Sunday - November 30, 2008

Today was another beautiful sunny day here In Utah with the temperatures depending on where you were – today we were in lower altitudes, therefore, warmer temperatures.

We decided to check out Zion Canyon today and found another beautiful, scenic national park. The drive there was through pretty countryside but nothing outstanding, there was a lot of traffic, don’t know where they were going to or coming from!!

The east road into Zion presented more picturesque scenery than the main highway, and once into the park we had a pretty drive and an interesting tunnel to traverse. The tunnel is 1.1 miles long and was completed in 1930, there are no lights in the tunnel but there are a few large windows that provide air vents and there are many twists and turns. We were okay to go through with the truck but anything larger requires an escort and our trailer could not go through as the maximum length is 50’ for a combined vehicle. A larger vehicle must pay $15 for a permit for the tunnel (which is good for two trips) and they don’t actually get an escort, all other traffic is stopped from going through at the same time as the larger vehicles have to travel down the middle of the tunnel. Once we excited the tunnel we were into a long descent with lots of switch backs and tight curves – I certainly wouldn’t even want to THINK about taking our trailer through there.

Tunnel Entrance

Virgin River

It Looks Like Ice But Isn't

And Of Course There Are Always the Interesting Rock Formations

Once into the canyon we went to the Visitor’s Centre and found out that there were shuttle buses running, these buses go to the end of the canyon and you can get off and on at any of the stops (and are included in the admission fee); the buses weren’t running at Bryce as they are done until spring so were surprised to find them running at Zion. We decided to take the shuttle as this would give John a chance to enjoy the views. We took the shuttle right to the end then got off to walk the trail to Temple of Sinawava, okay I thought I could walk the trail but after about ¾ of a mile, with no end in sight, I called it quits and John continued on alone. When he returned he said the view was disappointing so I hadn’t missed a lot. My hips were both kind of sore and stiff today so I decided not to over do it, how I miss having all my own parts and being able to walk as walking was something I always loved to do. Hopefully I will build my strength back up in Yuma so I can do the walking again.

The weather in the canyon was lovely, in the sun it was in the high 60’sF but cooler in the shady areas, still very pleasant.

We got off at one other stop but again it was a walk to see the view and we wanted to get well out of the canyon and park before dark so we didn’t do any other stops. On the way back I was talking to the shuttle driver and she said this was the last day for the shuttles and this is only the second year they have run in November (but only on the weekends). She said they were so busy on Friday and Saturday (Thanksgiving holiday) that it was like in the summer, traffic congestion galore! Parking areas and viewing pullouts are quite small and they all seemed congested today so heaven only know what they would have been like on Friday and yesterday. We also saw quite a few deer and some wild turkeys but couldn’t get good pictures through the bus window. The park is open year round and the shuttles start again the first weekend in April.

It was about 6 when we got home, so a long day. I had some left over spagetti sauce in the freezer so used it for dinner – a nice dinner of comfort food!

I am having trouble keeping my eyes open so will end this now; and so ends another great gift of a day and do come back again to see what we have done.

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