Road trip to Zion
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
It always amazes me how much open space there really is in this country. As often as we complain about congrestion and crowds, in less than an hour you can easily find yourself in the company of nothing but cows and sagebrush. Not that I'd want to live out here of course, but it's there nonetheless.
Road trips are a neat way to travel. As cliche as it sounds, it truly makes the journey as much a part of the trip as the destination. Gradual scenery changes observed through the car window slowly prepare you for your destination. Driving to Southern Utah truly allows you to appreciate the diversity of this state. Green and brown ground and tall, snowy mountain peaks slowly give way to red and orange rock and flat plateaus and mesas. I could fly from Salt Lake to St.
Four and a half hours later we pull into Springdale town outside Zion.
The entrance fee to the park is $25 and good for 7 days. Damn but it's gotten expensive to visit the national parks. The two main campgrounds are within feet of the south entrance. Watchman is first but the guard at the front said we might have a better time finding a spot at the South Campground.
Only after we've set up do I actually look up and around me--and this, this majestic red-cliffed view--is why the openess of the campground doesn't even matter. This is why we drove 4 1/2 hours and paid 25 bucks. Being early spring the trees are barely starting to bloom. The delicate green leaves, so pale as they emerge from hibernating branches, gives the softest contrast to the deep red walls behind. Adam and I explore the campground. Down by the river banks are gnarled old tree branches, intertwining and hiding among the red sand. The river has an aquamarine hue that, like the trees, is very pale in contrast to the red sand. It's as if no other color dares to be as bold as the red, but the soft color complements couldn't be better planned. Adam bought a new HD video camera, and he's like a kid on Christmas morning with it. Everything in Zion is already picture-perfect, and Adam loves the excuse to shoot everything he can (including me taking pictures of my own).
By this time we are hungry and head back into town to grab dinner. Springdale has an artistic, nature hippie, underbelly. There are little galleries, an independent coffee house, its own microbrewery, and Oscar's, a wonderful little restaurant where we chose to eat dinner. Inside it is smokey, not from cigarettes but from the kitchen. There are only a handful of tables and we manage to grab one in the back. Funky paintings, stained glass on the walls, and tiled tables all complement the brightly colored walls. There are more tables outside than in and in the summer I image it is packed with people enjoying the warm nights. We each ordered the local brewery amber ale, and it wasn't bad for small Springdale. I got fresh halibut fish tacos and Adam ordered the biggest burger I'd ever seen. The food was as wonderfully tasty as we'd hoped. By the time we left Oscars it was dark. We headed back to camp, built ourselves a fire, (and by we I mean I gather some kindling and watch while Adam builds it), and just sat back. It was cloudy so there were no starts to be seen, but it was quiet and peaceful. Looking around the open campground you see the flicker of other fires and the quiet hum of conversation. I feel lucky to live in a state that has this experience to offer me.