I thought I'd post some results of my last Zion trip. Unfortunately, I didn't achieve my goal of getting shots of the Subway. The morning before the hike, I was able to secure an additional back-country pass for my wife. Since we were carrying a lot of photo gear, and having little experience in repelling, we chose to start and return by way of the Left Fork trail head. Although being able to avoid some repels and a deep swim using this route, it meant climbing down, and then returning the same way, over a steep 400 ft elevation section of the trail. The picture at left is looking down at this section from the top. The entire hike would be about 10 miles with the return trip in the hot afternoon and temps reaching around 100 degrees. Not too bad, except for that last mile which included the return 400 ft climb against a black basalt rock cliff face which has absorbed the day's heat. Karen had just come off of working a 20+ day trade-show in Texas and although she thought she was up to the adventure, once we were down the cliff and a mile or so beyond, she decided she couldn't do the whole hike. She wanted me to go on while she stayed and enjoyed relaxing by the river. Reluctantly, I went on with the intention of traveling as fast as I could. After about a half mile the river split in two directions and the trail was lost to me. Up to this point there had been plenty of Rock Cairns (mostly unnecessary) pointing the way. Once needed, they seem to disappear. Foot prints were everywhere in all directions along both streams, but no obvious trail; mostly because it was all river rock. I spent some time exploring both directions and check my location via a map and my gps. I was pretty sure it was the fork to the right, but wasn't sure (turns out that was correct). Following some prayer I decided to abort the hike. Too many things were pulling me back including some guilt leaving Karen behind. Additionally, the entire time we were in Zion, there was not a cloud in the sky all week. The light was extremely harsh, even in the early mornings and evenings, making it difficult to capture exceptional images. Perhaps next year I'll make it to the Subway. I did have a chance to try out a new pack from Mile High Mountaineering. I was very pleased with the pack. It is comfortable, well adjustable, and nice looking to boot. To serve my purposes as a backpack and a camera pack, I found a camera insert unit that fit nicely into the pack. Fstopgear.com have the best internal camera units
(ICUs) but they have been sold out for some time. I found a cheap knockoff on ebay that works well enough. All of mhmgear's expedition backpacks are top loading but also have a zipper down the front enabling easy entry anywhere into the pack to access gear. Be sure to check them out online at: www.mhmgear.com.