Caravan to Utah!
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
October 18th, 2008 – by: jenn79
Driving to Las Vegas was a breeze today, save my dried out contacts and increasing weariness.
Tracy, Nhi, Sheila and I knocked on the door and were welcomed by Sal's smiling countenance. He's still awake!! He hugged each of us as we entered and I introduced the girls to Big, who I had just met last week and decided he was up for an adventure and flew out at a high cost from SF to join us for the weekend.
Texts went out to Nancy and RJ who would be arriving in the morning. Tracy and I bunked on the bed since we have bad backs and Nhi bunked on the floor because her back hurt too. Sheila got the aerobed all to herself and Big slept on the couch. I was looking forward to the aroma of Sal's Ethiopian coffee maker going off at 5:45. It was difficult to sleep considering the anticipation of seeing my beautiful LV people and going on an adventure with them after such a long but loving intermission.
I awoke to Tracy getting out of bed and climbing over me. Deciding to get up as well, it was 5:30am and Big was up as well. You could hear Sal's alarm go off shortly but the coffee maker didn't go off! So I pushed a button and went to the patio for a morning cig. Nancy texted, she arrived shortly after fully awake! We all got ready and RJ arrived close to 6am. We left a little after 6am - 4 to a car and raring to go... to Dunkin Donuts! =)
Pitstop!! After a healthy ordering of breakfast sandwiches, gatorades and a dozen donuts (Krispy Kreme ain't got NOTHING on Dunkin'), we hopped into our respective cars and were raring to go... to the gas station!! RJ needed to fill his tank and Big forgot to buy water. Nancy cracks me up, when we left the gas station she quipped "Ok, now I have to go to the bathroom!"
FINALLY we were on our way to Utah! It was probably after 7am at this point! It's ok, at 1 hour late, we were making awesome time for coordinating 8 people! We passed by some gorgeous striated mountains, a lot of Mormon garage sales and finally arrived at the Lodge that Sal picked out.
I couldn't believe how prepared everyone was! I think out of the Zion 8 - 4 people were wearing these funny things called camel packs. They're like these plastic or rubber things you can fill with water and attach a tube to and suck on the tube while you're walking. Sheila's tube even sprayed water!! RJ and Tracy wore special socks and everyone was just majorly prepared. And then there's me. I forgot my hat, was wearing clothes I normally wear to work, and had 1 bottle of water with me. Yeahhh...
With RJ, Tracy and Sal's help (they were all experienced Zionists), we decided to do the Emerald Pools hike.
I was really worried I wasn't going to make it. The beginning of the path to the middle pool is a pretty intense ascent.
Zion National Park is the most beautiful National Park that I've ever seen. Sal dreamed up this trip when he, Tracy and I went to Palm Springs to visit Danny. We missed the meteor showers by an hour or so and Sal suggested Zion National Park for our next attempt. Needless to say the second I got home from Palm Springs I was already planning for Zion =) And boy, despite all the craziness for our group - midterms, mental health days, tough weeks at work, coming back from Hawaii.
After making it up to the middle pool we walked past and hung out for a bit in the middle of a teeny vein of the Virgin River. I was so tired I plopped down on a big rock (only having made it there because Nhi lured me with my bag of Doritos and I was starving by this point) and munched away. I was completely alone at this point as the group had decided to venture further into the space between the mountains and I was very content babbling with the brook and eating Doritos. Within 2 minutes, I noticed at least half a dozen beautifully colored birds fly to branches near me and eye my Doritos. They never ventured any closer and by the time I changed lenses to my zoom, they were gone.
Sal joined me soon after and explained why it was freezing cold between the two walls of the mountains. Then we played Marco Polo with the group. Sal lets out a fierce Marco that painted the invisible part of the canyon wall. The group's collective Polo paled in comparison but I was glad we were able to hear them to see how far they went and whether or not they were heading back in our direction. I think this method is now our unofficial cry of "where are you, and please come back soon!"
So now we had seen a lot of things in and around the middle pool, which was pretty stinkin' unimpressive compared to the glorious sights all around. A big puddle really! So on our way out we saw a sign for the high pool.
It was kinda humiliating seeing a ton of kids run right past you, easily skimming up the steps while I trudged heavily along up steps that were the height of my knees. Very sucky... but it was worth it. There were some cool rocks that Big, Nhi and Sal perched up on surrounded with prayer rocks (I haven't seen these since Aruba!) and then the high pool was very nice. A BIG puddle of VERY COLD water! This is also where Nancy was attacked by the ferocious little girl with deadly handfuls of cold, wet sand!
On our way down we passed by the lower pools but I honestly can't remember where that was or what it looked like.
I awoke to the sound of everyone coming into the room, hands full of leftovers and everyone asking me if I was hungry. Wow I felt loved! Tracy popped in and said the sweetest thing that I have ever heard, and that is tough because Tracy always says sweet and funny things!! When she asked me if I wanted food, I told her a lot of people had brought food back, pointing broadly at some leftover trays.
Tracy and I head to the hot tub for a little while, Tracy encouraging me to immerse and sit in front of jets to help with the muscle aches I'm bound to have tomorrow. The hot tub here is HOT. But it succeeded in warming you up so nicely that you're not cold when standing in the cold desert air afterwards! We then showered and headed to bed.. for a couple of hours! Remember you're not really allowed to sleep more than a couple of hours when you're with us!! =)
So a couple of hours later.
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