Utah (Eclipse, Snow, Zion)

20 May 2012

Actually did some hiking in the good ol' USA, not overseas. The trip was planned to celebrate my sister's birthday and nieces' masters' degrees, to explore southwestern Utah's Snow Canyon and Zion National Park, and to see the annular ("ring of fire" not quite total) solar eclipse.
Many parts of Snow Canyon consist of white Navajo sandstone (petrified sand).

Snow Canyon (shown here with red sandstone) gets overshadowed by famous nearby Zion but Snow is filled with great hiking trails and is far more accessible than Zion with its thousands of tourists.

Turning to Zion National Park...
The Kolob corner of Zion is north of the main Zion strip but also has breathtaking vistas. And it was nice to hike around without the crowds of the main part of Zion.

In Kolob, before starting the leisurely pre-eclipse picnic ― well supplied with lots of Reed's Extra Ginger Brew.

Eclipse! In an annular eclipse the moon is too close to the earth to perfectly cover the sun as it does in a dramatic total solar eclipse, but it is a really weird experience, nontheless. The semi-darkness is eerie, not at all like a mere cloud cover.

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