The weather is so beautiful that I had to slip away this morning and go to my favorite spot — Zion National Park. Because of the lower elevation the Cottonwoods are still rich with golden yellow leaves down in Zion Canyon. So I spent most of my tiime hiking along the North fork of the Virgin River sketching in my sketchbook and shooting a few photos. the weather was crisp early this morning but really warmed up once the sun rose over the canyon walls. I was surprised to see so many people in the Park today, but it was fun to see how each person discovers the canyon for themselves. There were the usual serious amateur pohtographers with their tripods and gear vests setting up in the usual locations trying to get the lighting just right. And of course there were the foreign tourists, all decked out in European hiking wear and shooting pictures of everything. Then there were the little families, kids scuffling their feet through the piles of leaves and dragging sticks along the river banks, while parents smiled at their wonder. Of course, the mule deer just go about their business, pretty much oblivious to the human traffic. I think the funnest thing is to listen to the chatter of the hikers just coming down from the rigorous and sometimes frightening hike up Angel’s Landing. After that hike everyone feels like they’ve done something wonderful. I’m back in the studio now in the early afternoon, tired and energized by my time spent in another amazing part of God’s creations.