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 and others from gathering for a cause. People got together at the Placerita Canyon Hiking Trailhead to pay respect for the Zion flash flood victims.

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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

WHAT HAPPENED IN ZION

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 – Zion flash flood victims.

You can read this ill-fated adventure of these 7 canyoneers either on the Zion NP Service statement or LA Times.

Or you can watch the report from Good4Utah.

How the Zion flash flood story unfolded was quite gripping, and it’ll leave you rather speechless. Rest in peace.

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Courtesy of LA Times

AT ZION FLASH FLOOD GATHERING

I personally didn’t know any of the Zion flash flood 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.

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Memorial

Frankly, it was quite impressive how many people actually turned up to pay respect. The bandanna hanging idea was excellent and very touching.

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How the bandannas were hanging was so touching and memorable. They were written with messages and poems.

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.

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Gathering
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Fellow hikers shared their stories with the victims over food.

It was truly magical that people came together for one simple cause – showing respect.

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Every half hour we took a moment of silence to remember them.

The Sheriffs were cooperative and the boy scouts were very helpful. It was quite enjoyable in spite of having so many people gathered.

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It is sometimes good to know that there are moments like this in our lives. There’s nothing we can do about the victims, but at least, those who are left behind come together and strengthen their bonding.

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 Zion flash flood 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.

Ask yourself.

What did you do today to make your time on this planet worthwhile.

Thanks for reading.

2 COMMENTS

    • Thank you for your thoughts. It was quite amazing to see how quickly the gathering was put together, people came together and such a beautiful thing happened. For me it was a good reminder that life is extremely fragile and awfully short. I’ll make sure that I will do everything in my power not to regret anything of my actions and decisions when such a tragic moment arrives and life flashes just before my eyes… Thanks you for stopping by 🙂

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