Virgin River and the Watchman (2007)
It's Thanksgiving Day 2007. Spanning the Virgin River is the bridge that is the portal to the wonders of Zion canyon. On any given day of the year photographers from around the world gather on this bridge at sunset to watch the glowing sunlight play on the red Navajo sandstone cliffs of the Watchman formation. And for good reason. This is one of the most spectacular sunsets in Zion and perhaps in all of the American Southwest.
This photograph would not be complete with only the Watchman. We owe this beautiful place to the placid Virgin River. My daughter and I stood on her banks and looked up the towering 2000+ foot cliffs and tried to imagine the stream millions of years ago wandering across the flat plain way up there. And now it has worn its way down, cutting the beautiful, inspiring canyon a few grains of sand at a time punctuated by occasional catastrophic flash floods. It is this lovely river, so peaceful here at sunset, that has done this mighty deed.
So why choose such an oft photographed scene? Why add one more image to the thousands of photographs that are taken here every week? Well, it's because of my love for Zion and my desire to share with you the glories and inner peace I experience in this blessed place, this place of refuge. For that's what "Zion" means (and is for many), a "Place of refuge."