Edge Of The World
Getting off the West Rim was still in question. Sure one could look at a map and try to gain a decent view of how the trail descended from Horse Pasture Plateau to the bottom of Telephone Canyon. But in Zion really a map just does not give the terrain justice. After morning coffee and another stop for a follow up breakfast we were at the last spring before our decent all the way to the Floor of the Valley. Well at least the map suggested so.
At first I was enamored by the adjacent walls and the fortress of stone. There were like other worlds cut off from the rest of the world by huge sand stone walls. Small and large ecosystems thrust up towards the heavens and isolated. And I wondered if there were herds of deer or other animals that have never known anything but the little chunk of earth high op on the pedestal of stone. And then we dropped off the edge.
Weird as it seems the trail literally dropped off the edge of a huge sandstone cliff. I mean where did it go? I followed a ribbon of path as it hugged the side of the cliff. Surely this didn’t continue. I fully expected to find a top rope where we would have to repel off the top. I was thinking of a way to break it to my partner that was not going to happen. I would walk back 40 miles if I had to. No way was I going to repel off this thing.
Lucky for me the path continued. The most amazing thing about Zion Park is how they built the trails. This one chiseled out of the side of a cliff. Then cement mut of been packed up and poured to make the path. Truly a amazing down-hike. And no top ropes.
We reached the bottom of the canyon believing that we had just walked down a path in Middle Earth from books like the Hobbit. All the while walking down this thing I wondered what would happen if someone suddenly slipped and fell the wrong way. My questions were answered as we walked along the base of the large cliff. A deer had fallen, probably from the spring far above. It was a pile of guts and blood. Every bone pulverized into the mash of caracas. What a gory way to escape one of the heavenly ecosystems from above.
After a lunch in the sun we set fourth towards Angels Landing. The last stop of our Trans Zion.