We spent most of the day inside Zion National Park (in Springdale, Utah). The centerpiece of it is a large canyon made mostly of sandstone. Even though we’re in the middle of the desert, there is a surprising amount of greenery (pine trees, cacti, etc). It turns out that the desert can be quite beautiful.
Hiking to the Emerald Pools was very tough (we took the steeper of the two routes by accident). It wasn’t just the rocks, but the fact that a lot of them were covered in this really fine sand. That made our footing rather treacherous, but we made to all the pools there were to see.
It’s a lot easier to see the stars at night out here–so different from home with all the lights and traffic noise. Springdale has narrow roads, and traffic is light enough now that you can hear crickets more often than cars passing by.