Monday, 22 February 2010


Well the expected snow arrived over night but seemed to be shifting so we set out on our planned trip to Zion National Park. As each mile passed the falling snow increased in intensity and as we gained height it made a better job of lying making the conditions for driving treacherous. We entered the Park and soon found that the slipping and sliding along the narrow, winding roads was too risky to progress any further. Finding a turn off to get the car pointing home wasn’t easy as each seemed to be occupied by drivers attempting similar manoeuvres.

Road into Zion

Zion View

Snow thickens

On the way out

What we needed now was another plan for the day. As we sat over coffee at the first dine we spotted we took stock and reflected that a rest wouldn’t be too bad an idea. Our deliberations also dwelt on the fact neither of us was feeling our best and hadn’t been for the last couple of days. A quick run down of symptoms, particularly shortness of breath and background headaches convinced us that we were both suffering a little from altitude sickness.

We had talked ourselves into making a return to our lodgings and spending the time catching up on correspondence, maybe a little painting and making a start on rationalising the luggage as a prelude to our journey home.

However, before getting back we made a short detour to a gallery that I had discovered via a flyer for a show of paintings by an artist called Kate Starling. Of all places I discovered the flyer lying on the counter or a State Liquor Store when calling in for a bottle of wine. Yes, a State Liquor Store, Utah is a state with a strict control on the sale of alcohol, nothing like the easy availability of drink at home or indeed in other states in USA. Anyway that’s an aside, we got to the gallery to find it closed and difficult to access due to the depth of snow on the drive. This did not deter Sheila who bounded through the snow, mounted the deck around and the gallery and tried every available door. Not finding one open she then decided to knock at the rear door that was clearly the home of the gallery owners, the Binghams. Mr. Bingham answered the door and then proceeded to open the gallery for us. What a treat. The gallery was full with examples of first class landscape work largely devoted to the wonderful Parks in Arizona and Utah. Good conversation and fabulous artwork for me to study made this a delightful interlude.

The rest of the day was spent in the jobs we had set ourselves while watching the snow carry on falling. The watercolour below was my little contribution to proceedings.

Canyon View - watercolour

The big challenge for the early evening was to locate a place selling food that was open and had not been abandoned by the staff in making sure that they could reach their homes; that on top of the fact that this was a winter Sunday in a state where they roll up the sidewalks at the onset of poor weather. We were lucky and kidnapped a team of restaurant staff, as they were about to abandon their place of work and had a pleasant repast with no sign of resentment on the part of a fine bunch of people.

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