24 November 2012
Loop: Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Trail, Lower Falls Trail to Upper Zion Trail Junction, Winter Creek Trail back to Chantry Flats
3,575 feet above sea level with 1,500 feet of elevation gain
After doing this lovely walk with a group, I wanted to do it again on my own for time. It was already 72 degrees when I arrived at the trailhead. The air was hot and dry until I crossed the footbridge into the woods. The path was crowded with walkers going to Sturtevant Falls, but once I was on the Lower Falls Trail, I encountered fewer people and had good portions of the route to myself. I needed the solitude and was glad to find it. Clearing the initial jumble of thoughts and impressions out of my head, I concentrated on my form and pace, envisioning my mind connected to the vastness of the sky opening out above me and my body using every muscle to move through space, carefully, steadily, and swiftly. The autumn light filtered through the treetops, the smell of campfire smoke, the occasional rain of falling sycamore leaves, and the rushing streams reassured me that I am at home in the world.