West Coast Road Trip Day 3 Part II - Zion National Park Adventure

Right before leaving Bryce National Park, I saw this huge raven walking around, and jumping up and down this pedestal at the Ponderosa Point overlook. While other people were taking photos of him, I noticed that he seemed relaxed around people, and was strutting his stuff as if he were a movie star.

I got out of the car and began taking photos of him with the canon super telephoto lens. He was probably the best model I have ever worked with in my career! This raven had manners and did not make a fuss - which was a surprise because they are loud. Ravens are my favorite birds and one of the smartest animals on planet Earth so this was a pleasure and a cool memory to share here.

Afterwards, we jumped back in the car, headed down the mountain, and drove out of the park to go to Zion national park. It was only a two and a half hour drive over there and luckily, it was calm and not very hot that day. In addition, there was some lush green scenery on the roads ahead in some residential areas. With fifty-five minutes left on the drive, I was beginning to feel a little tired with the sun taking it out of me, and the elevation probably was a contributor as well. So I out threw some heavy metal on to wake me up. Charlotte didn’t mind so I rocked out to All That Remains with my devil horns up high.


 

 

 

 

With the excitement of us like coffee dancing in bubbling hot water, we made it to the east entrance, and making it a tradition of taking a picture of the sign, it was a must!

A few hundred feet later at the east entrance, a flood of cars created a parking lot for about 30 minutes. Little did we know, there was a very scary, but cool tunnel ahead that you have to drive really slow around and through the mountains. Speed limits were about ten to fifteen miles per hour, so that explained the traffic jam. The GoPro video camera died right before heading into the tunnel, so that was a bummer. First, let me tell you about this tunnel – it is a two-lane road cut right into the mountains with no lights, or reflectors on the road for safety. You have to have sharp eyes, and try your hardest to not get blinded by the headlights on the opposite direction passing in front of you. I felt that some people had their high beams on, and that did not help the situation. Alas, we made it through and sighs of relief later; I was able to grab a couple shots here on the first overlook. 

Moving on, we decided to go to the visitor center to grab an insight what to do, but it was too late (as usual) and we noticed some shuttle buses that run throughout the park. We then hopped on the bus, and the bus driver was really nice, and gave us a lot of information about the park with how often the shuttles ran at the park.  Since the sun was going down, we did not have much time to explore so we took some photos of the area.

DSC00804.jpg

After it got dark around 9:30 P.M. we decided that another day was a must, and to start looking for a hotel around the area. After the forty-five minute shuttle ride down to the visitor center parking lot, quite a few campers were around, and the smell of campfires in the air, the bugs came out to play. Charlotte, being a person who cannot stand bugs, ran to the car. I took my time soaking in the whole experience. Why the rush?

Hopping back in the car, searching like madmen, there was one vacancy left! Hoping that the weak cell phone signal cooperated, we were able to book something, and ended up finding a cheap hotel for the night at the Days Inn in Hurricane ,Utah. Once we arrived, the concierge told us that we were really lucky, because a man was booking a room at the same time we were, and we snagged it first! Phew! Our eyes lit up, because we would have been shit out of luck! He was very nice about it while setting us up with our room. With key-in-hand, and walking toward the room, this Days Inn had a real southwestern vibe. Used to modern accommodations, this was definitely a cool change. The room was clean and everything we needed with two full size beds, a fridge (hallelujah) and a very clean bathroom. A+ in my book.

 View from the Days Inn. Hurricane, Utah

View from the Days Inn. Hurricane, Utah

Going through our food supply, we needed to replenish a few things, and we hit up a grocery not too far down the road. Pretty basic, and business as usually, I did notice they had a lot of fresh fruit and dried chilies! I was ecstatic for those, because you can’t really find those chilies here in the northeast so I bought two bags of ancho, and Chile de Arbol. The ancho’s are moderate, while de arbol is on the same level as cayenne chilies. Also picked up bananas, pepper jack cheese for sandwiches, fruit, water, and not sure where we found all this energy but we were there just browsing for about an hour. Typical shopper syndrome.

This concludes the third day on this two-week road trip. Day four will be up soon! Stay on the lookout for a complete day at Zion National Park.