Friday, 2 December 2016

The Road Trip North - Day 2. Mesquite to Page via Zion National Park

First on the agenda today was a trip to Target to winterise, for us and the car. After 11 months in California Michael didn’t really own any warm clothes and it was getting colder by the mile. A sweater, hat and new socks for Michael and some new wiper blades and oil for the car. We then went onto the auto shop to get tyre chains in case we encounter snow and ice as we head towards the mountains.

The soil seemed to get red at some stage and the landscape was getting more rocky. It was about a two hour drive and then we were entering Zion National Park. We used a 100 dollar bill that Michael had been carrying since Vietnam to purchase a pass that would give us entry into all the National Parks on this trip. Up at the visitors centre we realised how sensible it was to be tourists in December. From Spring to Fall there are shuttle busses to ferry the vast number of visitors through Zion but in Winter you are able to drive your self and enjoy the sights in relative peace and quiet. We did a riverside walk up to the start of the famous Narrows, not walking any further as it requires passage through the ice cold river that has cut the path through these rocks. Then a short climb up to the Weeping Rock where for a time we were the only visitors enjoying the sound of the water running down the rock face and enjoying the views back over the landscape.  Michael made fun of me as all I seemed to be able to stay about the views was ‘wow.’ Each way we turned we were in awe of the majesty of these ancient rocks and natures palette of green vegetation against orange and red rock.

Getting low on time and not wanting to drive in the dark again we reluctantly decided to miss the walk to the emerald lakes, instead slowly making our way through the Zion Scenic Parkway where nature added the bright white of show to the red and green desert palette.  We saw long horned sheep and suicidal deer and then we were on the long road towards Page. The rock formations becoming less frequent but not less spectacular especially when illuminated by the low winter sun.

There are many motel options in Page and we are still enjoying the low winter prices. A warming enchilada for dinner and a plan formed for tomorrow.