Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 16 - Zion Kolob Canyons and Zion National Park

June 16 - Zion Kolob Canyons and Zion National Park

The western heat hit with a vengeance today, at least for these thick blooded northeastern bodies. We're not used to 100 degrees, low humidity and the type of weather than just sucks all the moisture out of your body. Really enjoyed reading Silversands narrative of the cool and fog at Recompense in Maine.

Started the day tow-hauling up the passes of Zion's Kolob Canyon south of Cedar City. We started down the Timber Creek Overlook trail but quickly returned to the TC as it was way too steep for our level of hiking.

Down I-15, to 17 to 9. We stopped at Colpits Wash and walked a ways in to see Grafton, a ghost town. Couple coming out said not to keep going as there wasn't much left to see! On to the Zion Canyon entrance and then into South Campground as there were spaces available. Figured it would be full if we didn't take a space early morning. Took a long time to pick out one that had some shade, was relatively level and felt like it might get a breeze. There were a suprising number of sites available at that time. Very picturesque place to camp with tall peaks all around.

Walked to the Visitor Center with Joe carrying the waist pack full of water, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. etc. Boarded the free shuttle bus and started up the road to the top of Zion that can be reached by road. At each shuttle stop we got out and walked at least part of the hike paths - until we got to the one that went straight up. Teenage boys were RUNNING up it. Ah - youth! No way were we going to try that one. By this time the temperature was hovering around 98-101F and we were wilting fast. At each stop we would refill our big water bottles but there wasn't really a way to keep up with the sweat output. On the way down, stopped at Zion Lodge and enjoyed seeing the old buildings and photos - plus two huge ice teas.

By the time we had ridden the shuttle down, walked to the campground and found the Truck Camper was 99F inside, we were just plain wiped out. We had not enjoyed Zion as we have all the other parks we have been to. It was just too crowded, hot and hot. Yes we could have run the generator for two hours in the evening for some AC but everyone around us were in tents and it didn't seem fair. We decided to push 0n to somewhere we could either run the generator longer or get power. The campground was full when we left and some lucky person benefited by our leaving.

The tunnel going out the east side of Zion is an real engineering work especially since it was built in the early '30s. Trucks, RVs etc are restricted in height and have to be let through in a line one way down the middle of the tunnel. $15 gets you two trips through in a week. We lucked out and were atvthe end of the line so after we were through, could drive slowly since no one was behind us. They close the tunnel to one side at a time. The East end of Zion (for us) was much more interesting than the main part of the park. Great folds of rock that looked like running water, swirls of waves and just fields of folded lava - and no crowds.

A camper in SD had told us if we were ever in Kanab, UT to go to Houston's Trail's End Restaurant. They are the ones who have mobile kitchens to serve meals to the army of firefighters when a big fire is fought. The waitress had on a gun belt with holsters for order pads. Too hot to be hungry but we split a very spicy order of nachos and a piece of homemade chocolate cream pie - and about another quart of water apiece. Recommend a stop there if you are nearby.

We're in a tiny campground called the RV Corral in Kanab. We're probably not true TCers or we would be back sweating at Zion. AC has been running for an hour and it is 82F inside and 92F outside. What a blessed 10 degree difference!

Next to us is a beautiful brand new Arctic Fox, Silver Fox Edition that the couple has just taken delivery of. They are headed back to AZ where it is 112F at their home. Invited them up to New England to get cool. They gave us great local info on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Four Corners, Monument Valley and a brand new RV park at a casino in Sky City, NM. We've never been to a western casino so just might stop there.

Tomorrow North Rim and the start of our turn eastward. After the crowds at Zion, we're skipping the south rim. Lots of campers have told us if you go to the north, you can bypass the south. Might regret it but we'll see.

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