Gathering at Placerita Canyon Hiking Trailhead for Zion National Park Flash Flood Victims
It was a seriously hot day, hovering 104F degrees in Valencia. The weather gets at least 10-15 degrees hotter there than the towns by the ocean. But it didn’t stop VHC hikers from gathering for a cause. People got together at the Placerita Canyon Hiking Trailhead to pay respect for those who fell victim in the flash flooding in Zion National Park.
Self-portrait of the group standing before the first rappel of Keyhole Canyon on Monday, September 14, 2015. Photographed from left to right: Gary Favela, Don Teichner, Muku Reynolds, Steve Arthur, Linda Arthur, Robin Brum, and Mark MacKenzie. Courtesy of Zion National Park Service
If you already haven’t heard about this tragedy, the chances are that either you do not hike with any SoCal hiking groups or you do not have friends who live and hike in SoCal. And I have never hiked with this particular hiking group called Valencia Hiking Club (VHC) either, so I’d understand if you have never heard of it either.
But many of my hiking friends know some of these victims, and by the time when the Zion National Park released this tragic news last Tuesday afternoon, my Facebook timeline was flooded with tributes for those who fell victim in such a unfortunate natural disaster.
How the story unfolded was quite gripping, and it’ll leave you rather speechless. Rest in peace.
I personally didn’t know any of the victims, so it could’ve been another unfortunate victim news that we come across once in a while. But this time it was different. My hiking friends from San Jacinto Hiking Club (SJHC) knew some of these hikers, so it was quite personal to them. They shared old photos of them hiking together on Facebook timeline.
Frankly, it was quite impressive how many people actually turned up to pay respect. The bandanna hanging idea was excellent and very touching.
When Kathryn, organizer of SJHC, forwarded the email that she got from one of the VHC organizers, I thought it was quite admirable how quickly they put together a gathering, including the hanging bandanna idea.
It was beautifully executed in spite of the hot weather. Also, there was so much food that everyone brought and shared with one another.
It was truly magical that people came together for one simple cause – showing respect.
The Sheriffs were cooperative and the boy scouts were very helpful. It was quite enjoyable in spite of having so many people gathered.
Even though I didn’t know almost everyone at the gathering, except for a couple of old friends and a few whom I got to talk to, I felt that there was one thing in common – love for nature.
This tragedy confirms my belief again that life is short and fragile. It is a fresh reminder at someone else’s expense, but regardless, it is important to remember that our stay on this precious planet is quite limited and that the clock is ticking.
What did you do today to make your time on this planet worthwhile.
Thanks for reading.