May 19, 2004

Las Vegas to Zion National Park

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:56 am by diandy2004

After returning from our 10-day long side trip to Boca Raton & Philly, we flew back into Las Vegas. How weird was this? It was very odd to be flying to our car and “home” in Vegas. Don’t ask how, but Andy got into a conversation with the taxi driver about how our car was parked at the Tropicana Casino, we were staying at the San Remo Casino, our “home” was in the shop getting repairs done, we were flying in from Philly, but we lived in Florida. Needless to say she was willing to drive us all around town to learn the details of our situation – and to increase the fare. Vegas is crazy – all loudness and lights, crowds and chaos – but it is fun. We lost more of our “nest egg” gambling. We saw a great magic show at the Sahara. Eventhough we were in the second row, we couldn’t figure out HOW they did what they did. Andy wanted me to be picked to go onstage to learn some of their secrets – thankfully that didn’t happen.

We drove to my favorite park on May 13th – Zion National Park. We were here in 2001 and loved it. I wasn’t disappointed with our 2nd trip either…well, actually one major disappointment. Due to some large blisters on my toes, our hiking was very limited here. Ironically enough, the blisters were from wearing real shoes and walking around in Vegas! So we saw and did things differently here this time. We rode our bikes along the park road. We did some shorter hikes such as Hidden Canyon Trail.

Hiking Hidden Canyon Trail

Hiking Hidden Canyon Trail

We drove up through a different section of the park along Kolob Terrace Road to Lava Point lookout and saw volcanic debris, a crater, hoodoos, and cliffs that looked like the Painted Desert along the way.

Overlooking Zion Canyon

Overlooking Zion Canyon

Hiking Zion

Hiking Zion

Exploring Kolob Terrace Road

Exploring Kolob Terrace Road

Exploring Kolob Terrace Road

Exploring Kolob Terrace Road

We also hiked in The Narrows again. Due to hiking in cold, wet conditions my blisters actually were pain-free for the 7-hour hike. The water was about 55 degrees and was generally knee-high, occasionally thigh-high, periodically hip-high, and once for Diane too deep. Let’s just say, we were at the end of the trip (200 yards away from end), I was tired, cold, not paying attention, and I out-walked my stick. This means my foot went past my walking stick (which is your support and water-level gauge) and, of course, I went into a deep pool. Yep, the drop-offs are quick in the Narrows. My feet were no longer touching bottom, I was now floating downstream, and once that cold water surrounded my chest, my breathe was sucked out of me. Where was Andy are you asking? Where he usually is…way ahead of me. But now he turned towards me (he heard me cry out), yelling “What ARE you doing down there?” (remember, at this point he can only see my head!). Too much excitement for me at the end of a long hike!

Diane in The Narrows

Diane in The Narrows

Andy in Orderville Canyon

Andy in Orderville Canyon

One of the most peaceful spots on the planet has to be right under this tree…

My Tree

My Cottonwood Tree

…After a long day of hiking, this is where you’ll find me. Perhaps there’s a vortex here?

We’ll be moving on to the Grand Canyon – North Rim on the 20th. We are hoping to get another permit to hike down in – so cross your fingers for us! We may not be so lucky this time since the campground is full and we have to camp outside the park – not a good sign. After that, Page, AZ and Lake Powell. We’re looking to kayak some of the fingers and canyons, so if anyone has any helpful information on doing that please let us know.

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