Friday, June 27, 2008
Sometimes it is nice to be able to drive in a forbidden zone! Because we were staying at the Zion Lodge, we had a "red ticket" which allowed us to drive up the road in Zion Canyon to the Lodge. Everyone else had to use a shuttle bus system to visit the park - the shuttle buses had been started several years ago to cut down on traffic congestion in the tiny park. Usually the shuttle buses work great, but because of road construction they were slow and hot and dusty and crowded. We enjoyed driving down the road in our nice private air conditioned car. Did I mention that the temperature in the valley soars to 100 degrees in the afternoon?
Zion Lodge is nestled in the valley between 2 huge rock mountains. Crowds tend to gather on the lawn under 2 big shade trees in the afternoon, cooling off while eating ice cream. Our little cabin had a great porch from where we could enjoy the view from both angles. And it was airconditioned - somewhat. Actually, as soon as the sun dropped behind the mountain in late afternoon the temperature dropped and it was actually chilly in the morning. The cabin was fine, and we even were visited by some deer trying the keep cool in the shade outside our window.
After getting settled we took the shuttle up and down the road and stopped at the museum and visitor center. Dinnner at the Lodge Restaurant was fairly good, but not amazing. After dinner we took a hike along the river to the Lower Emerald Pool, a pretty area with a small waterfall dripping over a cliff.
Along the trail in the wet areas, these lovely little yellow columbines blossomed.