Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Quick Visit to Zion National Park

We left Jacob Campground this morning, May 22nd  and headed north, toward Zion National Park via Mt Carmel Junction.  We stopped in a little town in Utah to do some grocery shopping and, once again, bottomed out the scooter carrier.  This was getting to be a frequent and annoying occurrence.  I checked the carrier and all seemed well… we got away with it that time!

Despite the GPS yelling that TRUCKS ARE NOT ALLOWED, we entered Zion National Park at the east entrance off Utah highway 9, from Mt. Carmel.  I figured we could go that way because we passed similar RVs coming out, and our fancy Garmin Truckers GPS is a tad neurotic sometimes.

The ranger at the entrance told us the campground was full but we decided to go in anyway. We would drive through the park (at least part of it) and then either boondock at a Wal-Mart or continue on to Nellis AFB outside Las Vegas.

Although my America the Beautiful annual pass got us into the park in at no cost, we did have to pay $15 for “RV tunnel service”. There are two tunnels on the route we were coming in on. The first one was no problem as it is big enough to accommodate large vehicles in both directions at once.  The second tunnel, however, is undersized and a ranger would have to stop traffic from the other direction while we went through - this service is what the $15 covers.  Above is a map I borrowed from the National Park Service with our route in yellow.

You can see from the map that part of this route has some noteworthy switchbacks, which our intrepid Trek handled  just fine. In fact, our drive through this small part of Zion was really wonderful. The photos don't do it justice as it is almost impossible to capture the imposing rock faces and formations with a camera like ours.

We parked in the Visitors Center parking lot to eat lunch and regroup. I called the campground at Nellis AFB and Clyde told us to come on over, and so that is what we decided to do.

After a quick parking lot repair on the sewer plumbing support strap (you do NOT want that coming loose), we left Zion National Park and headed to Nellis AFB, a drive of less than 150 miles.

Perhaps this worked out for the best... We can go to the Hoover Dam first thing tomorrow morning and then Lynda can spend a leisurely afternoon packing and doing laundry to fly out on Monday.  Back to Knoxville she must go, for a week at least.

1 comment:

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