We arrived at Zion after dark on Friday evening having driven up from Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, across a corner of Arizona and into Utah, so didn’t see anything until we woke up on a cold Saturday morning and peeped out. Wow….
Zion was pretty touristy and quite busy even in November. From the visitor centre at the bottom of the canyon, shuttle buses run to eight different stops. In summer and at weekends in November this is the only way to access the canyon; mid-week in November and through the winter it becomes self-drive. On reflection I think it was good to have (accidentally) shown up on a day when the buses were running; you wouldn’t need many vehicles driving up and down for complete mayhem to ensue.
The bus driver did point out a couple of groups of climbers as we made our way up the canyon, tiny specks of blue and red on the canyon walls above. We did a couple of the easy walking trails and generally mooched about looking at the scenery.
Mark has been busy learning the lingo and took the opportunity when passing folk on the trails to try out his best American greetings. There were more than a few “Howdy!”s and “How y’all?”s…..There’s also been some motorhoming lingo to learn. We knew that a motor home is an RV here, but we’ve also learned that a gas space heater is a furnace and a mains cable is a shoreline.
We took a brief trip into Springdale, the small town at the park entrance, for fuel and a few supplies from the local supermarket. Blimey…. that place made Waitrose look like a pound shop. Close on 7 dollars for a packet of Nature Valley biscuits (yes, the ones we generally buy on offer at 2 packs for £2 back home), other biscuits were even more pricey…. Our shopping list was swiftly reduced to a couple of absolute essentials.
To continue East out of Zion you have to go through a tunnel. There’s only one problem; it was built in the 1930s to a size considered suitable at the time. To go through in an RV or other large vehicle, you have to pay 15 dollars. When you get to the tunnel, the park rangers will then stop the traffic so that you can pootle through down the middle of the road where the tunnel’s high enough. After that the windy road continues for another few miles through fantastic scenery to Mount Carmel Junction, where we turned right and drove a few miles to Kanab, a small town with a selection of campsites. We settled on the Crazy Horse RV Park. This was our first night with electric and wifi, such luxury!