“Be nice to people on the way up because you’ll meet the same people on the way down.” | Wilson Mizner
It’s not the hike up to Observation Point’s pinnacle at 6,489 feet that’s the challenge, it’s the descent down; during which our quadriceps regularly reminded us that dead-lift squats are a good thing.
During our road trip from Michigan to Utah, we spent two weeks hiking through Mukuntuweap National Monument (later renamed to Zion National Park) and Bryce Canyon.
In this second part of our three-part series, we explore naturally occurring gardens as we move deeper into the high-elevation deserts of Utah.
Going Up | High Altitude Garden
The park rates this hike as one of their most strenuous. While the multiple-thousand foot drop-offs that regularly occurred just a few feet away from our narrow path were breathtaking, Wilson Mizner’s words of “encouragement” were in full effect. Unlike Mizner, who could be charitably described as a con-man, the people who we met on the trail, regardless of their country of origin, were always there to lend a hand and support each other through kind words of encouragement.
Perhaps it was the View
At the pinnacle, water and food was shared among the few who made it. We shared in the silence because words, photographs, and video couldn’t begin to do this place justice. We all tried. But, you simply had to climb to the top to see it yourself.
If you have any concerns that getting to the top requires the lungs and endurance of a teenager | the pace-setter was a lady in her late 70’s who walked by us as if we were on flat terrain. And we had trained for this trip and were making good time. She was inspiring and the perfect example of age simply being a number.
Photos | Mukuntuweap National Monument
Photography | Tom Libertiny
We’ll continue our tour with Bryce Canyon in our next article.