Zion Floods!

All week long, the National Weather Service has been predicting a major storm for Southern Utah.  Well, this storm finally arrived!  And one daddy of a storm it is!  Check out the radar image as of 9:00pm MST!  (Courtesy of WeatherBug)

radar0.web

Anyway, it’s usual to go into Springdale to get hiking food for days off, and needless to say, it was raining the entire time. (It’s going to rain for sometime, actually.)  On the way back, we were stopped at Canyon Junction by a Park Ranger that told us the road was closed because of flash flooding across the road.  So we had to pull up and wait for some time to get the all clear.  While parked, we decided to go look at the river.  Well, if you’ve never seen a flash flood, here you go:

CRW_1245

This was awesome!  However, as rivers do, they tend to increase in size, especially when countless waterfalls are pouring into the river.  The image above?  that was the beginning!  About 10 to 15 minutes later, we decided to go back to the river, and guess what?

CRW_1251That’s right!  The river flow increased dramatically!  At least 10 fold!  It was a sight to behold!  Standing there on the river’s edge watching trees (and possibly boulders) flow down the river.  I was enjoying the view, when I turned around and saw this:

CRW_1257This changed my attitude very quickly of WOW! to UH OH!  Maybe this isn’t such a good idea to be standing here.  I looked closer to the trees where I was standing and…..

CRW_1258… sure enough, the river was rising!

CRW_1262Time to get to high ground!  As the National Weather Service always says, “Turn around, don’t drown.”  So we high tailed it out of there.

By this time, we had yet to hear from the Park Ranger, so we decided it was time to go up the road and try to get home to Zion Lodge.  A short time later, we were stopped again by a shuttle in the road.  I decided to take advantage of the situation and get more photos of the river and waterfalls.

CRW_1265This was at the curve which was flooded out in 1995 by a flood, below the Sentinel.  These trees are about 8 to 10 feet tall, or were that tall.

Here’s a cool look at the Sentinel:

CRW_1274The mountain in front is the infamous Sentinel Slide that created a lake in Zion Canyon about 10,000 years ago or so.

Here are some cool waterfalls coming off the Twins.  The water of course is what’s flooding the road.

CRW_1271

After much tribulation and driving through mud and debris, we made it back to the lodge.  It’s always a treat to see Employee Falls flowing.  However, it’s unusual to see three waterfalls at the same time.  It’s either only one or two.  It’s also unusual to see clouds below the rim like this, so, enjoy!

CRW_1277

Hope you enjoyed the adventure as much as I did.  You of course stayed dry the entire time.  By the time I got home, I was soaked to the bone from the rain.

Kelly

Perseid Meteor Shower (Fail)

On this past Monday night, the peak of the Perseid Meteor Show was supposed to give a fantastic show.  I went camping that same night, which by luck fell on the same night as this event.

The site of this amazing camp was at Kolob Reservoir on the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.  It was a cool 7,500 ft in elevation and nice and cool for the entire trip.  We got there around mid afternoon and picked out the campsite next to the lake.  We went for a short hike up the hill, and then relaxed the rest of the day by the lake.  This is what a sunset looks like there.

CRW_0998

It’s absolutely quiet here, with the occasional boater and fisher to come by.  They don’t disturb the quiet very much, since noise will scare fish away.  This is at least what I was told when I was younger.

While wandering around getting photos of sunset, I ran across some yellow flowers that are amazing.  Take a look:

IMG_1010

 

Around sunset, I setup my equipment to capture the Perseid Meteor Shower.  Here is one shot of the constellation Cassiopeia.

CRW_1059

I had everything ready for the meteor shower.  I took over 80 photos of the constellations trying to capture some meteoric displays, which I saw quite a few awesome trails across the sky.  I captured this image:

CRW_1072

I looked at this image the next day, seeing a trail in this image.  I processed it like crazy to determine if I actually captured a meteor trail.  However, I discovered a commercial airline had crossed the sky when I took this image.    In all the 80 images, all I got was two airliners.  Hence, what I did see of the Perseid Meteor Shower was awesome and exciting.  However I came to the conclusion it’s easier to photograph lightning.  At least lightning is somewhat easier to predict and anticipate for capturing on film.

The next day, my friend and I went hiking above Kolob Reservoir, and this was the view from the hike:

Kolob Terrace

 

On the left is Zion Canyon, with the Narrows and Kolob Creek, in the middle is Kolob Reservoir and on the right is the Kolob Canyons and Kolob Fingers.