A few years ago my kids and I went on a trip to Zion National Park; we love to walk the narrows. For those of you who’ve been you know what I’m talking about but for those who have never experienced this wonder of the world it’s worth the trip from almost anywhere in the world. Walking the narrows is really nothing more than strolling in a very cold river when the outside temperature reaches into the low one hundreds; the contrast between the frigid, snow melt of mountains miles and miles away and the scorching heat is exhilarating.
The river isn’t a fast moving river but there are currents and small children should never be left to fend for themselves; besides the fact they may have too much fun it can be dangerous. As you continue up the river the walls of the canyon continue to narrow and bend and turn until about a mile or so up you can literally touch both sides of the granite sentinels while standing in waist deep water looking up to see a sliver of the sky high above.
We’ve been about five times and each time it’s just as spectacular as the first. So many people from around the world come to visit and explore. There are a few precautions that should be taken if you plan to partake of this beauty for in all beauty there must be a few flaws in order to appreciate the balance of its creation.
Because of the multitude of foreigners there are often language barriers but in most cases a simple smile and a few hand signals suffice. Cultural differences may cause some concern as it did to my children on one visit to the park.
As we were traversing the Virgin River (that’s the name of the river that goes through the canyon) we rounded a bend, about the third or fourth bend in the river and anticipated swimming in a larger pool and laying out on a seasonal sandbar when to our dismay a group of German woman were frolicking in the coolness, their tops removed, their mammary glands freely moving in all directions at once, as is the European custom of bathing, and were also lying about as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
My eyes were three times larger I’m sure and I quickly regrouped the kids and made our way to the next, not so deep pool, where we encountered a South African mother and father with their family who I believe had made the same discovery a few minutes earlier. I could tell, the husband kept looking back like he was trying to forget or remember the awesome train wreck that he had recently witnessed.
The universal draw of the narrows is mostly protected by a National Park but outside of the park is a the bustling and profit generating village of Springdale Utah. We decided to stay at an inexpensive motel situated downtown and close to restaurants and then cross into and out of the park each day of our visit. After a day of swimming and hiking we were starving and saw a sign advertising a Bumbleberry pie; that sounded great.
The food was ok so after ordering our various selections we opted to buy a whole pie and take it back our modest room and watch some TV while we gorged in the gorge (sorry couldn’t resist). Prior to buying the Bumbleberrry pie I asked what a bumbleberry was and the cashier gave some secretive response that told me nothing, so I asked if it was anything like a blueberry, I don’t like blueberries. “oh NO, it’s nothing like a blueberry it’s a bumbleberry”
I guess I was satisfied so I bought the pie, but when we got back to the room and cut open the crusty wonder I discovered that a Bumbleberry is made up of mostly blueberries, did I mention that I don’t like blueberries?
Perhaps I over reacted just a bit but I rushed out of the motel room pie in hand and returned the pie, minus one piece and demanded my money back. They eventually gave in and returned my money, not because of the deception but mostly due to the scene I was creating and the negative advertisement I was providing and for the sanctity of their “family secret” I’m sure.
All they had to do was tell me it had blueberries and I would have bought something else, never the wiser to their scam, but they had to lie about the humble, non-existent bumbleberry. At least Knotts (of Knotts Berry Farm) had the integrity of creating his own berry (the boysenberry) before trying to hock something that didn’t exist.
The moral of this sad little tale is simply don’t believe all you’re told, in fact it’s probably a good idea not to believe most of what you’re told. That is indeed a sad critique on today’s social advancements, but the reality is clear, there are many who would sell you a bumbleberry but very few that can deliver. I like the boysenberry myself, now that’s a berry you can be proud of.