Court_of_the_Patriarchs_SteEmerald_Pools_LowerWaterfall_Lower_Emerald_ZioWeeping_Rock_ZionVirgin_River_ZionSteve_Weeping_RockRivers_WalkSoaking_my_feetI’d posted on Facebook that we were planning to go to Zion National Park today and a friend responded with a recommendation to take the Overland 4×4 trip through Zion Adventures.  I phoned when they opened at 8am, inquiring about their 9am trip and unfortunately, there were no others booked so the driver hadn’t come into work.  The gal said she’s try to reach him to see if she could get us on the trip but she was unsuccessful.

While we were waiting to hear back from her we scrambled to get ready — which ended up as a blessing because when we arrived at Zion around 9am, there was a long line to get into the park.  There are notices on the road in, stating that the parking is typically full between 10am and 3pm and recommending you park in Springdale and taking the free shuttle into the park.

Fortunately, we were able to park… and we upgraded the $30 fee we paid at the Grand Canyon yesterday to an annual pass ($80) which will pay for itself before the end of this trip.

We waited 45 minutes or so to catch the shuttle — there were a LOT of people in the park — and it’s not even summer time (or the weekend).

Our first stop was a short hike up to the viewpoint for the Court of the Patriarchs.  It’s steep but short — and I quickly realized I need to get back to the gym.

Next stop was the Emerald Pools.  We thought we’d only go to the lower pool but we ended up going to the middle pool.  There were all ages on the path — from young parents with babies and toddlers on their backs/fronts, to a pregnant woman (seeing her at the top gave me motivation to suck it up!), to quite senior seniors.  There were also all sorts of shapes — from the ultra fit to the extra large.  Kudos to everyone who was on the trail though — it sure beats sitting in the house playing video games or watching TV!

From there we went to the lodge for a snack, which turned out to be lunch, because they really do not cater to people who cannot eat gluten.  The checkerboard salad and ice tea for me, a beer, chips and fries for Steve (I didn’t know he’d bought chips, nor did I know that the fries would be coated in flour).

Fueled and ready to continue hiking, our next stop was the Weeping Rocks.  Again, the hike was steep in parts but the same people who were on the Emerald Pools trail were on this one.

My feet are always a problem for extended walking — don’t know why — an MRI, X-Ray and Ultrasound was done and apparently there is nothing wrong with them (wrong) and I was starting to get that burning feeling.  However, we continued on to the River Walk trail.  I really wanted to get to The Narrows.

We weren’t prepared to actually go into them — we didn’t have food or enough water.  We didn’t have a walking stick or shoes/neoprene socks which could get wet and we didn’t have a jacket.  I thought though that we’d make it to the entrance and take it from there.  Unfortunately, my foot said “nope” and I hobbled back to the river to soak my feet before we took the shuttle bus back to the truck and came back to the rig.

Overall, it was a great, short day.  I couldn’t imagine doing those hikes in the heat which is expected to hit next week, or even in the afternoon (people were still lined up to go on the shuttle and to get in the park when we left around 2pm).

If you are in this area, make time to do the trip.  Many of the trails are wheelchair accessible and even if you have no intention of hiking, the round trip up/down on the shuttle bus would be worth it (40 minutes up, 35 minutes back).

As I type this, both Steve and I are sitting in our RV site, with our feet in a paddling pool I bought at Lin’s Market across the street.  (We’re staying at the WillowWind RV Park in Hurricane).

Tomorrow, we’re on the move again — to Lake Powell for 4 nights.