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The Journey to Zion and Beyond ~ Road Trip

Friday 13 April 2018 - 12:05:14

Planning the road trip across the US was detoured from Yellowstone National Park due to weather conditions. The next best stop for national parks was Zions National Park just off highway 89 in Utah. Stopping in Page to meet with high school friends and fill up for the next leg of the journey to Zion and Utah.
Page Arizona to Kanab Utah
It was a great morning meeting with Jeff Lott and his beautiful wife at Ranch House Grille where we enjoyed reconnecting and enjoying a beautiful breakfast. Leaving Page Arizona you cross Glen Canyon Dam taking you into the beautiful1.25 million acres of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. This area is home to Lake Powell, a location that brings fun, sun, and water sports to the southwest. The white ring you can see is known as the bathtub ring and is formed from calcium carbonate deposits.  A few of great activities in the area include:

Rainbow bridge (only accessible by boat or 14-mile hike)
Fishing (a favorite of foodie Ellie)
Escalante Arm

Zion National Park is about 104 miles from Page. It is a beautiful drive as the landscape changes from the red rocks to a borderline Mediterranean climate. Kanab is the first town you come to after Page. This town is the center of all sorts of great outdoor adventures including  Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon (North Rim). This is well-known for the great Hollywood film production. A few of the films produced in this region are:

Stagecoach (1939) 
The Lone Ranger
Death Valley Days
Duel at Diablo
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Buffalo Bill (1944)

Zion National Park
Highway 89 takes you to the stunning and resplendent Zion National Park. This park became a national park when by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The park continues to keep the natural beauty with a project called Zion Forever. This project is in place to protect and sustain the park for all living beings and future generations. This is a leave no trace area. You need to make sure that you have trail etiquette and leave nothing behind:

Remove all waste (make sure you use the restroom you must take this waste of the trail)
Keep dogs on a leash
Place trash in designated receptacles
Be considerate of other visitors
Hike quietly
Enjoy the sound of nature
Hike in single file
Ascending hikers have the right of way
Have plenty of water this is a desert terrain
Be ready for changes in weather from rain forecasts, extreme heat or cold
Careful on trailheads they are slippery

You enter the park, there is a $30 fee, but well worth it. The canyon stretches 15 miles long and spans up to half a mile deep. You drive on the Zion-Mount Camel Highway that winds slowly downgrading with gorgeous views of Navajo Sandstone that is tan, cream, pink, and red color. There are locations where you can see hanging moss, trees at different angles, and   You follow the Virgin River on the path taken to carve this canyon. It is so It was fantastic seeing the snow against the colored mountains. You pass through several tunnels. There is a tunnel that is more than a mile long. This is one impressive drive even in the dark. You continue down the hill until you reach the visitors center.
Here is your opportunity to continue to explore more of the park. The concept of keeping the pristine the rest of the park is accessible by shuttle, hiking, backpacking, and hiking. The many activities at include:

Ranger Tours
Helicopter Tours
Angels Landing eHike (great visual online of what you experience in Zioni)
Horse Back riding
Tram Rides

This was a wonderful journey on the road trip. Many years as a child this was one place we enjoyed as a family. It was a sunny bright day just as winter was beginning to change to spring. There is plenty of lodging in the area as well as food and restaurants.
Orem, Utah
The remainder of the drive continued on interstate 15 to Orem Utah where I grew up. It was wonderful getting to a warm home with my parents. The days filled with reconnecting with friends and family before continuing the road trip.
Meeting up with my dear friend Lisa Sherman was like we never missed even one day, even though it had been a few decades. Lisa and I have known each other since we were three. We ran the neighborhood streets as two determined little girls could. We enjoyed breakfast at Joe's Cafe. The food was so delish. Lisa even enjoyed the grits. A dish she was convinced she did not like. Joe said, "You will love them. Nothing comes between your lips and my grits." It was so wonderful catching up with Lisa after all these years.
Dinner was a fabulous reunion with my bestie from high school, Brenda Anderson. She and I meet at the Spicy Thai in Orem. This was an excellent choice for the food was excellent. Their menu had a great selection of Thai food with the ability to choose your heat.  The evening ended at her home where we spent time catching-up, relationships talk, and a little (very little) drinking. Her cute little dogs entertained up throughout the evening. They are both such a ball of energy.
The next day was spent with my parents. We enjoyed dinner at King's Buffet. My time with my mother we went over old photos, stories, and the fun times we shared in our life. She brought me a photo of my first haircut that she taped back together after tearing. My father enjoyed being the dad he has always been, making sure the car is ready for the next portion of the journey. He took to put Rain-X on the windows. This was a great addition to the journey. Stay tuned for all the details in the next part of the journey.
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[Submitted by Tammy Forchion]

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