Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 6: Zion

Day 6: Zion NP

Disney's something to be a little alarmed about. It's not just a little theme park anymore. It's now an ethic and outlook and strategy that goes way beyond central Florida.
Carl Hiaasen

Pics: Only one from today, so three golden oldies thrown in

Today is Saturday, even in Springdale, and there is a farmer’s market. Smalllllll…buy a dry-farmed melon and firm cow cheese. Breakfast in the room, with some of the melon (not bad), $3.

Then we (DB is back on the trail) head for the park and the Narrows hike. The start of the hike is at the far end of the park, and we take a shuttle from in front of the Desert Pearl, then transfer to the in-park shuttle. A very nice feature to keep people out of their cars, only those staying at the lodge can drive in. On other hand, takes about an hour to get to the hike trailhead.

The Narrows starts with a mile of paved trail, then you put on your neoprene socks and (wetsuit like) socks and water boots and with your stout Friar Tuck pole you start up the Virgin River. In and out of the river, sometimes on the sandy banks, mostly in the water, which is about 57 degrees. The socks and boots do the job, our feet never get cold. We see all sorts of people doing this “hike” in tevas, boots, sneakers, crocs, bare feet (not many of those), all of them must be feeling the cold. We are not!

We have rented a dry bag (total with boots, socks and poles: $45), and it contains all our essentials, including the camera. It is too much of a pain to get the dry bag out of the backpack, so there is all of one picture of the hike. That’s too bad, because the feeling of being in the narrow canyon with all the different rock formations and strata is fascinating. Not that the pics would’ve shown that, and not that we were watching the view all the time, attention had to be paid to all those rocks underwater.

Turns out we have seriously misestimated how long we would be on the river, and manage to stretch the trail mix and lemonade and water to last for four hours. By the time we get to the end of the hike (and that last mile on pavement), it is very very hot out and we are very very tired and hungry. And, one of the lens of DB’s clips fell out on the way to the hike and we were hoping to reclaim it on the way back (a person following us on the way out actually told DB that she had found it and put it on a rock a ways back).

The lens is not there. However, DB is on this trip for many reasons and one of them is clear thinking (every passing year, THB learns how important is to have a clear thinker on his adventures): she has suggested we wear our back-up glasses and clips in case we fall in the water and away goes our eyesight. So, what is lost is a long unused back-up pair of clips.

As we are heading back to the shuttle, we realize it is really hot out. REALLY HOT! One of the joys of the Narrows is that the water is cold and you are mostly in shade. It is a great hike on a hot day. What planning!

We get off the shuttle and have two giant softies (one each, I know some of you would assume I had two myself if I was not totally clear); so, lunch is $5.

DB’s blister has pus’d up again (way TMI), so she buys a cigarette lighter and when we arrive at the Desert Pearl she operates on herself. Why she didn’t let old-shaky hands do it….I volunteered! She’s her usual cheerful self, so surgery must have been a success.

I head to the pool for a dip. It is 97 in the shade. Which leads me to the following query: are these two things correlated?:

1. Today we see even more foreigners than usual: Spain, England, German, Australia, France, on and on…tons, maybe 35% of the people (usually at least 20%, so it is a jump, not a huge jump).
2. When I visit the pool in the late afternoon, there are people actually sunbathing. Sitting in the sun. Lying in the sun. Reading in the sun. In the sun.

Dinner is at the converted gas station, Whiptail, again. This time enchiladas, beer and wine and guacamole and chips: $68. Better than last time! The couple sitting next to us is from Los Altos and staying tomorrow night at the Grand Canyon Lodge, as are we. They are doing 3 NPs in 6 days. We don’t tell them how many we are doing in 35+ days.


  1. All hail Mickey Mouse. I guess after you make so much money with a franchise you inevitably set your sites on world domination.