Thursday, May 8, 2008

Zion

Well before I get going on what we did today, I have to say, Buffe got a little altitude sickness. Headache (a bad one) and some nausea. Couldn’t eat dinner, went to bed, woke up feeling new again. Thank goodness! One must realize we were at 9100 feet at Rainbow Point and hiked approx. 4 miles at 8000 feet.

Had breakfast at the Bryce Canyon Pines Motel restaurant; there was a woman having breakfast all alone, we knew she was from Europe, and we had seen her on the trail at Bryce the day before, so Ace invited her to eat her breakfast at our table. She did and we had the best conversation – she was bicycling by herself (her husband had passed away 6 months earlier, they used to bicycle all over together), anyways, she was a photographer, and went everywhere in the world. – Bicycling! Her name was Illona from the Netherlands.

The drive to Zion was about an hour. The rock is so different from Bryce, or, well you know – any previous park! It is majestic in the extreme. You park at the Visitor Center and these shuttle busses take you into Zion. They run every 6 minutes about, so if you get off at one stop, do whatever, hike, eat, whatever, a buss comes along and you hop on and head further into the Park. The lodge setting is absolutely beautiful. Just what you think a lodge in these canyons should be. We hiked on the Riverside walk half way because the Virgin River had too much water coming through the Narrows. Which normally one could ‘hike’ (in water shoes, cuz the water could come up to your calves or mid-thighs….yes, the trail is right smack in the river. Whoa. In the Narrows, the canyon walls come to within 20 feet of each other. Too bad we missed that. However, we would have missed that anyways because we do not have the appropriate shoes.

We then hopped on the bus and headed back to the center of the park, getting off at Grotto stop. We hiked 1 mile on the Kayenta trail to the middle Emerald Falls / Pools. Ace then hiked up to Upper Emerald Pool (.5 one way), then we hiked down to Lower Emerald Pool and then onto the Lodge (1 mile). Had a great late lunch on the deck of the lodge and had the most awesome view of canyon walls. Takes your breath away. Then, downstairs to the café where we all got disgustingly large chocolate ice cream cones (Ace had a boysenberry ice cream).

We headed to the Park’s museum, and listened to a Ranger talk about petroglyphs. We called her Rock Girl. It was very interesting.

From there, to our $79 laughable motel in Springdale just outside the Park’s South entrance. Well, you have to stay in a couple of places like this to be able to “motel it” for almost a month. It’s not bad really – just no ambiance. ;) Our beds almost touch!

Walked around the little town – tourist-y, but had a great pizza had Pizza and Noodles. Of course Ace had to stop in at the Chocolate Candy store just across the street (everyone in town must stop there after dinner)….

We’re here in the motel, writing blog stuff, reading, catching up on emails, and Buffe and Bev figuring out the money. The night is very pleasant, the rocks are right out our door, the birds are chirping away, the cool canyon air is filtering into our room. Life is good and we are very lucky to be able to take a trip like this. We have met more foreigners than ever, and everyone is nice and having a good time marveling at Nature’s Wonders.

Ciao for Niao!
P.S. let me add a little post script...it can get mighty cold at night, and we have all been saying we're sure glad we're not camping. Yes we had re-thought that idea, and decided not to camp; would have meant bringing a lot more stuff, all camping gear. So a note to all you would-be canyon-campers: bring your winter camping sleeping bags, blankets,etc, because you'll need it!!! Remember, in Bryce, we had snow-y rain come down on us twice. And the temp can range 50 degrees in a day. These storms come in every afternoon and pass through quickly, but whether it's a 45 degreed storm or a 28 degree storm is just a whim of the gods....love!

1 comment:

Ed Pinto said...

Ace and Buffe,

I have great memories of of a family trip we took at Zion National Park, probably in the late 1960s. It is up there with Yosemite.
I enjoyed reading about your adventures. May you have many more.