I am jumping ahead a bit, but I wanted everyone to know that we are safe. We are currently camping in Mt. Carmel Junction, outside of Zion National Park. If you have seen the news, then you will know the flooding challenges that this area has been facing the past two days, and I would like to share a bit about our experiences.
Utah is a land of extremes, and right now, we find ourselves in the middle of a week of drastic changes in the weather. Our first few days in Zion National Park were sunny with temps in the upper 90s. Yesterday, that changed when thunderstorms rolled into the area. Due to the forecast of rain, we had planned to take a break from hiking. Chris worked in the morning, and then we headed to Hurricane to Walmart. On our way back to our campground, we were just behind the large afternoon storm; and we were able to see its effects as we drove through Zion.
These photos are of Pine Creek, which runs through the eastern portion of the park and into the Virgin River. This creek bed was almost completely dry the day before.
Here you can see how rain caused washouts on to the roads. A front end loader came through and cleared the worst areas. We were just behind the storm without realizing it. I can’t imagine what it must have been like during the heavy rain.
We also took the following footage at the same site. Sadly, this footage is just down the Creek from Keyhole Canyon, where we later found out that several adventurers lost their lives in the flood.
Overnight, it continued to rain and rained this morning until around 10:00 am. Looking at the forecast of more rain, we decided to head North to Bryce Canyon National Park. We spent the day on the northern edge of the storms. We had a little bit of sun, but mostly clouds, and the temp in Bryce Canyon was 49 degrees. Bryce Canyon is not flooding, but the runoff from here enters the Paria River, which has warnings for flash floods farther south toward the border with Arizona. While the clouds and reports are ominous, we were comforted in Bryce by a full rainbow, reminding us of God’s specific promise that he will never again destroy the earth with a flood. What a comfort as we reflected on the situation here.At this time, we are heading back to our campground, and they are calling for more rain tonight and tomorrow. We are grateful that the campground we wanted in Springdale was booked and God had a safe haven prepared for us in Mt. Carmel Junction before we knew it would be needed. This is not the first time we have experienced His provision, and we are so grateful for all of you who are praying for us during our travels. So many of you prayed over us at our different partings, and we are so blessed to recall these prayers.
If you plan to visit Zion, please check in at the visitors center to see the day’s potential for flash floods. They post it for the same day and the next day, so you can plan accordingly.
We will be sharing more of our experiences in Utah in the coming week, but I wanted you to know that we are safe.