Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Drive Through The Desert to Zion

We got up the next morning, loaded our bags in the car and grabbed breakfast. At the time I was working at a store that had a branch in Vegas. We delayed our departure so I could pay it a short visit. We mentioned, while there, that we were on our way to Zion National Park. One of the employees insisted that we had to stay in the park itself. I asked if that would be possible, as these accommodations would have to be arranged at the last minute when we arrived there. He assured us it wouldn't be a problem. Armed with this suggestion we returned to the car and headed off.

This was one of the few times the cars top was up due to the intense heat. After all, it was high noon and we were in the desert. The landscape outside of the city is flat, brown and featureless. We didn't feel as if we would be missing anything in terms of a view.  Eventually, as the road begins to ascend, the featureless desert gives way to stunning rock formations. We stop and let the top down. The higher altitude had given a refreshing cool tinge to the air. Within a short time we found ourselves in the small town that sits outside Zion. There are several motels available, but, following the suggestion of the young man in Vegas, we enter the park and proceed to the visitors center. Not only are accommodations available inside the park, there are options. There are rooms in the park's inn or we could stay in one of a cluster of historic cabins. The cute park intern, his badge identifies him as being from Belgium, suggests the cabins. We agree and register.

Due to past pollution problems in the park, it is a narrow canyon and car exhaust would be trapped there with no way out, the only cars allowed are those used by people staying in the park, and those are allowed access only up to the park's inn. A shuttle system ferries visitors to the other parks sights and attractions. The shuttle operators also serve as guides dispensing information over a loudspeaker system as you ride.

The cabins consist of a main room with two full beds, a closet/dressing area with a sink, and a bathroom with another sink allowing two people the opportunity to brush their teeth at the same time. We found this to be a quite efficient arrangement during our short stay there. There is also a small, covered front porch. The cabins are duplexes. A connecting door to the identical half would allow the cabins to accommodate families or larger groups. Each cabin contains a gas fireplace, although it being summer we didn't think we would be using it. Many of the furnishings are fashioned out of natural wood and branches, manufactured, ironically for us, in Indiana. We tote our bags up the steps from the parking lot to the cabin and settle in.

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