Part of a Western States Road Trip:
I met Angi and Cody on a tour of the awe-inspiring hills of the Scottish Highlands. Somewhere between searching for Nessie, walking across the memories of Culloden Field where the Highlanders were massacred to end the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, and snapping pictures in front of the stone circles that inspired the book series “Outlander,” Angi and Cody invited me to see the sandstone bluffs of their hometown of St. George, Utah.
I doubt that they expected me to actually show up in St. George just a year later, but that’s exactly what I did!
We set out immediately for a hike, Angi and Cody making good on that promise to show me the beauty of the place they call home.
Before we got to the park, though, we pulled over suddenly in order to check out a cache that Angi saw on her Geocaching app as Cody drove. As we searched for the hidden capsule in a bed of rocks, using the geocoordinates that someone years before had recorded in order to hide this cache, I was immediately hooked on this new way to explore the outdoors.
Once we found the cache and left our names on a list with the others who had searched here before us, we set out for that hike.
Snow Canyon State Park
When we passed by a sign that read “Jenny’s Canyon,” I was pretty sure I knew where I wanted to start our afternoon in Snow Canyon State Park!
The canyons are what is left of a sand sea that cemented into stone formations called Navajo sandstone. Over millions of years, water shaped the stones into canyons and, to add to the geologic mishmash of color, about 1.4 million years ago, lava flowed into the canyons from the eruption of nearby cinder cones.
Over on the petrified sand dunes, I was introduced to Moqui marbles. Say what?
Over thousands (more?) of years, the wind whipped up little balls of sandstone that are covered in iron oxide minerals. Over time, they break away from their home on the petrified sandstone bluffs and roll into piles of, well, marbles! Angi says it makes the bluffs look like they have acne.
As we crunched our way across a carpet of Moqui marbles and used their little ridges and bumps as traction to clamber up a steep incline, I had to agree!
We then headed for Pioneer Names Trail, where the Mormon settlers to the area painted their names into a sheltered enclave of petrified sandstone, using the axle grease from their covered wagons.
Though Angi is no longer a Mormon, there was evident pride in her voice as she noted that her daughter’s ancestors are painted on the rock.
I, on the other hand, was enthralled by the person actually dangling from a rope that was tied high above at the top of a towering bluff.
All in all, while far different from the green, rolling hills of the Highlands, I have to agree that St. George, Utah is a beautiful place to be.
Thanks for a great stop on my Western States road trip, Angi and Cody! Now onto Zion National Park!
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