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Feb. 24,2024

 

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Canyonlands of the Southwest Mini-Reunion

October 9-16, 2022

 
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Click the button above, then scroll down, to see our entire Canyonlands Photo Album

 

Great Canyonlands of the Southwest Mini-Reunion

 

The first event of the year was the long-delayed “Great Canyonlands of the Southwest” Mini-Reunion which was held from October 9th through 16th, and was attended by 38 Classmates and spouses.  Those present included ANDY BROWN and BONNIE POST, THACHER and LLOYD BROWN, BILL and ANNE CHARRIER, RANDY and LYNN EVANS, JOHN and TINA FOX, MIKE and LOR GEHRET, PETER HOOPER and NANCY SULLIVAN, RICK and CHRIS KITTO, JEFF and MAUREEN MARSTON, JACK McCARTHY and SUSAN ANABLE, CLAY and PINKY McELDOWNEY, CHRIS MEYER, CHRIS and CATHY MILTON, SANDY REA and STEPHANIE JUDSON, BRUCE ROSENBERG and DEBBIE SOLOMON, X and LOU SHANNON, JIM SHUEY and KATHLEEN HURSH, ROSS and J.J. WALES, JOAN WEIDNER and TERRY and KAREN YOUNG.

 

The trip launched in Las Vegas with the group heading first to the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  There the group enjoyed breath-taking views and wonderful cabin lodges, with most of the group taking hikes to Bright Angel Point and along various portions of the Transept Trail, accompanied by our extremely knowledgeable guides from Off the Beaten Path.  The National Parks Conservation Association arranged for several U.S. Park personnel to brief the group on issues confronting the Grand Canyon and other nearby areas, including the many demands on the Colorado River.

 


After 2 days at the Grand Canyon, the group journeyed to the Bryce Canyon Lodge, some 158 miles northeast.  After a stop along the way for a fascinating tour of the Best Friends animal shelter (no pet adoptions, but hopefully handsome contributions to the cause), we arrived at Bryce where we were dropped off at Bryce Point from which we enjoyed a walk to the Lodge via Inspiration Point and Sunset Point.  This was followed by a lecture organized by the NPCA at which the Park Superintendent spoke to the group about the issues confronting Bryce Canyon and its environs, perhaps the most interesting being the intensifying presence of aircraft and drones.   After a good night’s sleep, folks spent the next day experiencing the “hoodoos”, arches and other natural wonders of Bryce Canyon with our guides from OBP.  Most Classmates walked down from the rim to the floor of the Canyon and back up,  and some added in a complete traverse of the Canyon floor for a truly exhausting day.

 

After two nights at Bryce, we were off again to the Zion National Park.  The drive along the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway into the Canyon among the peaks carved by the Virgin River was spectacular, and the group once again enjoyed the Park fully,  with many hiking the length of the Valley to view the stratigraphy of the rocks at Zion.  Most hiked to the Emerald Pools and to the Narrows, with a few hardy souls walking beyond the end of the trail up the riverbed using special shoes and 5-foot hiking poles.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 caught up with us as we were enjoying Bryce Canyon with a couple of folks dropping out there, and with about 10 more members of the group falling victim to it soon after arriving home.  Happily, all had been vaccinated, and so no serious symptoms were experienced, and no one needed hospitalization.

 

One other unexpected but thrilling outcome during the trip was that CHRIS MEYER and Joan Weidner formed an acquaintance quite early on, and spent many hours hiking together through the Canyons.   Although it took a couple of months for them to declare their love for each other publicly, the best news is that they married in November (read the New York Times article here)!  Long live this Mini-Reunion and may our future mini-reunions bring such happiness!!

 

 

 


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