Somehow, we neglected to take note that Zion National Park is in the middle of the desert (perhaps it's the very recent snow we've seen) and would be hot, hot hot. (Or as one of Brad's t-shirts says, and prompted a conversation with a family who think the Queen Victoria Market “is just the best in the world”, hut, hut, hut). The daytime temperatures ranged upwards from 32 degrees, meaning some early hiking starts and although our alarm has been going off as a similar time to when we were working strangely, it's been harder to drag ourselves out of bed – but we've been glad to avoid hiking in the heat of the day.
While waiting for Brad, I took photos for several groups of people and watched large birds soaring in thermals, and some young chipmunks (too young to be scared of the birds or me) play. We've learnt to tell a chipmunk from a golden mantled squirrel by their size and the stripes on a chipmunks face. Chipmunks are much smaller than expected (about the size of large mouse) and we haven't seen any fat or puffy cheeked ones like they are portrayed in movies. I was very glad to see Brad when he returned, though I'm not sure if this was because he hadn't fallen off any cliffs or because he'd left with the backpack containing our water and snacks.
After leaving Zion we detoured briefly to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes (very cool)
Brad: Yes, but you still need rest breaks, I don't.
Me: I was hoping for some encouragement, some agreement.
Brad: Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen.
Me: I guess I'll add that to your “no pain, no gain” comment.
Brad: And you haven't moved slower than you did on our walk yesterday.
But I maintain I'm definitely managing to better keep up, and there's no leg pain any more.