Thursday, April 25, 2013


After doing laundry and stocking our cupboards, we headed into Zion National Park in Utah for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, there is one campground that is on a first come, first serve basis. We have learned the best way to get a space (not only here) is to arrive any day but Friday and Saturday and before noon. It is amazing to watch on Friday and Saturday everyone frantically racing around trying to find an open space. We even get knocks on our door asking if we're leaving. Dick calls it campground Bingo.
Zion National Park is one of our favorite places and so beautiful in the spring. The park has a great shuttle system along the canyon drive. We loved getting on the shuttle just before dusk. We would get off at different stops and walk the road to the next stop to catch it again. No other vehicles are allowed on this road so it's very quiet. At the Big Bend stop it was amazing watching the climbers on the 2000-ft sandstone cliffs. Some would make it down before dark and those that didn't we'd see hanging there in their hammocks for the night. Unreal!
Climbers in Zion
I would make no rock climber. I decided to challenge myself on the Hidden Canyon trail by continuing on a narrow ledge, hanging on to chains, along a sheer sandstone drop off.  I was wondering what would happen if I met someone that wanted to pass me on that ledge. About half way up at the scariest, narrowest point, Dick says, "Stop right there I want to take your picture." There was no way I was going to stop, I was almost at a panic point and kept repeating to myself - you can do it - don't look down. On the way back down he led the way and snapped a few pictures. When we hiked to the Angel's Landing Trailhead, I hiked only as far as Scout's Landing and let Dick continue. I was warned it was even more dangerous than the Hidden Canyon trail and not for the faint of heart. You will also see pictures Dick took hiking that trail too.  DICK'S PICS OF ZION  
We received word from Maggie that our Michigan friends, Joan and Phil Richardson, would be traveling to Zion. We enjoyed visiting both evenings they were there. Perfect timing.
Our Michigan friends visiting Zion

In 1981, we met Mike Schlins while at a laundromat in Sitka, AK. He took us fishing and hiking and we had a wonderful eight days there. We also reconnected with him a few other times when he came to the Midwest, and then we lost touch for about 20 years. I reconnected with him on Facebook about a year ago. He had moved to Glendale, Utah, about 35 miles from Zion. He and his wife, Rochelle, invited us to park our motorhome in the parking area next to their B & B, the historic SMITH HOTEL. It was so much fun and they even included us in on the breakfasts with their guests. What a great camping spot!
Fishing with Mike in Sitka 1981
Mike and Rochelle at front entrance of the Smith Hotel B & B

One noticeable fact as we travel in the Southwest is the water shortage. Demand is greater than supply and it's a big problem. We started hearing about this problem while at Lake Mead and then different people who live out here and how their allotments of water all work.   AMERICA'S WATER CRISIS
Yet it doesn't seem to be just in the West. Isn't that what's going on in Florida? More and more aquifers are being drained because of the need for water and that's why there are more and more sinkholes. **
We decided to head back into Arizona where the temps looked warmer and give it more time to warm up in the Canyonlands, Arches and Bryce Canyon National Parks our next destinations.

**This was sent in by one of my faithful blog readers:

   " The only thing they do import from us, which needs to be stopped, is water. China is the biggest consumer of Nestle, which sells several brands of bottled water and the plant is based in northern Michigan. When John Engler was governor of Michigan in 2001, he made an agreement with bottle water giant Nestle, allowing them to open a plant in Mecosta County. They have then pumped more than a 1/2 million gallons of water a day drying up streams and ponds that feed the Great Lakes."
And this - more recent:
"Under provisions of the agreement Nestle Waters will continue its sustainable use of natural spring water from four company-owned wells located in Mecosta County, Michigan. The Company will continue to withdraw an average of 218 gallons per minute of spring water (313,000 gallons per day), with rates varying depending on the time of the year and seasonal conditions at the site. The agreement makes the water withdrawal rates permanent."
So that is how Michigan water goes to China.....they pay for the IceMountain water that is bottled from "free" underground springs in Mecosta County, MI
Whether or not the "sustainable use" is correct = is anybody's guess.....
It is too bad.  I refuse to buy bottled water - we have a reverse osmosis system here and I use that in a sustainable bottle (not plastic).    The bottled water costs more than gasoline!

1 comment:

  1. I always loved Bryce and Zion as well as Arches, Natural Bridges, Canyonlands and of course Monument Valley!! If you get there let me know if the road is still pretty rough.