewing area in the morning. Along the short gravel drive into the Lost Valley Campground, a beautiful buck grazed quietly on one side of the car and a couple of adult turkeys with ten adolescents in tow ran through the grass on the opposite side. Just ahead a squirrel jumped off the drive. Four species in as many minutes, we were back in Arkansas! I love the diversity of wildlife still thriving in the Natural State.