July 22 and 23
July 22 – Today is Karsyn's birthday! She is eight years old!!! We plan to Skype tonight and wish her a Happy Birthday. We did cake and party before we left.
It was another gorgeous drive from Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park! They are so different from each other! In my opinion, Bryce Canyon was more interesting, but Zion is fascinating, too. You are not looking down so much as you are looking up in Zion. The colors are beautiful and the layers cover 650 million years of earth's history.
The scary part was as we were approaching Zion via Hwy. 89 and then 9, as Gypsy, our GPS lady, told us to do. As we approached the park, there was a sign about tunnels and restrictions for vehicle heights. We caught that sign out of the corner of our eyes, so we had to drive miles before we could find a turnaround spot to go back and read the thing carefully! The deal was that if your rig was less than 13' some inches and no longer than 50 feet, you could pass through the tunnel with an escort (after paying $15 escort fee). They stop traffic coming from the other direction, and we drove down the middle of the 1.1 mile tunnel. If you had asked me how long the tunnel was, I would have bet the bank it was at least five miles. It seemed to last forever!!!! God was good, and we made it through OK. I mapped another way out of here, but it will add at least an hour's drive time. Soooooo, we will probably go up, up, up to the LONG, NARROW tunnel to get out of here Wednesday.
Did I say it is hot? We do not head West/Northwest for no reason! The sweat today has reminded us. The thermometer in the sun got to 124 degrees before the sun started setting. With the air conditioner on in the camper, it got up to 90 degrees. Yeah, we went out for pizza! If I cooked, we'd all have been cooked!
July 23 – We walked to the shuttle stop to get a free ride to the Visitor's Center to board the shuttle through Zion N.P. We stopped and hiked the lower Emerald Pool trail. The Emerald Pool was not emerald, just muddy. The hike was labeled easy. Not for me! The heat (even though it was morning) was awful and the constant up and down was rough on my knees. We made it and rode on to the end of the road through the park before turning around and stopping at the Human History Museum to watch a video about the park and see some exhibits. Then we returned to the Visitors' Center and bought a couple of things at the gift shop before catching the shuttle back to the campground.
Phil had put the truck window insulator in our back window of the camper. That helped keep the heat of the afternoon lower. I cooked. All survived. Shortly after finishing the dishes, the temperature started dropping. Ahhhhhh! Tomorrow we will head to Hurricane to do some grocery shopping for the Grand Canyon stay. tt is hard to believe that eight weeks ago today, we spent the first night in the camper before leaving Townsend for our adventure.