The Adventures of Cathy - Chapter 6 - Too Many CowsI have to take the time to rant about the amount of cows here in the U.S.A. Big Cities excluded, try to drive more than 30 minutes without seeing a cow, or evidence of them. It is really ridiculous. I say that everyone do what they can to minimize their use of cow products. I don't need to tell you the benefits all would have if there we fewer cows around.
I don't have much to say about Bryce N.P. It was OK, not my favorite and it was crowded. There are about 2 really cool overlooks there rest seemed to just repeat itself. We did a short back country trip that was said to have the best scenery. It was ok, but there were no views of the Hoodoo spires that make the park famous and a burn had been done recently so the foliage was not that thick.
Now Zion, there is a park to be reckoned with. Unfortunately we hit the park on he weekend of the fourth and the crowds were horrible. The park definitely has a problem with over use. People were hot, it was over 100 every day, and cranky. We decide to do a 14 mile loop back county backpack. This was again a cool hike. After descending about 1000 feet you come to a valley about 100 ft wide with sheer cliffs about 60 ft high on either side and a creek running down the middle of it. The bad part of the trail was on private land and there were cows everywhere. I dubbed the river, "cow crap creek" Take it climb up manure mesa out to prairie pie point and look over at bovine butte. It was udderly stinky too. Calf the fun was deciding leather or not lighting a match would blow the whole canyon up. We milked along and got up the next cliff. We wrangled along so we wouldn't have to steak camp there. Some times you just have to take the bull by the horns and persevere. I wouldn't steer you wrong.
The end of the trail boasted the worlds largest free standing arch. It was pretty neat. Back by a different river where our campsite was I laid down in the river to cool off and play. While I was wringing out my socks and the such we saw a gopher snake jump out and grab a frog. The frog was about the size of a racquetball and the snake was 2 ft long and a centimeter round. After initially being grossed out I got the camera and took pictures. We watched the struggle for about half and hour. I got a bit bored and pretended to be Loren Greene from Animal Kingdom. The voice over was all that was missing. It was something to see live and in person. Poor frog. It could have been my prince and I just watched it get eaten by a snake.
I can see why the Grand Canyon gets over 5 million people in visitation each year. It really is an amazing sight. We backpacked from the less popular North rim 14 miles down into the canyon. Heeding the warnings posted all over to not hike after 10am or before 4pm we started down late. It got dark before we had gotten to the midpoint campground. No problem flashlights in hand we trudged on. My batteries went out in 10 minutes. Yes, I had spares, in the car. With about 2 miles left to go Andrew almost steps on a rattlesnake. I squealed like a girl. We made it to camp and set up. Around 5 in the morning we hear a noise. It was a turkey trying to eat Andrews socks off the picnic table. Very Bizarre. The trail is also used for mules so avoiding smelling and stepping on their excrement was an issue. I can only say the experience was ok. I wouldn't do it again given the choice. There are other parks close by with seemingly better hiking and scenery to offer.
Onto the City of Sin, Las Vegas. What a complete waste of resources. I can't believe it is popular at all. I did win 5 bucks on the quarter slots. I wanted to play blackjack, but you had to have $5.00 to sit and my gambling limit was $10.00. I quit while I was ahead and Andrew and I spent my quarters in the arcade. I won some stuff on the "guess your age" game. Helps to look like your 16 sometimes. They also had a South Park pinball game. How cool is that;-) I ended up loosing a contact, so that will be $75.00 out the window. No one leaves Vegas a winner. For your at home Vegas experience I recommend you get a box of Velveta, write a check for $200.00 to your favorite charity, turn on the cartoon network extra loud, and leave your shower running.
If you plan a vacation out this way a few recommendations. Don't come in July, it is too hot. Best Park to worst park, all things considered..$, scenic, back country, crowds, management, etc.
1. Capital Reef - No I am not biased
3. Zion - the crowds & congestion kept this from the 1-2 spots
6. Grand Canyon
One last road weirdness. A white truck with lights on top passed us. The printing on the tailgate read, "Livestock Officer". I wonder exactly what he does. "Bossie, we found your little girl Bessie in the chicken coup again, she made Henny Penny break her eggs and Foghorn Leghorn can't crow in the morning any more. I'm sorry, but I am afraid it is veal for her" or "Hey you cows, stop grazing so close to that loco weed". Maybe Wilbur and Babe are trying to plan a way to overtake Old Mcdonalds farm. I don't know, but I will sleep better knowing that the livestock have controls on their behavior and their is a consequence when cows get mad.
Tune in next time for Joshua Tree, Visiting my Aunt in L.A., and Yosemite (five day backpack). Also a new game for you the viewer. Guess how many puns per e-mail and win a free Ginzu knife collection, but wait there's more...
"Remember there are no stupid questions, just stupid people" - Mr. Garrison
Copyright (C) 1998-2008 Cathy Cutler