Saturday, July 16, 2011

Zion National Park

Good news at the car repair place today...Just a little rock wedged in between the dust shield and the brakes was making the horrendous racket we heard yesterday. We went to the Ramsay Towing and Service Center in the center of town, and Nick Ramsey, the owner, took great care of us. They put the car up on the rack, fished a couple of pebbles and one small rock out of the wheel well, and we were good to go--no charge! The guys at the service center said every time a road gets chip and seal coatings, they have a rash of cars in with the same complaints. Whew! I was picturing an expensive brake service repair that was going to ding our family reunion budget in Sedona. And so, we got on the road a little later this morning, and headed to the east entrance of Zion National Park. We had explored the park three years ago, taken the shuttle bus tour around the park, and just loved it.

We were going to take the shuttle again today and enjoy the scenery, but the parking lots were full completely, even the overflow, so back out we came and consoled ourselves with the beautiful drive through the park and stopped at the many turnouts to capture the views. The skies were a brilliant blue, not a cloud in sight.  It is in the 90's today, so we decided not to do a hike.....I know Eldy was disappointed that hiking was out of the question today.... (chuckle chuckle, from Sparky..I'm teasing Eldy because actually, Sparky doesn't enjoy hiking in the heat, either!) He's saving himself and his heel/problem foot for the Grand Canyon hoping not to aggravate it between here and there. Sounds like a good plan because there's some great hiking there!

I saw a sign that said "Please don't feed the wildlife." I thought, what wildlife? Gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks? Birds? It's so dry here there can't be too many animals wandering around. And then we rounded a curve and saw this guy, (a young bighorn sheep?) just standing and staring at us as we went by. He didn't budge for a few minutes so I caught him on camera before he ambled off into the brush.

Here are some of the wonderful sights of Zion on the drive through the eastern portion of the park, driving through the Zion/Mount Carmel Tunnel. Which, by the way, IS accessible to smaller motorhomes which have to be escorted through the tunnel for a fee of 15.00, and that holds up traffic for awhile if one is coming through.There are "windows" cut through the tunnel but no place inside the tunnel to stop, get out and take a tunnel framed photo of the magnificence of the sandstone mountains and terrain. Darn, I kept trying to get Eldy to stop and let me hop out at one of the cutouts for viewing (and possible escape exits?) but he just wouldn't stop for the perfect photo. Couldn't have been the ten cars behind us, I suppose?
Checkerboard Mosaic "mountain"

On the way back from Zion, heading back into Kanab, we stopped by a cool, funky little tourist attraction called Moqui Cave. It's a sandstone cave museum of fossils, artifacts and history. This cave attraction was started many many years ago by Laura and Garth Chamberlain, who purchased the cave in 1951. They collected Indian artifacts, Navajo and Anasazi, from Kane County, Utah and all over the world, and acted in movie westerns. Garth was a talented wood carver and there are examples of his skills as well. His son runs the tours today....

There are display cases with interesting native American artifacts interspersed with castings of dinosaur tracks which occur here in Utah at a certain layer in the structure of the rocks. The back room of the cave used to be a dance hall, and is now a museum that houses of one of the largest naturally fluorescent mineral collections in the country, an assorted funky "art" rock collection, replicas of the native American dwellings, and a foreign money collection (???).  Something for everyone! One of the front rooms used to be a bar. The bar was hidden in the back of Moqui Cave during Prohibition. The countertops of the bar were inlaid with mosaics one side and rock slices on the other side.  There were tidbits of information about interesting people, places and history of Kanab. There's a gift store in another chamber of the cave. Interesting place! Admission was 4.50 each for seniors...
the bar
Tomorrow we head to Camp Verde, Arizona for three days at a very reasonable price being that it honors Passport America discounts. We will check out the area before settling in for our family reunion that starts Thursday. That cheaper stay will help our budget briefly as we are staying in the heart of Sedona for the family reunion at a place called Rancho Sedona...pricey, but worth it to be close to family for several days. I'm getting excited to see the rest of my family--one older sister, two younger brothers and their families! My oldest daughter, Kelly, is flying in from Virginia to be with us, too! It's going to be a great reunion even if it is going to be HOT!  See you tomorrow in Camp Verde......


  1. WOW you drove through Zion for the day and got to see that great Big Horn sheep. Lucky you and GREAT picture.

    You must really love your family to agree to have the reunion in Arizona at the end of July!

    What were they thinkin'?? :-)

  2. I'm sure Sedona will be a lot cooler than Phoenix. Have a great time.

  3. I never been to this place yet. But it looks so nice. The rocks looks so great.
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