We took our annual trip out West last week, to Utah. The Salt Lake airport is so welcoming. All those people with signs are greeting returning Mormon missionaries, but they smile at us too. Then nothing but road, and radio.
We love the intimate local obituaries... Chyrrel Timothy of Hurricane passed; the death of her third husband left her so lonely she married her second all over again!
Then... hiking the switchbacks of Zion National Park's canyon walls, which rise straight up in the air, like silent sentinels. Early Mormon pioneers thought they discovered God’s country here and named it Little Zion, no matter what you believe it feels sacred, humbling.
We were surprised at how dangerous the popular trail Angels Landing is. A California woman fell to her death just the week before, so we climbed the long spine along it's thin, knife-edge ridge, a 1200 or so foot drop on either side, clinging to chains driven into the rock like children along the neck of a stoic dog. Joining complete strangers helping each other. “You can do it! ” “Don’t look down!”
Afterwards we collapsed at the hotel, just in time to see a woman on CNN at a town hall meeting..compare Barack Obama to Hitler, and in turn, Congressman Barney Frank call her a dining room table. I had a couple of thoughts... one... Nazi's in hiding are high-fiving each other because genocide has been re-defined as a benefits program, but also... Americans should be required.... to hike together. The only sound at Zion is silence. And the occasional words of Americans... urging each other to greater heights.
The group is Eclipse. I heard them on Steven Kapp Perry's morning show on FM100.3 in Salt Lake City
This program aired on August 28, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.