Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

A Riverside Walk

Wednesday June 15, 2011
Zion National Park
Watchman Campground Site B-3

The awning woke us both up in the middle of the
night.  We had forgotten to stake it down
and the winds were making it rattle.
Got that fixed and thought perhaps we should
get some of those awning straps.  If anyone
reading has them, let me know what you think.

So we weren’t as rested as usual when we went
out running this morning.

One of my followers, Pat, asked me to talk more about
my running.  So I’ll say just a little here.
She wanted to know if by running I meant real running.
Well no, probably not. 

I don’t run because I love it.
I run because like vitamins, it’s good for me.
I have done races although only as far as 10 miles
and I don’t do them any more because
a) I just don’t care about competition
b) I have too much trouble keeping my own pace
with so many others running with me.
c) they’ve gotten too expensive

I run between 4 and 5 miles every other day.  I really
think running every day is too hard on your joints.
But that’s just me.
David likes running less than I do but comes
along most of the time and runs most of the way.
He’d rather be playing racquetball but on the road
that’s pretty hard to do.  Those of you who have
followed for a while know that he brings his camera
and stops for pictures.  :-)

So anyway, today we got out and ran over
to the visitors center and up the paved Pa’rus
(Pah-Roos) Trail to the Canyon Junction and back.
Pa’rus is a Paiute word meaning
bubbling, tumbling stream.


It was a total of not quite 5 miles.
The Pa’rus itself is 3.5 mile round paved trail
and the only trail in the park that permits
bicycles and dogs.  Both are permitted on all
the roads in the canyon.

The sun wasn’t up high enough luckily so
the trail was in the shade. 
Some setting for running huh?


The trail runs along the river and crosses over it 4 times
on bridges like the one to my left and then
runs along the river’s other side.


When we got back David found this mule deer
visiting just down from Winnona.


We got cleaned up, grabbed a quick breakfast
and headed over to catch the bus to
the Temple of Sinawava stop where we
intended to WALK the Riverside Walk.
I try not to do any hiking that is too strenuous
on a running day to give my legs at least
a bit of a break.

The Temple of Sinawava is as far up canyon as
the bus goes.  The “temple” is actually a vertical walled
natural amphitheater nearly 3000 feet deep.  I have
no idea what or who Sinawava is or was.

The Riverside walk goes for 2 miles along the Virgin River
and ends at the famous “Narrows” where you can usually
continue your hike right into the river for as far as you
want to go.  But you have to be very prepared and
check conditions ahead of time since Flash Floods can be deadly.
And as the park reminds you in signs and on their bus
narrations “Your safety is Your responsibility”.

But SADLY FOR ME, the Narrows is closed due to high water
from snow melt and isn’t expected to open until at least July.
Don’t see how these hot temperatures aren’t just evaporating
the water in the river but apparently not enough.
I am BIG TIME disappointed.   This was the thing I
most wanted to do in Zion was walk The Narrows.

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 007

Oh well…….life if like that.  Now I HAVE to come back.
The Riverside trail is lovely, the river gorgeous.


More hanging gardens on the way.


With wild columbine. 


And ferns


It was cool and lovely walking along

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 033


Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 035 


We reached the end of the Riverside Trail
and there it was, the sad truth.

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 065

So we sat by the river, had a snack and
took lots of pictures of the river
Some of these are a tad dark
because it was so mercifully shady.



I love sitting by the water.  Any kind, any where.


And we looked longingly at the bend  on down the
river which leads to The Narrows


Sure would love to walk right out on those stones
and keep on going.  Although…..I did walk in the river and that
snow melt water is MIGHTY cold.

So instead, we retraced our steps.  And of
course saw things we hadn’t seen coming the
other way on the same trail.

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 075

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 080

Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 092  


Pa'rus Trail & Riverside Trail 113

We were back by 2:30, the temperature
was rising and ultimately got to 101 degrees.
But Winnona looks cool as a cucumber in her spot


So we stayed inside piddling around with blog
posts, cleaning, reading and general down time.
We had dinner and I eventually went down to the river
when the temperature cooled and sat in the shade
reading a biography of Mary Colter.

Tonight was the full moon and at 9:15 we went to the
ranger talk on Arches in Zion.  It was excellent.
We were hoping to walk home by the light of the moon.
But it wasn’t up yet when the talk was over.
Too bad.

Thus ends another great day in Zion.


  1. Is that a boondocking spot you're in?

    Very nice pictures. I used to run, but I stopped when I realized no one was chasing me anymore.


  2. Water...the sight, sound, feel, taste...everything about it is so refreshing!

  3. Beautiful hike today!! Just love the way everything is UP in Zion and DOWN in the Grand Canyon!! Also love how each direction on the same trail has such a different view!!

    Stay cool........

  4. That riverside trail was stunning. That's my kind of a walk. Like you, I'm drawn to the water. It just makes me feel good :)

  5. what a beautiful hike. We did the narrows many years ago, but not any of the other trails. I have to get back there.

    I do lots of 4 mile runs in my neighborhood. I love to run other places and when I do, I take a camera. I'm a slow runner, but a fast tourist.

    My wife doesn't run, so I run alone.


    A Arizona Holiday


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