Amazing Zion cliffs - Lia's Birthday
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 54 of 167 › view all entries
After we left the Marble Canyon Lodge with the wi-fi hotspot, we traveled past the amazing colors of the Vermillion Cliffs. So beautiful and majestic in an otherwise flat, dusty, and barren landscape! http://www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/vermilion_cliffs/national_monument.html
We stopped at the Pipe Springs National Monument- very interesting! Although it was very hot, we learned much about the populations (Indians, Settlers, Mormons) who settled by the spring. Water is everything here. Every population revolved around a water source, and later, railroad access. http://www.nps.gov/pisp/ or http://www.
Arriving Zion at 6pm of course meant the Zion Campgrounds were full. The best advice I've gotten has been from my Lazy Daze friend, Joan, who said that you need to get to the National or State parks by 9 or 10 am to get a spot for that night. Who would have thought that early? But she is always right and since we were late, we instead stayed at an RV park about 500 yards down the street.
And boy did we enjoy it! We had FULL hookups with electricity! A pool! And air-conditioning! Because Zion is HOT! I mean 100 degrees hot. It's the opposite of the Grand Canyon (high of 87 each day). Instead of standing at the top looking down, Zion means you're standing at the bottom looking UP at the magnificent cliffs.
Zion is a gorgeous park with red cliffs surrounding us. The Virgin River runs through it with 54 degree water, which makes "river sitting" a bona fide pastime, if you ask me.
Anyway, we *loved* having that electricity and charged everything: cell phones, laptops, extra computer batteries, rechargable batteries, etc.
While there at Zion RV Park, we met a lovely family, the Carlisles from California, who are also on the Utah Circle Tour, as they call the national parks of Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, etc. Utah is a very popular state to visit! Then, they were the only people we saw as we were pulling out of the campground early this morning, and when we were headed out of a hike in Zion Park, guess who?! The Carlisles! I hope we meet up with them again at Bryce.
We met many people who are going to Bryce tomorrow. I think getting through the construction here at the park, getting through the restrictive tunnel (with an RV escort because we're too wide by 2"), and finding camping at Bryce is not going to be easy! Secretly, we are all hoping to miss the dry camping there and go straight for the full hookups. I just told the kids that after tonight, we're not dry camping in this heat anymore. And generator use (noisy and a gas hog) is restricted here, so fans it is. (Note: I am unpopular tonight!)
By the way, the people and Rangers here at Zion have been markedly nicer than at the Grand Canyon (perhaps due to the size of the crowds?). Everyone is very friendly and shares about different hikes and river walks, backcountry camping/hiking/rapelling plans.
The town at the beginning of the National Park is very tony (Springdale http://www.springdaletown.com/ ) and I met someone from Cincinnati who recently bought property nearby on a ranch) and plans to build a summer home here.
For Lia's birthday, we did get to take an hour horseback ride, which was plenty long in the heat, and she thought it was just wonderful! Even though she actually rode a mule, Lia thought it extra special that she rode "part horse/part donkey" at the same time.
Charles and Jazy were very thoughtful and had a Chloe puppy stuffed animal, a t-shirt with iron-on's, and some knitting needles and yarn (Lia likes to play with Jazy's). She was really thrilled. The only thing that made Lia particularly annoyed was that a lose tooth refused to come out ON HER BIRTHDAY, in spite of all her antics and efforts.
Hot dogs and applesauce for dinner (yum, yum!) and we'll have to make the birthday cake tomorrow. I'll try to upload pics then and respond to email. Ned helped fix our internet last night and Jazy's cell phone finally works, so we're back to the land of the living.
So the plan tomorrow: Get up early (did you know Arizona did not do daylight savings time? That threw us off this morning in UT) and go up the 3.5 mile road to the tunnel before the construction team arrives. Then hang out on the switchback pulloffs until we can go through the tunnel with the rangers arrive to stop traffic at 8am, make it 2 hours to Bryce, and find a campsite in Bryce if any are open. OR... we could sleep late and make it there whenever we get there, stay at a full hookup, commercial campground... with pool! Oh, which will it be???
Thanks, Friends, for the nice comments.
We're having a blast and have to pinch each other every day to remind ourselves that it's real. We feel like the luckiest people on earth- so blessed. Hope you're all doing well!