Zion National Park

Vacation Days 4-5:

I no longer have any idea what time it is. Between traveling, crossing state lines multiple times and the foolishness of Vegas time, I’m turned around backwards but I can tell you that we arrived at Zion during daylight hours. Thanks to the sunshine, we were able to have a look around and take in the beauty of Zion National Park. I mean, I know that’s why these sections of land were chosen, but seriously – it’s really beautiful! Our first adventure there was a hike to the low, medium, and high Emerald pools where we saw the backside of water along with some other things.

Because we make poor choices, we decided that our big hike for this leg of the trip was through the Refrigerator Canyon, Walter’s Wiggles, and up to Angel’s Landing. We’re reasonably experienced hikers as we’ve done some pretty rough hiking and assumed that folks who’d warned us about the height, sheer drop-offs, and chains that you had to hold onto while hiking (ha!) were just exaggerating and, much like the fancy hikers who frequent these places, were taking themselves a little too seriously. Hiking is, after all, just taking a walk without the benefit of an Orange Julius or Gap sighting, so we’re rarely deterred by a hiking trail, even one like Angel’s Landing, which is listed as strenuous and treacherous in the park guide map. The first two parts went just fine, albeit really steep (up to 5785 feet in just a couple of miles) but then came the challenging bit.

The final walk to Angel’s Landing was when it got a little tricky. They weren’t kidding about the chains either – it was a hold on (with two hands mind you) or fall off the mountain sort of situation and several sections where I had to hold on with both hands and do a bit of a Tarzan swing from one rock to another… but I blame my vertical challenges for that last bit. Anyway, after a good long while we made it to the top and boy was it worth it!

Did I mention the chipmunks? While their size does not lead you to believe that they are wasting away, their aggressive begging certainly hints at it. Fortunately we’d been warned because signs spoke against feeding the chipmunks by letting visitors know that if encouraged, they would ban together and make a hostile take-over of your backpack. Holy crap.

We also learned that Jessica (Rebecca’s sister) feels that she can ward off bears with her strobe light, rape whistle, and running speed. Just thought you should know that… but chipmunks, they make her nervous.

To finish out our day of hiking we jaunted over to the Weeping Rock with some very pretty hanging gardens, and because the Narrows was closed, we headed to the River Walk where the Narrows begins so that we could get a sense of it since we couldn’t dive in.

We wrapped up the night with another delicious dinner (seriously delicious) at the lodge. That’s around the time that Jessica warned the boys against shaving after drinking because she’d once done a “very thorough” job of tweezing after an evening of drinking, which had turned out to be a pretty bad idea. She was clearly delirious from exhaustion so we put her to bed and stayed up a bit longer to enjoy a bit of star-gazing. They really are much prettier when you can actually see them. Who knew? We even saw what we think was a space station or satellite moving across the night sky… then again we bought drinks that came with the souvenir glasses so goodness knows what was in us at that hour!

On our way out of Zion we made a quick stop at the Thunderbird Motor Lodge, home of the Ho-Made Pie and the friendliest service we’d ever experienced – our server even curtsied when thanking us! We split 5 slices (coconut, strawberry rhubarb, apple, and two slices of chocolate) and picked up two extra to go for the Blum boys for later – no one should be without pie! Our server recommended that we leave the extra slices on the dash of the car to warm them up because as she said “that’s how we do it in the south”. We love southern charm!

Off to the Grand Canyon – more later. Wish us luck!

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