Goodbye Grand Canyon, hello Zion

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, June 7, 2012

After enjoying a good night's sleep we said goodbye to our beds, sheets and showers and drove out of the Grand Canyon. Along the way, KaMate reminded us that he had not yet had his photo taken overlooking the canyon so we duly stopped and he posed on a branch and I can still hear the echoes of his challenge as they reverberated a mile down and into the canyon. 
We then set out to retrace our steps back up and around the Grand Canyon in order to make it to Zion National Park. We were working our way to Cedar City to pick up some medicine at the Walmart and then the plan was to head east out of Cedar City to the campground at Duck Creek that we had reserved in the Dixie National Forest.
Along the way we drove high up into the mountains of Northern Arizona and just had to stop at 9,000 feet in elevation for a picnic lunch. Surrounded by pine trees in the Kaibab National Forest we enjoyed some carrots and sandwiches while we watched a steady procession of RV's go past on the highway. I had to laugh at the group of 4 men who were parked under the shade of a nearby tree on their quad bikes. While we were having our lunch, I heard one of them say to the others, "how do you make this thing go?" This struck me as a very strange question to be posing when already miles deep into the wilderness and with quad bikes piled high for an extended outing?!?!?!? We chuckled silently to ourselves and packed up and continued on our merry way.
We made it to Cedar City without any hitches, got more medicine for everyone's runny noses, sore throats and coughs and set off to Duck Creek and our pre-reserved campground high in the mountains and above the desert and the raging heat. Well, we were only 5 miles down the road to our campground when we saw a sign saying "Road closed 7am to 7pm Weekdays". Jess and I talked about this and thought surely they must have it wrong, they would be bound to complete the work at night not during the day!!! Well, a 1/2 mile later and we were proven wrong! The road was closed and all of our preplanning and our non-refundable payment had been lost!!! (Despite spending some time on the phone with the customer service branch of the Recreation.Gov website, there was no guarantee anymore than a token amount of our camp fees was going to be refunded!) So, we had to turn around and head 60 miles south and east and take a chance on getting a campsite in Zion National Park. (Oh yes, apparently the non-observing of daylight savings time is an Arizona and not a Utah thing, so were also running an hour later than we thought!) To cut a long story short, we did not get a site in Zion, and had to turn around again and retrace (retrace) our steps yet again to get a tent-site in the Zion RV Resort. This costs 3 times as much as the booking we had made, is a tent site on rocks (not grass) with no trees for shade and neighbors about 5 feet away on either side. Oh yes, and the site is also only available for one night so no matter what, we have to move tomorrow. AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! AND the heat is forecast to be over 100 tomorrow. We are seriously considering pulling the pin on canyons and deserts all together and heading for the cooling winds and weather of the Pacific Coast. More to be decided soon!
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