Zion National Park

Trip Start Nov 01, 2009
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Trip End Nov 30, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ROAD TRIP DAY 4 - We woke up at 7.30am (Utah time!) and had breakfast of blueberry bagels and Cherios (although Doog went for Fruit Loops instead). We were both starving after not really eating the night before. Checkout was at 11am and so we made use of the free WiFi and sorted out banking issues and booked somewhere to stay in San Francisco for the next few hours before we drove to Zion. The positive side to the previous night’s mammoth drive was that we only had a few miles to go before reaching the park and we also got there early enough to get a camping site at the South Camp area for $16 - more like our kind of price. We put up our tent and then headed to the visitor’s centre to plan our day. We were recommended the ‘Angel’s Landing’ walk, a 4h strenuous hike with narrow ledges to walk across at great heights…sounded perfect!

First we bought supplies for lunch at the neighbouring food market and took loads of water as it was a really hot day. We then caught the shuttle bus to the start of our hike (Grotto stop). I actually managed to fall asleep on the 15 minute bus journey, not a good sign before a ‘strenuous hike’. I soon woke up though and it was really great to be out in the fresh air, a welcome break from the car.

The first part was all up hill, but on a cement path so it was relatively easy. We were climbing up the side of Zion canyon and the view down the canyon and of the river below got better the further we climbed. After about 1 hour, the walk got more difficult as we had to climb up a steep rock face onto a narrow ledge, which you then had to walk across to start the final ascent to the summit. There were chains bolted into the sides of the rock to help you on the particularly steep or narrow sections. It all looked very exciting (and a little scary) but we thought that we should first have lunch as it was already 3pm.

After lunch with a few very inquisitive squirrels and chipmunks, we were then ready for our climb. Although it was a little bit daunting (you certainly wouldn’t want to do it if you were afraid of heights), it was lots of fun scrambling up the rocks. On the way I had to pass a group pf American guys, who stepped aside to let me pass. When I said ‘thank you’ one of them said ‘nice accent’ to me…I had been waiting for that the whole time I had been in the US, hurray!!

When we reached the summit we got great views of the canyon and we sat there a while to appreciate it fully before tackling our descent. The way back down was a lot easier than going up and we made it back to catch the shuttle bus at 6pm.

Back at our campsite, Doog suddenly became very keen to make a fire in our BBQ area. The small pack of wood at the shop cost $6, which I thought was a little steep, so instead Doog went off on a wood hunt in our surrounding camp areas. This caught the attention of a few of our fellow campers, who actually came over to give him lighter fuel and cardboard to get the fire going. Doog proved to be a very successful forager and came back to camp with an armful of wood and a variety of kindling. As I prepared dinner, Doog prepared his collection into a kind of pyramid in the BBQ area. After eating, Doog lit the fire and we sat by it writing our journals or just staring at the flames, which were mesmerizing. When the last embers had burnt out we retreated to our tent, where we actually had a good night’s sleep.


 
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