Off to the Grand Canyon from Zion

We eventually arose this morning.  It was hot the last several days and we dip plenty of hiking in the heat.  We had fun.  Yesterday was definitely an improvement over the day before in Zion.  Fewer people made for a much better experience.  Breakfast was good.  I opted for cereal while Bob & Louise had the waffles.  I ate a blueberry thing and part of an English muffin.  Something in one or two of the latter gave me an allergic reaction.  All was OK, but the rest of the morning I was really dry.  Was it the absolute lack of humidity or the baked good? We will never know.

I think the eastern portion of Zion National Park is the more beautiful part of the park, but the terrain isn’t condusive to handling large crowds.  I didn’t notice any trailheads while we were heading through the section of the park.  The map lists one impossible long trail that leads to the ‘East Rim’ of Zion.  There are really limited turn outs, and they are mostly located where there was both the space and an attraction to look at.  I took some educated shots out the window with the camera on the correct settings.  We’ll see if I was lucky, or left with something I can make something of.  While we had cell reception we made some phone calls, but we were in cell range for a very short period of time.

After we left the greater Zion tourist area we eventually entered Arizona and the landscape resembled a Great Basin type of place with sagebrush when there was enough water to grow and lots of sun bleached scrub that hasn’t seen water in a long time.  Judging by what we’ve seen, and what we remember form 20 years ago; this is not the place to retire. No water, and less every year.  Eventually e hit the Kabib plateau and the area had the aura of a manicured English Park.  The pines were more or less evenly spaces, with green grass on the floor f the forest and there were the occasional aspen grove scattered in the midst of everything. A very beautiful place.

Then we hit the section that was burned out in 2007 or 2006.  There wasn’t much left after the fire.  The aspens have moved in, in some locations, but all the pines were burned out and the area doesn’t appear to have been reseeded naturally or by the forestry department.  We eventually hit the section that I remember do well from the first time we were here, a series of alpine like meadows surrounded by forest.  It’s almost as beautiful as I remember from last time, but the weather is much drier and the meadows a re all dried out, even thought it’s mid June.  Where there were once ponds and lakes in spring, thru are only greener meadows.

I did not do my homework as carefully as I should have for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon prior to heading out.  We arrived at the gate for the Grand Canyon, early fortunately, to discover that there are no first come first served spots this side of the canyon.  The spaces are reserved for those who plan a year in advance, are lucky and are willing to shell out the money a year in advance.  We did a quick about turn and went to the De Motte campground.  There was a guy with a trailer who arrived at the campground in front of us.  He checked out loop A and we checked out loop B.  Nothing on loop B was available, and when we met bat the junction of the two loops, he told us that nothing was available on loop A.  We checked loop A and found a spot.  I grabbed it and walked back to put the money in the ‘iron ranger’.  He found the campground host and got the last spot so I didn’t feel too bad. It was definitely a case of first come first served.  Being from NY helps in these situations; we have the practice.

The spot was lovely, no trees, but it was 78 degrees, no humidity, and a really nice breeze that only occasionally got too strong.  There are a number of fir or spruce trees around us along with some aspens, and a meadow off in front of the RV and across the road, with a forest after that.  It’s simple, but all the colors, the blue of the sly, the greens of the trees and the meadow and the grey browns of the tree trunks all make a beautiful palette.  It’s a gorgeous place all without a great view or a dynamic structure in the landscape.

I decided not to secure the site and head to the Canyon.  We lifted the front by 6 inches and put the antisway sticks in at the rear, even though there was very little space.  Since we stayed with Bob for three days we jammed everything into places it didn’t belong in the RV.  We had clean laundry in bags, but the laundry wasn’t where it belonged, and I bought stuff for two projects that I wanted to complete, so we straightened up.  We had lunch, spoke with Tim, the camp host, and fixed the 12 v house outlet that I use for charging everything.  In addition, I installed a 12v outlet near the lamp you would use for reading in the upper bunk if we slept that way.  It will come in handy if/when we hit a hot night and need a fan to create soft breezes inside this house on wheels.  All the laundry found its way home and we made the bed with the clean linens.

The next project was to plan the trip back home.  I looked at a route briefly before we left, but we’re at the halfway point in this trip and we need an exit plan, especially since we have a drop dead date at the end of the trip.  I haven’t seen anything of interest to look at in Middle America, so it appears that the trip home will be a series of Interstates and interesting state and county parks on the way home.  As Louise says, after the incredible scenery we’ve been looking at, it will be difficult to come up with something sensational. Finishing the tentative plan, we had some crackers and cheese and figured out dinner.

Dinner turned out to be leftovers since we were living high on the hog for the last several days.  Louise had spaghetti and parmesan chicken while I had braised beef short ribs, a fava bean medley and broccoli raab.  I wrote after dinner and worked on some photos.  It was a perfect, quiet relaxing day.  Tomorrow off to the North rim of the Grand Canyon.