Religious Experience at Zion

Trip Start Feb 22, 2006
Trip End May 2006

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, March 12, 2006

March 9, 10, 11

Rejected Titles:

Marriage is easy in Utah, love's the hard part.
Kathryn the Aiight (lol)
Snow Tires??

Zion National Park (situated in the southwestern region of Utah) claims to be the gem of the many famous parks in this area, and I agree.
I left Cedar City on Thursday morning and headed south into the park. The drive (like the one up to Cedar City) was crazy beautiful with clear skies, winding rivers and breathtaking mountains. In the park, I spent most of the day taking the scenic drive through the canyon and hiking up to the Emerald Pools (mountain spring fed pools with a one hundred foot waterfall that ranges from a sprinkle in winter to a gushing cascade in spring), Weeping Rock, Court of Patriarchs (three peaks named after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), the Grotto and the Narrows/Temple of Sinawava (the type of rock restricted the river in this area, so that it created a much thinner opening than the rest of the canyon).

Everything in this park is picturesque. The Virgin River runs through the entire park and the two campgrounds (South and Watchman) are situated on either side of it.
After I had lunch (leftovers from Subway), I self-registered for a campsite in Watchman campground (South was closed) at $16/night. The campsites lack privacy but I am less than 100 yards from the river. Plus, there are hook-ups here, so while I did some writing, I was able to plug in my lap-top.
For dinner, I had beef stew (the only other warm option was beans, and I was tired of them from Lake Mead) and hot chocolate. This was the first time I made hot chocolate all trip, but I was so cold, I needed it. With the giant marshmallows from my s'mores stash, it was delish!!! Needless to say, I'm addicted. My stove is the greatest thing ever because it takes like two seconds to heat anything.
The sun sets around 6:30 here, so I bundled up in my tent as the rain began to fall.
The next morning, I awoke to SNOW!! Despite the fact I was a little worried that it would leak into the tent, I was so excited, I could barely wait until 7:00 AM to venture out into the white stuff. It's a good thing I went so early to because I acted a fool. Not only did I feel the need to write on my car, the picnic table and every bridge I crossed, I also made a snow angel and built a mini snow man on my car. But, there ain't no shame in my game.
After my early walk, I came back to my campsite. One of my neighbors (RV) came to visit. Her name was Nina and she was Swedish, her husband, Gerry, was a German, and they live in Ontario. She and her husband have been to almost every camp I've been to. Not only did she win over my affection by praising my bravery and spirit, but she brought me hot tea later that morning.
I heated up my leftovers from IHOP (hashbrowns and country fried steak) and felt like I had finally left horror of Big Bend behind. Not only had I mastered the technique of insulating the sleeping bag so my feet would stay warm, I had also mastered hot chocolate.
Seeing as how I was in dire need of clean "draws," I left Zion and drove the five minutes to Springsdale to use the laundry mat and explore.
I ate lunch in town, and then headed back to the park to do some more hiking in the snow.
When I got back to my camp, Gerry invited me to dinner. I rushed to the bathroom to cleaned up and look presentable (lost cause, I guess). Then, I went to join them and I was treated to Gerry's home cooking and their friendly conversation. We ended up going to see The Pink Panther at the Zion Big Screen movie theatre. Classic Steve Martin-and Jean Renu as a sidekick (?).
Nina and Gerry were hilarious, and they kind of adopted me. After another snowy night, they spoiled me with hot chocolate, homemade bread and a heater for my frozen feet. I am starting to see the appeal of having an RV!!
We all had to hit the road, however, so we said our goodbyes and parted ways. They headed south to Arizona and I headed east (for the first time!) to Colorado.
On my way to Cortez, I visited Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Glen Canyon Dam. It was beautiful-looking especially fantastic because of the thick white clouds floating through the rock formations. (as the Ranger told me at the gate, "the special effects are free." And he's a comedian)
Cortez (a short drive from Mesa Verde, my next destination) is kind of a sad little town. But I got a pretty good deal (for a Saturday) at a Best Western and they have the coolest indoor jet pool, which I am going to check out right now!!
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