What’s it like living in Zion?
Like anyone living in a tourist town, we all acknowledge that while where we live is scenic and gorgeous, the multitudes that one has to deal with on a daily basis is both exhausting and exhilarating. Some days, I play nothing but tour guide and baby-sitter. But on a regular basis I am fortunate enough to meet people from all over the world: from Budapest, Hungary to Seoul, Korea, from Perth, Australia to Reykjavik, Iceland, and everywhere in between. I even occasionally get the chance to utilize my poor French, and even worse German, skills!
Where I live, shopping is kind of a challenge. We’re lucky enough to have a local farmer’s market, and there are some other local fruit and veg stands I can hit up. But let me tell you, living in Austin for so many years sure spoiled me. Luckily, right before I moved to Springdale, I lived in Tumbarumba, NSW, Australia, and that was way out in the boonies! Anyway, the largest city of any decent size to me currently is St George, just south-west by about an hour drive. And should StG not have with I need, then Vegas is only another hour and 1/2 away (which is quite convenient for travel, let me tell you!). Besides, there’s always Amazon 😉
The weather is unlike anything I’ve experienced previously. Sure, Texas has MASSIVE Thunderstorms with baseball-sized hail and flash flooding. And Katoomba, NSW, Australia, can get so socked in that one cannot see just up the block. But this canyon… Zion Canyon has crazy-strange weather.
In the springtime, it’s not uncommon for it to snow! First, there’s the Cottonwood Showers, where all the cottonwood trees EXPLODE with large-white-floofy-poofs-of-feathers, which then proceed to gently float down and coat all the trails along the Virgin River. The second way we get snow… I call “snow-showers:” Think lazy-spring pitter-patter showers with the sky fully of big poofy clouds scattered all about the blue sky… but instead of rain… it’s snow! Seriously, not kidding you here.
In the summer time (May-July), it gets ridiculously hot here (100-115 C), but without that heat, and that specific transfer of energy, we wouldn’t get the Monsoon Season (July-Sept). On a bad day, we’ll get crazy hot, then nasty humid as the clouds roll in… and then let us sit there and bake in a sauna. On a good day, the clouds will break just before the sun sets over the West Temple, and the whole canyon can easily drop between 20-30 degrees in just a few minutes.
Winters are surprisingly mild; however, I wouldn’t be caught dead outside w/out a proper jacket (getting caught out in the cold is not high on my wanna-do list).
I have been truly fortunate to have lived in many truly amazing parts of the world (Germany, Australia, Italy, and many more), and in each place I’ve come to the realization that being a visitor isn’t enough to understand locals or their way of life. Moving to Zion and Springdale has only broadened my views on the necessity of not only travel and exploration, but benefits of learning of a locale from the perspective of a local.
One thing I have found here that was unexpected: a real home. And I don’t say that lightly. Having been in 17 schools before 9th grade, one learns to make one’s dwelling homey, but turning it into a home is completely different. In Springdale, in this community, in this canyon, in my business, in my life, I’ve found a real-to-me home!