Hoodoo Hunting

I crashed through the tangled brush in the faint pre-dawn light, regretting my choice to wear shorts each time a low branch gouged one of my legs. I didn’t have the luxury of carefully choosing each step–the sun would be up soon and I was still not sure exactly how far I had to hike before I would reach my destination.

I had seen these interesting hoodoos from a distance on previous trips up the Kolob Terrace Road in Zion National Park. I’d always wanted to get a closer look at them and on this morning I’d risen with what I thought was plenty of time to find a route through the dense brush. I navigated the Nissan Pathfinder LE (Avalanche white with Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and recently rebuilt transmission) down a rutted dirt road that headed in the direction of the hoodoos. When I reached an area where the brush looked sparse enough to pick my way through, I pulled over and parked. After assembling my gear, I started through the small bushes and saplings. I came across a narrow deer/elk trail that led in the general direction I wanted to go, but it soon led to much heavier brush. The trail went cold and I knew I didn’t have time to back track, so I was forced to fight through the branches and spider webs. When I finally cleared the worst of it, I was covered in small sticks and bits of bark, my legs crisscrossed with cuts and scratches. But I could now see my desired destination, and I still had ten minutes to put together a composition!

For a sense of scale, look at those two “sticks” leaning against the base of the hoodoos. Those are the remains of full-grown Ponderosa pines, probably forty to fifty feet tall!

For a larger view, click on the pic! IMG_7550

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