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The Adventures Of John & Colleen Filak
Zion National Park
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We began our first backpacking adventure in the Beehive State where we tested our skills in Zion National Park.  We learned a lot on this trip...like forsaking about 30 pounds of gear, food, etc. that we really didn't need.
On Wildcat Canyon Trail, we saw not man nor beast during our two-day hike.  We also had a tough time finding water, which the Park Ranger warned us about in advance. In the middle of the night, Colleen crawled from the tent to gaze at the astounding beauty of a zillion glittering stars in the jet-black sky.  Only in unpopulated areas away from light pollution can hikers enjoy this magnificent sight. This alone made it worth carrying a heavy pack.
John nearly had a heart attack as Colleen strolled onto this cliff ledge on Emerald Pools Trail.  This unnerving sight of his wife "on the edge" brought an ancient proverb to mind - "There are old hikers and there are bold hikers, but there are no old, bold hikers."
If you seek wilderness and a distinctly uncommercial setting, you'll find it on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Only two campgrounds and one lodge offer accommodations.  The North Rim is a great escape from fast-food restaurants, souvenir shops, traffic, and annoying crowds.  One of its many highlights is the almost-spiritual experience of sitting on Bright Angel Trail to watch the golden light of the sun gently rise over the canyon rim. 

 

We were off to see the Wizard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  What has become a signature finish to our adventures, we generally cap off our outdoor exploits with a final day or two in "civilization." For this adventure in Zion, we stayed two days at The Luxor in Vegas.
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