Monday, February 17, 2014


Scale is what first hits you when you enter Zion National Park. There is nothing in view as far as you can see which will make you feel confident that your human height and weight and lifespan is sufficient. Nothing will make you feel that OK, I think I compare favourably against that natural feature. Nothing will drive away the feeling that you'd imagine that the Lilliputians first felt when they saw Gulliver lying asleep on their beach. Nothing.
Then there are the names, given by very recent Western settlers, displacing the ancient Native American names which I am sure were even more impressive knowing their beautiful relationship with nature. Angels Landing, Cathedral Mountain, the Three Patriachs - all names with an undertone of power and once you have seen those places, you'll feel even more belittled.
It was still quite early in the morning but I was already running late. I had promised to meet someone at the Angels Landing trail head the past evening and I was in a rush to make my time. I looked around, desperately wanting to stop to take pictures but given my limited time kept driving on through the Park. But then I had to stop. Yes, I ended up missing my appointment and did the murderous Angels Landing trail alone but I was compelled to.
For there I saw a mountain, of which I had already read on my research about Utah. A tourist magnet and a cliched photo opportunity for anyone visiting Zion this was. Guide books suggested going to this location on weekdays and very early in the morning because it was normally packed elbow to elbow with photographers jostling for space. As luck would have it, at that exact point in time and space, the causeway overlooking the mountain was empty. Zero people. I couldn't just let this opportunity get by, my own personal moment with the mountain.
The sky was murky with wandering clouds, hiding the first as yet feeble rays of the sun. A bluish-silver river cut across the desert landscape bringing a peculiarly vibrant shade of green to the areas that it touched in a landscape otherwise dominated by red rock and towering cliffs. Even among the giants, this mountain stood tall with a gravity that demanded attention. It looked over everything with a sense of responsibility and grim duty. If I hadn't already known its name, I would still guess that I was looking at the Watchman. 
His general demeanour seemed to be "I was here long before you came, and I'll be here long after you're gone."
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Kumar Bibek said...

You are still wandering away from home? Any plans of coming back soon?

Roy said...

Soon. Soon. I hope to be back soon.