Zion, Bryce and Vegas (again?)
Sep 21, 2019
|Sorry for the delayed post, but our stay in Glendale, UT left us with no cell service and very spotty Internet. Every time I tried to post the last update, the program would just disappear, even though I was saving frequently! Grrr! Very frustrating!
Anyway, our last couple of days were spent exploring our first of the 9 National Parks on this trip: Zion and Bryce Canyon. The first full day we were there, Tuesday, we actually visited Zion late morning, came home to have lunch, then drove all the way out to Bryce in the afternoon. When we came through the East gate into Zion, there was a sign out front saying parking lots were full, park in Springdale, which is right outside the South gate. He told us we would need to get there early, probably before 9 a.m. to find parking in the park itself. Because we got to Bryce in the late afternoon, parking wasn’t a problem, but we had planned to visit each park for a full day, so we didn’t stay in Bryce. On the way to Bryce, we passed through Red Canyon and stopped to snap a couple of pics there. Red Canyon is just gorgeous with the deep red and orange hues on the rock face and hoodoos.
Wednesday was our day to spend exploring Zion. Susan did some research before we left home and found a doggie day care called Doggie Dude Ranch in Rockville, not too far from the South park entrance. We had a reservation there for Cooper that day, which allowed us a little more freedom to really explore the park. We found (paid) parking in Springdale right outside the South gate and spent the day riding the shuttle from place to place, getting off and doing some (light) hiking in between several of the stops. By the time we picked Cooper up at the Dude Ranch, we were all pretty pooped!
When you enter the park from the east entrance you basically drive all the way to the South gate, passing through 3 tunnels along the way. Two of the tunnels are pretty short, but the infamous Zion/Mt Carmel Tunnel (the one we were advised not to drive through in oversized vehicles) is pretty long. However, we saw many RVs pass through it. The downside to that is they charge a fee for over sized vehicles. It wouldn’t have been a problem for us as they alternately stop traffic in the opposite direction, so the big RVs/trailers can drive in the middle with plenty of room.
Cooper was a bit tired that evening, too after his day at Doggie Dude Ranch. They said he had a fun day, running around and splashing in the wading pool.
On Thursday, we drove up to explore Bryce Canyon, after dropping Cooper off at Pawz Dogz day care in Panguitch. (pronounced pang witch). But we were a little rattled about leaving our fur baby there, because the lady put him in the enclosure with another doodle while we were still standing right there. As soon as he realized we weren’t coming too, he had a fit, barking and jumping up at the fence. The lady assured us he would be fine once he heard us leave, and he was, but we felt a pang of guilt, just the same.
We drove into Bryce Canyon around 10 a.m. We decided to just drive to the different scenic points in our car rather than take the shuttle. We drove all the way to the last scenic overlook in the park, Rainbow Point, 18 miles from the entrance. The elevation was over 9000 ft, and with the wind blowing like crazy, it was really cold! (What a difference from the weather in Las Vegas!) We slowly drove back towards the front of the park, stopping off at almost all of the scenic viewpoints along the way. The canyons were spectacular, each one having a slightly different hue, or different shapes in the rock. Some of them looked like the remains of castles, others are giant spires reaching towards Heaven from the canyon floor. One lady asked Susan how to describe what we were seeing. Susan replied “Awesome!”
Yesterday we spent much of the day in the car as we delivered our friend Marcia back to McCarran Airport in Las Vegas to return home. Her flight out was 12:15 p.m. and since it was a 3 hr drive, we decided we needed to leave Glendale no later than 8 a.m. What we didn’t plan on was the slow traffic back through Zion NP which put us behind a bit. While we waited our turn to pass through that darn tunnel again, we were treated to a visit from the elusive Big Horn Sheep that make their home in the park. We were delighted to get some pictures while we waited in line; they seemed to be posing for us!
By the time we made it out to I-15, I was beginning to sweat the time. I knew I would have to be flying low all the way in order to get her to her gate in time, even with the speed limit at 75, I was doubting we would make it. And to add to my stress, I knew my morning coffee would be speaking to me before too long, and I would need to make a pit stop! But just then something really cool happened: the time changed back from mountain time to Pacific time! Now I had an extra hour! And I could make my pit stop! Yay! And we delivered Marcia in plenty of time to make her flight!
We decided that since we would be back in civilization for a little while (if you could ever call Las Vegas civilized) we would take the opportunity to give Cooper a bath and wash the car as well. First, we took him to his favorite dog park to run around and do his business, then we found a doggy bath place, and also got the car washed. By the time we finished all this, plus stopped for a quick lunch, it was getting late. We got stuck in Friday traffic for a while, then finally broke out onto the freeway and smoked it all the way to St. George, UT where we stopped to let Cooper out for a walk. Then headed back east towards Zion. By the time we drove through the park (and the infamous tunnel) it was getting late and the sun was already setting. We did get one last chance to see the sheep again, as they were back visiting, this time in the middle of the road!
Today we drove to Torrey, UT, our base for the next 4 nights. From here we will be able to explore our third NP: Capitol Reef. We are excited to check it out as it is a more pet-friendly park so Cooper can go with us on many of the paths.
And that brings us up to date. This post is really 3 days’ worth; hence the long-winded drivel.
Hope you are all well and happy! We are well, too!
Hugs from Lynn, Susan and, of course, Cooper Doodle!