Friday, April 3, 2009

Rocks, Wind, and Water

The Zion National Park shuttle system has greatly reduced the six-mile parking lot known as the "scenic drive" through the park.

However, it has not been operating during our visit so far. (It begins service on April 4th.) So, we pass by The Watchman (left) near the Visitors' Center instead of parking at the Center and boarding the shuttle buses.

We have enjoyed sunny weather for our trips into Zion. The photos here cover visits over three or four days.

The only bad weather we've had in the past couple of weeks has been a couple of afternoons with high winds--high enough to knock people down in mall parking lots and strong enough to stir things up in the Park. Shown here (left) is an example of some of the red dust that was moving uphill--and into spaces around windows and any kind of hinged door on the truck and RV.

In the nine-plus months of our travels, we have had three days of rain--during a visit with Betty (Kingsport, TN) and while visiting with Snooky (Yazoo City, MS), two cousins whom we met during our Elderhostel trip to Fairbanks, AK. And today.

What this says is that much of the South has been experiencing a prolonged period of drought.

The Virgin River travels through Zion and has caused much of the Park's transformation over the centuries.

Some of the overlooks provide a glimpse of the river; others have trails along the road and river from which one can take photos.

These are mountains just west of I-17 and the towns of Hurricane, Toquerville, and Pintura and Zion National Park.

But back to Zion. We have not been able to park by the shuttle stops along the drive because of the length of the truck. So we have not seen some of the parts of the Park or been able to hike even some of the shorter trails.

But the shuttle begins tomorrow--and the forecast calls for rain.

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