Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Day 7:
The day dawned bright and sunny and we were on our way
to Zion National Park.  We were going to get to a
national park if it killed us.  We drove along a
deserted but very scenic road in Utah.  The red cliffs
in the desert were very striking, and they changed
into rolling shrubland with the Sevier river running
through.  It looked like a great place to raft, since
some parts were white-water.  Next time I am in this
part of the country Iwill have to go rafting.  We
entered Zion National Park.  Considering that Lizzie
had to go to 3 different places all over the isle of
Manhattan to try to get the National Parks Pass, it
was exciting to actually get to use it.  Zion is
simply breathtaking.  Words can’t really describe it.
Towering red cliffs, canyons with the Virgin River
rushing through, all of it was spectacular.  We went
on three hikes, the last one being the best –
scrambling on cliffs, crossing rickety bridges on a
less used trail to end up overlooking the canyon.
Sadly, it was time to leave.  You could spend a few
days in Zion, but we had to get moving.  At this point
the Check Engine light came on, but we studiously
ignored it.  Our original plan was to drive to the
North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but we nixed that in
favor of visiting the Coral Pink Sands State Park,
which we had seen advertised in Zion.  We drove for
about 12 miles on open rangeland, over a mountain
until the sand dunes came into view.  There was
practically nobody there, and the sun was getting
ready to set over the hills.  There were miles of sand
dunes stretching as far as the eye could see, more
orange than coral pink, but still amazing.  We took
off our shoes and climbed some of them.  The sand was
super fine and cool.  I resisted the urge to slide
down the dunes.  Some kids playing did not have such
compunctions.  We were exhausted by the time we got
back to the car. Thankfully not too exhausted to drive
to our next resting place, the Cliff Dwellers Lodge at
the base of the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona.  On our
drive out of the park we were stopped by a herd of
cattle eating.  We didn’t want to announce our
presence in case the bull decided that we were an
enemy, so we waited them out.  And waited.  And
waited. Finally they were done dining along the edge
and got off the road.  Back on the main road, we
crossed the Utah/Arizona border and gained an hour,
because Arizona, like Indiana, does not observe
daylight savings time.  The Lodge was quite rustic,
when Liz called for reservations the proprietor said
they have beds, bathrooms, and bibles.  It is used
mainly for fishers.  When we got there we were
disappointed to discover that there were in fact no
bibles.  So sad.  However, we could eat, sleep, and
fish, according to the sign.  Eat and sleep, yes.
Getting up at 5:30am to fish? No thank you.  


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