Zion NP was an easy 70 miles from our campsite and a nice drive through green ranchland and open spaces until we got into Zion. Unlike Bryce NP where you are on top of the canyon looking down, in Zion you are in the bottom of the canyon looking up at the magnificent sandstone rock walls that seem to go on for ever.
We drove into the park through the east entrance and as soon as we approached the park the road pavement was a red/rust color that coordinated with the pink and tan rock walls. It was very pleasing to my design eye. :-). This is the only park we’ve seen with red pavement. With all the red dirt and rock around here we were surprised we hadn’t seen more red pavement. It was very warm in the park, nearly 100. We were prepared with the neck and vest coolers and our bottles of frozen water. We were able to get ice cream and a smoothie at the Zion Lodge…that helped keep us cool too. Zion has shuttles that take you through the park stopping at the many points of interest and hikes. Private vehicles are prohibited. The park was much more crowded than we expected. But I guess it is summer vacation now.
Zion is an ever changing landscape shaped by water. It’s ironic, in this seemingly unending desert, that water creates most of what you see in Zion. North of Zion, rainfall on the 11,000 foot Colorado Plateau races downhill slicing Zion’s relatively soft layers and pushing debris off the Plateau’s southern edge. The edge is not abrupt: it steps down in a series of cliffs and slopes know as the Grand Staircase. Above Zion, is Bryce (topping the staircase) and below Zion, the Grand Canyon ( which forms the lowest step) into which 90% of the water runs.
Over time (millions of years) the immense pressure and heat of accumulating sediments turned lower layers to stone. Later, underground forces uplifted the Colorado Plateau, a 130,000 square mile mass of rock, over 10,000 feet above sea level. The rain worked it magic and formed the deep canyons we see today. And the process continues.
Mother Nature and her handiwork!
We returned to the campsite to find ourselves locked out of the rig. There are two locks on the door. One locks the handle and the other is a deadbolt. We always lock the deadbolt and almost never lock the handle. The RV dealer told us that the handle lock uses a generic key that all dealers have along with other RV owners. However, sometimes the button on the inside of the door gets pushed in (thereby locking the handle) accidentally and that’s what happened. We didn’t have that key with us and hadn’t taken the time to hide extra keys. As luck would have it (and luck has definitely been on our side on this trip) parked right next to us was another Allegro. The owner was outside and I asked him if we could try his key…and it worked! No more separating the keys and we will hide an extra set of keys on the rig when we get home.
We will set out in the morning for home. We are about 700 miles away, so it will take us a while to get there. Next stop Ely, NV. We will take Hwy 50 from Ely home. Hwy 50 through Nevada is called the Loneliest Road in America. Good thing I have my guy and my cat to keep me company!