Day 74 - Virgin, Zion National Park (Utah)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The time change, and a long old sleep for Dylan, makes us a bit later than we'd hoped leaving for the National Park, but we are keen to see the sights.

It's about a 15 minute drive to the gate where we purchase an annual parks pass which allows us unlimited entry to any US National Park for the year. We think its a bargain at $80 for all of us considering its $25 for a vehicle to enter just Zion for the day.

We park at the visitors centre and find the next shuttle bus departing into the park. During the summer months you are not allowed to drive your vehicle too far into the park. Instead you must travel on the free shuttle bus.  

We have decided to do The Emerald Pools walk today from Zion Lodge so we get off the bus here and follow the signs. It's not long until we lose track of how many times we have said wow! look at this place, it's so beautiful. Dylan has decided he doesn't want to walk today so Rich has to lug him in the rucksack which he is too heavy for. Tough work in the heat. At least the gorgeous views are distracting.

The lower Emerald Pool is about a mile from the start of the trail. The pools and waterfall are unsurprisingly a little light on water in this heat, but the scenery is breathtaking. We grab a pretty pew on the rocks above the pool for our picnic. We keep getting lightly showered from the waterfall but its nice and refreshing. We decide to take an alternative route back. The Kayenta Trail leads to the Grotto picnic area. We see even more stunning scenery. It's a little less even underfoot than the paved section of the trail, but we are in our trusty flip flops carrying two children and its fine. Some people, in contrast, are out in all their hiking gear with their double poles and camelbaks looking like they are about to summit Everest. It makes us smile. The children nap whilst we chat and take in the views. We knew it would be nice, but not this good. 

We accidentally wake both children as we refill our water bottles after only 30 minutes sleep. We pray for an easy afternoon despite this. We complete the loop along the river back to pick up our shuttle bus. Taya makes us some more friends on the bus who are interested to hear about our trip. The man says he has never seen prettier eyes and that Taya was captivating.What a lovely compliment for her.

We arrive back at the RV site with two very tired, and slightly cross, children but we manage to rectify the situation with a fun trip to the pool. Seeing them so happy in the water relaxs us all and we enjoy a much needed cool off. Dylan attracts the women in the pool who enjoy listening to him chatting away and leaping in and swimming to us. Two separate people ask us if he is four. We realise that we have been away so long now that our stock answer of two and a half is no longer that accurate and he is really nearly three. So that is his new age now. The lovely people lend us a pool noodle and a ball to play with and we all have loads of fun. Taya is super happy swimming and splashing around and still enjoys her "ready go" dunks. Pasta dinner outside the van before Taya's bedtime and a play on the grass and with his beloved cars for Dylan. It makes such a difference to have outside space we can use, and we are loving it.

The adult Kemptons lit a fire in the evening and set about the serious task of marshmallow melting to create yummy s'mores. A s'more is a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the USA and Canada consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. 
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Grandma Lizzie x on

Magnificent scenery and slightly lower temperatures than Vegas - very inspiring.
The entry deal is off the charts for value! Well done!
The outside RV area certainly looks good for a few more Kempton play times too.

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