Down the Canyon

Trip Start Apr 11, 2011
Trip End Apr 24, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, April 15, 2011

Today was a full day of sightseeing. We took the shuttle bus into the canyon and spent most of the day there.  There are about nine stops along the way.  We started at the last stop which had a beautiful waterfall and a walk along the river.  The path ends about one mile in and then you can walk along and in the river to reach "The Narrows."   Part of the time you can be up to your neck – well, if you're my height, for sure.   However, that part of the trail was closed because the water is running much too high. 

It was beautiful.  The canyon walls go straight up and are mostly solid rocks.  Some have water dripping down and are dark and slick.  There were many types of plants that didn’t seem to be from the same area.  Cactus, succulents, wildflowers, swamp were all growing along the way.  We saw several deer and 4 wild turkeys.  Two of the toms were strutting their stuff for their hen friends and were quite flamboyant.  John got a little too friendly with a squirrel who wanted his snack.  It jumped in his lap, uninvited, and I thought for sure it would bite him.  But, John survived and so did Mr. Squirrel.

We rode to another waterfall at Weeping Rocks and then down to Big Bend where the river is wide.  There were rock climbers up on the face of the rock formation.  Crazy.  It takes them 3 days to make the climb.  They sleep up there on little cots attached to the rock and take latrines.  And when they finally reach the top, it takes 2 hours to walk down.  There were also condors flying there from the top of another formation.  They were so high; I couldn’t really get a photo.  But the bus driver said they can have up to a nine foot wing span, Lordy.

We then went to The Grotto, where we hiked a mile up and around the mountain to get to the Lower Emerald Pool.  There were a lot of people there and the pool wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped.  But you got to walk under the waterfall and then we took the mile trail down to The Zion Lodge.  We bought big ice cream cones as our reward. 

John said that his “dogs” were really tired.  So, we came back to the Visitor Center on the bus and I was glad.  We still had to walk about a mile back to camp and that was enough for me.  It was 73 degrees when we got to the RV. 

We leave here tomorrow morning for the south entrance to the Grand Canyon.  It’s about 250 miles and getting out of Zion will take a while.  Remember we get a special trip through that tunnel again.  So, it will probably take at least 5 hours.  We are traveling by the Vermillion Cliffs on the way and I hope to stop there.  I’m sure there are a lot of special sights along our route.  I’ll let you know tomorrow.
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