Sunday, April 30, 2006

6:30AM - Heading out for Bryce Canyon.
Before sunrise, but easy to see the road. We are off for Bryce Canyon. It is a beautiful day!

7AM - First Hoodoos.
Just after we turned east on to Hwy 12, Little Mavicito spotted his first hoodoos!

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HooDoo One and HooDoo Two.

7:30AM - Bryce Canyon National Park.

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8AM - North Campground.
There are two campgrounds inside Bryce Canyon Park. They are named North and South. Only North Campground is open at this time. There was only one campsite unoccupied when we arrived. It is site #22, and we setup there. A few minutes later, two more campsites opened up, as RVs pulled out. If a campsite opens up that has less tree cover, Mr. Sunny wants to move there.

Mr. DeLorme wants you to know that our campsite is at the 7,916 foot elevation. Thank you, Mr. DeLorme.

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The Team in Campsite #22 in North Campground.

9:30AM - Sunny Site #55!
Campsite #55 at the top of the campground opened up. So, we moved up there. Mr. Sunny is generating 18 amps, and the sun is still rising!

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Sunny Site #55

10:30AM - Registration.
We went to register, and were very surprised to see that most of the spaces were empty! Take a peek, OK? See all of the spaces without the permit stubs?

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11AM - Touring on Mr. Trek.
The shuttle buses will not begin running until May 26th, so we are touring around on Mr. Trek. First we went to the visitor's center, and saw a really neat movie about Bryce Canyon. Did you know that it isn't really a canyon? It's really a high mesa, part of the Colorado Plateau.

Then we pedaled down to the Bryce Lodge, to find out about taking a horse ride into the canyon. It’s pretty expensive, but several readers have encouraged us to take the horse trip down into the canyon. We may do it tomorrow.

The Chevron Station.
Near the Bryce Lodge, is an old Chevron gasoline station. It is not operating, but exists now as an historic treasure! I remember buying gas from pumps like these. Take a peek at the price per gallon, OK?

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The good old days!

12:30PM - Where is the rim trail?
We had a map showing the trails. Little Mavicito wanted to take pics from the rim trail. But where was it? We were very surprised that the rim trail is sooooo close to where we are camped. Just over the hill!

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Our first look from the rim trail.

3PM - The MsTioga Shuttle.
The viewpoints are quite aways down the road. MsTioga suggested that since the Bryce Canyon shuttle had not started this year, that she should be The Team's shuttle. Wow! What a great idea. So, we all piled into MsTioga and took off down the road.

Inspiration is the first viewpoint that we came to. This point is on a large hill.

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There are sooooo many hoodoos from Inspiration Point, that you wouldn't believe!

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View from Inspiration Point.

Would you like to see some hoodoo closeups?

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Hoodoos closeup at Inspiration Point.

5PM - Laundry time!
There is some kind of a laundromat at the Camper's Store, and we went to wash clothes. The Team has never seen a laundromat like this one. The washing machines use ice water. Very unusual? Hmmmmm?

Note from Mr. Chips:
You may experience slower downloads during our Bryce Canyon National Park adventure. We are going to many places each day, and this means that Little Mavicito takes many pics. Much more than ususal.

If you have a slow internet service, dialup, stuff like that, please be patient, OK?


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Saturday, April 29, 2006

8AM - The Tunnel.
The plan for this morning was to head into the Town of Springdale, do laundry and then go thru the tunnel. But everybody was sooooo anxious to go thru the tunnel. And also, we wanted to go on the hike up to the spectacular Canyon Overlook. We decided to forget the laundry.

MsTioga bought a pass thru the tunnel. The pass costs $15, and allows MsTioga to drive thru the tunnel straddling the double center line. The tunnel was built a long time ago, and is too small to drive the normal way.

9AM - Breakfast Camped beyond the tunnel.
We went thru the tunnel. It was very dark. There are no lites in that tunnel. MsTioga put on her brite lites, and that worked pretty good.

When we got to the other side of the tunnel, we found that the Canyon Overlook trail begins right there! So, we drove up a bit until we came to a level place with a pullout, and made our Breakfast Camp. After breakfast, we will go on the Canyon Overlook hike.

10AM - Canyon Overlook Trail.
This trail begins a few feet away from the east side of the tunnel.

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East side of tunnel.

The trail is not very difficult. There are some steep cliffs, but railings are in these places. When we reached the end of the trail, the view was spectacular!

In the panorama pic below, do you see the road snaking up on the lower left? The tunnel, impossible as it may seem, is bored thru the canyon wall on the left.

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View down Pine Creek Canyon with Zion Canyon in the distance.

1PM - Eastern Zion.
The canyon thru the east part of Zion Park is different, and even more unusual than grand Zion Canyon. We seem closer to the rock canyon walls. Little Mavicito got excited when he saw the curving rock in the pic below.

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Curving rock.

1:30PM - Goodbye Zion.
We have come to the end of our Zion adventure. Everybody on The Team had a great time! Did you like it too?

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4PM - Dixie National Forest.
We had been looking for a road into Dixie National Forest. However, Hwy #89 did not appear to have anything but private land along its route. So, we turned west on Hwy #14, which heads toward Cedar Breaks National Monument. Cedar Breaks will not open from its winter closing until late May.

We plan to Camp the nite here along Hwy #14. There is not too much traffic. We will have to see how things go later on.

In the pic below of our Nite Camp, we are able to see snow on the mountain peaks in the distance. Do you see the snow?

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Highway #14 Nite Camp.


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Friday, April 28, 2006

7:30AM - The Watchman Trail.
First thing this morning, George and Little Mavicito will test themselves against the fearsome Watchman Trail. The Zion Trail Guide describes this trail as:

Moderate Long drop-offs. Ends at view point of lower Zion Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and Town of Springdale. Wow! This hike sounds sooooooo great!

9AM - Watchman hike.
Watchman Trail begins by going parallel to the Virgin River. The River has been rising the past few days. The warm weather melting the upstream snow.

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Watchman and Virgin River.

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Lower trail

The trail heads to the east up a small canyon. Switchbacks brought us to a nice view looking at the west wall of Zion Canyon.

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View across Zion canyon.

We came to a point where Little Mavicito spotted Watchman Peak. There were a few people up there that we could see at the trail's end looking down at the view.

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Watchman Peak.

10:30AM End of the trail.
When we looked down at the wonderful view of the campgrounds below and Zion Canyon stretching out to the north, all we could say was, Wow!

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View of campgrounds from Watchman Peak.

Does George appear to be a bit scared of being close to the cliff here at Watchman Peak?

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George at the cliff.

Looking down at The Town of Springdale.
When we were in Springdale yesterday, we could not tell which way was Zion Park. Somebody pointed out to us, which way Zion Canyon is located.

Up here at Watchman Peak, it is easy to see all of Springdale winding away from us toward the west.

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Springdale, Utah from Watchman Peak.

4:00PM - Cleaning Mr. Dometic.
We bet that you wonder why that Old George loves to clean and repair stuff? This afternoon, right there in the middle of Zion National Park, George cleaned a bit of MsTioga and then the innards of Mr. Dometic's refrigerator stuff.

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Cleaning Mr. Dometic in Zion Park.

4:30PM - Reader Rance writes.
Remember yesterday in the Blog when we wrote that nobody on The Team could remember the name of the reader who told us about the petroglyphs across from South Campground? Hmmmmm? Well, this afternoon, guess who wrote us email? None other than Reader Rance himself! He wrote, “T'was I that wrote you about the petroglyphs.” Thank you soooooo much Reader Rance!

Rance also wrote, “Oh yeah, if you take that petroglyph trail a bit farther up the hill then get to the top of the small hill to the south you can get some really fantastic panoramas when the sun is leaving the valley. You can see from the entry station to the turnoff to Zion Canyon.”

You can bet for sure that Little Mavicito and George will be up on that hill this afternoon, as “..the sun is leaving the valley!”

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View from West Zion Canyon at sundown.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

7:30AM - Emerald Pools Trail.
We caught the Zion Shuttle at the Visitor's Center, heading up canyon to Zion Lodge. Across the road from the Lodge is the trailhead to Lower Emerald Pool.

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Zion Lodge and its resident turkey.

This is a cool morning, and although it is short pants weather, a sweatshirt is necessary for comfort. The entrance to the trail crosses a bridge over the North Fork Virgin River. The trail is paved, and gently rises during an easy 30 minute walk.

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Looking upstream from bridge over Virgin River.

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View from Lower Emerald Pool Trail.

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Lower Emerald Pool.

9AM - Shuttling to Zion Human History Museum.
While waiting for the down canyon shuttle to arrive, we looked around Zion Lodge. Especially at the breakfast buffet which looked OK, for only $8.95.

The main feature at the Museum, is a 20 minute film with spectacular views of Zion. Shots while flying over remote areas of Zion are fantastic.

11AM - Walking on the Pa'rus Trail.
We love the Pa'rus Trail, not only because it is paved and is easy for bicycling, but because it has wonderful views. Views and colors change depending on time of day.

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Flower view from Pa'rus Trail.

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Looking north from Pa'rus Trail.

3:30PM - Petroglyphs near our Camp.
Nobody is able to remember the reader who emailed about the petroglyphs across the road from our Camp. Whoever you are, we thank you sooooooo much!

Little Mavicito and George went searching for the petroglyphs. The reader wrote to us saying that there was a trail across the road, that led to these petroglyphs. We had only been searching about 15 minutes, when we found the trail. Wow!

It is amazing to think that some ancient person stood in this exact spot hundreds of years ago, and carved these pics into the stone.

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South Gate petroglyphs across from South Campground.

5PM - Before The Shuttle.
We were walking around the Zion Visitor's Center, and found this amazing poster. Wow!

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Before The Shuttle.


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