We Looked Down, Now We Look Up

Trip Start Apr 11, 2011
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Trip End Apr 24, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, April 14, 2011

We woke up to snow on the ground this morning. Then the electricity went out.  It was a sure sign it was time to leave Bryce Canyon.  So, we packed up and drove the 75 or so miles to Zion National Park.  In those miles we dropped from 7777 feet to under 3876 feet.  We left the snow behind and landed in green grass and leafed-out cottonwoods, elms and other unknown species of trees.

On top of the entrance fee ($25.00 for most national parks), there is a $15.00 charge for any vehicle that is over 7 feet wide or 11' 4 inches high to get through an extremely long, winding, dark tunnel.  So, when we arrived at the tunnel, we were stopped and waited for it to clear.  Then John led the procession through the darkness into the light.  It was very cool and just a little scary.  All of the roads here are extremely narrow and windy.

The differences between Bryce and Zion are many.  The weather and plant life are quite different.   Bryce was like imaginary and intricately carved fantasyland sculptures, an ancient community in sandstone and Zion is "like a rock" - massive, big, strong, solid, chiseled.  My motto for this place would be, “Get Stoned in Zion.”

We are staying in the Watchman Campground.  Watchman is the name of the rock formation that overlooks this place.  I can see the river out our window.  We got a great space that is relatively private with lots of room.  It feels like we have a big backyard.

We went to the visitor center to check out the sights we want to see.  We will have to take the shuttle up the six mile canyon that holds most of the places of interest.  It looks like it will be a day with many offerings.  We want to take the river walk at the top, so that’s where we will start.  My right leg is still not doing very well when I attempt to climb, so I hope it will hold up.  If not, I hope John will go exploring without me.  It’s a little disappointing, but I’ll keep trying.

We drove to the little town of Springdale, just outside the park going west.  It is a typical tourist town with lots of places to eat, nice lodging choices and many boutiques.  There were also several rock shops.  They were displaying them outside and these big blue glass-like rocks really caught my eye.  I’d like to know what they are – beautiful big chunks.

It’s fish tacos tonight.  Enjoy your dinner and kiss the cook.
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