Our 132 mile trip from the campground on the North Rim to Springdale, UT was anything but uneventful. The drive itself wasn't bad but getting started was another story. We awoke Wednesday morning with snow on the ground and it starting to snow harder and harder. Thankfully we had hooked up Libby the night before so we didn't have that to do. As it kept coming down, we decided we couldn't wait on it to stop and melt but that we had better get started before we couldn't get out. Went to put the slides in and DUH there was too much snow on the slide awnings for them to come in. Luckily the campground host came around about that time, got a ladder, and did most of the work getting the snow off the awnings so the slides could come in. Lesson learned - put the slides in the night before leaving if it's going to snow!!!
Anyhow we got started out and had a wet drive for the first 70 or so miles with it snowing, sleeting or raining depending on altitude. It still sprinkled occasionally after that but it wasn't a bad ride and the scenery was magnificent, especially as we approached Zion National Park. I included too many pictures but you don't have to look if you don't want to.
Thursday we went into the park and rode the shuttle (no private vehicles allowed on the scenic drive up the canyon floor) around the length of the canyon. The sheer cliffs and huge rocks are just amazing, making you feel very tiny. We also drove the route east out of the canyon that we will be taking Sunday to go to Bryce Canyon. This route requires you to go through a 1.1 mile tunnel after driving several miles of tight switchbacks up the mountain. This tunnel was completed in 1930 and is only 13 feet 1 inch at the centerline. The problem is that it is much lower at the shoulders so that anything over about 10 feet tall must travel down the centerline to keep from contacting the low overhead at the edges. This requires them to stop traffic on one side when a tall vehicle such as an RV or bus needs to go through. Consequently there are many delays and you cannot expect to drive this section of highway 9 quickly. They also charge each over-sized vehicle $15 for the privilege of having one way traffic! Anyhow, we drove that route to see what it was like and to give Doris more confidence about driving it since she will have to drive Libby when we leave since we would be over 50 feet long hooked up.
Friday was hiking day, so we went into the park and grabbed a shuttle to take us to the trail heads. We first hiked the Weeping Rock Trail which leads to a Navajo Sandstone cliff with water seeping through it. Some of this water has taken over 100 years to seep down through the sandstone and escape. There is also much greenery growing on the saturated cliff walls.
Next we took the shuttle down to the next trail head which was for the Grotto Trail. This trail just gives you the opportunity to walk down the canyon floor and absorb the immensity of the formations around you. Just as we were finishing this trail, it started raining again and we canceled our last hike we had planned but it was still a great day to be outside and enjoying the sights.
We then drove back out of the park and up on I-15 to Kolob Canyon which is in the very northwestern part of Zion NP. Again the rain diminished the trip a little but the scenery was still spectacular. You will have to excuse many of our pictures as the rain just wouldn't cooperate!
Today, Saturday, we are just relaxing around the Mothership and enjoying each other's company, reflecting back on the beauty we have seen here. Tomorrow we head for Bryce Canyon and another four-night stay.