I wake up very, very early, the pink light fooling me into thinking I am missing the sunrise. I am not. The sun is still far from slipping over the edge of the surrounding mountains, but it is already clear that we will have a wonderful view right from our deck. I see no reason to hustle out to look for a better view elsewhere.
As the morning brightens, I set up the tripod on the deck and plop down beside it with my laptop. Time to write some letters while I watch and wait. Lane fetches pastries and hot chocolate from the lodge. We eat while the sunlight begins its slow descent down the mountainside. Life is good.
It is hard to convince myself that it is time to leave this spot and spend more time in the rest of the park. It is perfect right here.
But time is moving on and soon we are back on the shuttle – almost by ourselves. (Where is everyone on such a lovely morning?)
We admire and ponder the Court of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and. . . Moroni ?!?). The light is beautiful. Everything is beautiful. The solitude is lovely. It is so wonderful.
Our next stop is Weeping Rock, which is Lane’s choice. I want to skip this because I’m imagining it will be like the mossy cave at Bryce. Boring.
From the parking lot I can see a large indentation in the canyon wall. That must be the cave. At least it isn’t a very long hike. . .
We start up the trail just behind a small group, but I have the camera on a tripod (it’s still dark down in this part of the canyon), so I dawdle, stopping to take various and sundry pictures along the way.
When I finally reach the Weeping Rock itself, Lane has been there for some time. Most of those ahead of us are now leaving. We are nearly alone here now.
And what a place to be alone! It is awesome, with water gently raining from the rock face, providing life to the exuberant hanging gardens. The gardens frame a large dry cave that lies below and behind the sheer curtain of falling water.
Inside it is a chapel – the stone wall brilliantly painted with the reds of golds of oxidized minerals, the falling water providing a screen between us and the dramatic scenery beyond.
There are sweet spirits in this place – I wish I had tobacco and sage to leave for them, to thank them for their generosity.
I don’t ever want to leave, but, of course, eventually we have to.
Our next stop is at the Big Bend area, where the canyon opens up to allow longer views.
It is beautiful here, but already the sun is hot and harsh. It is time to move on.