Monday, May 4, 2015

Tour of S Utah Day 4: Zion

It was time to go hike and bike in places we had never been.
We said goodbye to our friends over breakfast in the Gooseberry Yurt
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and headed out in our little van down a somewhat more gnarly escape route.
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Road grade and condition are not exaggerated in this photo.
Gnarly not just due to terrain, but the wildlife too. 
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This rattlesnake wanted us off the mesa.
 Here's action video of Mr. Rattler.

First stop, Springdale. First order of business, coffee!
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I love camping but I am seriously missing my espresso machine.
After a long and frustrating search for parking in the national park, a half mile hike on pavement to the shuttle, and a tolerable 20 minute shuttle ride (why did we hike Zion Park the day after 3000 racers competed in a half Ironman race 30 minutes away?), we arrived at the trail head to the Hidden Canyon hike, a 2.5 hour hike to a lovely deep canyon.  Yes, we’d both been to the park before, but neither of us had done this particular hike, so I’m calling it exploration.
The hike started out steep and not particularly exciting; however, the last quarter of the maintained trail is either chiseled into the cliff face,
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Note the chains bolted into the rock, so you can pretend you have a grip on this hike.
built of stone,
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or on slippery sandy sandstone.
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It’s pretty crazy in places.   Drew doesn’t care for this type of trail, but he was a good sport and powered through it.
At the end of the maintained trail is the canyon itself.  There was a human-sized arch tucked into a beautiful shady canyon.  Some minor scrambling led us to a lovely lunch spot.  
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After lunch, we back tracked to the shuttle and the van and headed out along Highway 9, passing Checkerboard Mesa
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and north along Hwy 12 to find a decent RV Park for power, showers, laundry, and a dump station.  We found the necessities of RV life in Panguitch at the Hitch-n-Post, where these first 4 posts are being brought to you from the comfort of Dewey while Drew snores softly above my head. 
Tomorrow we ride.

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