Zion – Jorge, offroading, The Narrows and Orderville…
When we first pulled into the park, I knew this was something of an amazing place. The park nestled in the Canyon itself, you are surrounded by towering rock walls. I was just praying we’d be able to get a campsite. Luck’s been on our side the last few days, and it continued here in Zion. We found a sweet lil spot in South Camp. 1 of 2 camps in Zion. So we setup camp, (watched a deer graze just 10 feet away) then jumped in the jeep and headed off up the canyon for a quick ride. We had a 5:30 Jeep tour scheduled, but had a couple hours to waste. Driving up the Canyon hwy 9 I think it is, was very cool. Small 2 lane road winding up back and forth. We turned back sooner than we wanted to make the tour, but it was well worth it…
"What we are doing here, it's more dangerous than Canyoneering" -Jorge
Jorge – Rock climber, Canyoneer, amatuer offroad stunt driver! This guy was awesome. A Southern Cali native, he moved up to Utah some 20 years ago. I wont’ say his age, but he’s more than double the above…I think. Think of what might be your typical laid back Southern Cali personality (lingo to go along with it) and you have Jorge. He says, this wasn’t really a 4×4 trip, but just a ride to see the sunset along the Messas. But that’s too boring for Jorge right? Hell yeah! We start up the canyon at what seemed like a little bit of speed to his driving…which was confirmed once we hit flat open road. He politely says, “Tell me to slow down if you want…” I almost second guessed by decision to say no, for just up the road we nearly lose it… The roads begin to wind and we are digging in cutting corners like it’s a Ferrari. OOOPS! almost lost it on a turn! But Jorge recovered well and we were on our way. LOL, but about an hour later while driving, he says, “You know, I really thought we were going to bite it back there.” HAHA!
Really, I couldn’t begin to tell you how beautiful of country we were driving (flyin) across. Words do it no justice. Jorge made this trip more than what we paid for. He took us to a few different sites and hit some jeep trails along the way and inbetween. Telling us stories of Zion, the people, the beauty, the land…all leading me to understand why he came here and hasn’t left after 20 years. One of our stops was down this small canyon where they had begun diverting water many years ago for irrigation. The place now is somewhat of a secret spot for locals to camp and swim in the Virgin River. Getting down there was no easy task. Many times I thought for sure the Jeep we were in wasnt’ goign to cut it. Maybe if Jorge wasn’t driving it… So after getting out at the bottom and walking around a bit I hear a splash. It’s Jorge! He done jumped in and started rock climbing a small rock…then flipped off into the water. Soon after Reny and I jumped in. Seemed like the perfect thing to do. Damn that was freezing… We ended up the tour on top of a high Messa near some govt. land they use for Jet engine testing or something. That’s the shot you see above and here now.
So as we made our way down the mountain, Jorge gave us some tips on places to go and see not only here in Utah, but Arizona as well for our Grand Canyon stop. He also asked if we did any hiking yet or planned to. He said the Narrows was something we should NOT miss on this visit. Adamantely so, he lent us the gear we’d need back at the shop no charge. The Narrows and Orderville Canyon…that’s another blog in it’s own. I promise to get to soon…it’s just too much to try and get out. This really was the Adventure we were hoping to find. Sleeping in a bordello in Tombstone, visiting the Playboy mansion, Walking Venice beach…etc..nothing compared to the Narrows. This was the trip. Our discovery…our adventure.
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