I really didn’t pay much attention to our route. After all my partner set the entire thing up. I admit now that it was selfish of me to not take a more pro-active part in the planning. But with stresses at work and such I really did not have the capacity.
But this morning all of the job stresses had melted away and I was now more involved in our route.
“Whats up for today”, I asked as we tore down camp.
“Hope Valley, that is a weird name … I wonder why they call it Hop Valley”
“I don’t know”
Much of the morning we climbed out of the La Verkin Creek drainage. The landscape reminded me of where I grew up, the Bull Mountains in Roundup. As we started to break out into a cliff lined valley that all changed. Soon I stood on the edge of what looked like a minature Morocco Desert.
The only signs of life were a set of footprints crossing the miniature stretch of sand. In in those tracks other tracks made by a spider of some kind.
Hop Valley is pretty cool. A strip of sand with a small river or creek running through in the shadows of the surrounding cliffs. It felt desolate, lonely, and weird. Like we were walking into a trap. And there was no escape due to towering sandstone cliffs above us. The entire hike up the valley was surreal but at the same time the coolest walk ever.
The funny thing about this section of Zion is that it is aptly named. Hop Valley as in hopping the creek every half mile or so. And many times it took a sequence of dance like steps and numerous “hops” to get across the unbelievably shallow but wide Hop Creek. “Hop Creek” … again, am I right?
“I wonder if they named this Hop Creek Valley because of the creek or because we have to hop our way through it”, I broke out of a long silent period.
“To bad we don’t have any “fermented hopps”, she giggled.
Nearing the end of the valley we were tired of hopping and were ready for something new. But I have to say, that was the most memorable valley I have ever hiked through. And I was glad that I did not know our route intimately. I liked surprises. Like the valley we were now leaving. Adventure is cool that way.