Friday, May 30, 2008

Utah & Zion National Park

On Thursday we moved the MoHo up to St. George Resort, a Western Horizon location. We plan to stay here a week and see the National Parks in the area. The resort is an older park, with tight roads and small sites for our size motorhome. But we got a nice spot with no one next to us so it was very nice. There was some nice grass areas that Pearl enjoyed after the sand & rock in Las Vegas. When we got there the weather was in the 80s, but soon moved into the low 90s. One of the nice features of the park was 50 amp service which allowed us to run both of our air conditioners. That kept the coach nice and cool during the day, which allowed us to leave Pearl with comfort.

Our first park was Zion National Park, which was only a short drive from our RV park. We didn't realize how popular Zion is. Last year it received 2.7 million visitors. During the summer they don't allow cars in the canyon, they use a shuttle similar to what they do in Yosemite valley. The shuttle works great in that it drops you off at the major spots, then later you can pick up another shuttle and move on to another stop. The shuttle runs every 5-8 minutes, so its real convenient.

One of the plans we have for this summer is to get more exercise, so we've planned to go hiking every other day when possible. So we jumped on the shuttle and stopped at the first interesting hike, the Weeping Rock.

It's only about a 1/2 mile, but it would give us a good start. It's called weeping rock because the water comes right out of the rocks and forms a stream that runs into the Virgin river. Because of the moisture, plants grow right out the rocks and form hanging gardens. After the hike up to the rocks, we followed a path up the stream, hoping from rock to rock.

We jumped back on the shuttle and stopped at the grotto for a picnic we had packed in our backpack. We discovered that it's better to pack a lunch than buy one at the parks. But we also discovered that it's better to go to a picnic area in the car so we don't have to haul the backpack everywhere on the hikes. It's really refreshing to sit at a picnic table under the cottonwood trees and enjoy good food.

Next we rode the shuttle to the end of the canyon to hike the Riverside trail. This is where the Virgin river enters the canyon at the Temple of Sinawava. It's an easy walk along the river as the canyon gets narrower. Here's a picture of us at the little falls near the beginning of the trail.

Further up the canyon we found a bend in the river which had a lot of round rocks near the bank. Many people had stacked the rocks into mini sculptures, which we found very interesting.

Of course, we couldn't leave without contributing our own stack. Here's Linda making our mark in Zion. Of course, they probably fell over in a couple of days, but it was fun.

The total length of the hike was about 21/2 miles round trip, but it was pretty level along the river, and nice and cool.

Our last stop was at Zion Lodge stop, where we crossed the river and hiked up to the Emerald Pool. It's named after the green color of the pool. And it has one of the few waterfalls in the park. It was a pretty setting, but the falls were nothing like a waterfall in Yosemite. It more like a leak. The hike was about 2 miles, up and down hill, and we were getting worn out. When we got back to the lodge, John found an ice cream stand and we refreshed ourselves.

Then it was back to the visitor center and our car. We really enjoyed the day, but we were pretty tired. It shows we're not in really good shape, but at least we're working on it. To see all of our pictures, please click on this link:

1 comment:

Dkalla said...

Loved the pictures! Was that Linda going off the beaten path....:-) And Johnny, you know better than to take those back shots....:-)

Love you guys!