Posted by: Cross Country Couple | September 10, 2008

Day 28 … Lake Powell and Zion National Park

We woke up around 8:30 …or was it 9:30?  We were so close to the AZ/UT border and the location of a time zone change that we weren’t sure of the exact time.  Either way, we made our way across another dam to the Glen Canyon Visitor’s Center.  We gathered some information about the local beaches, Jet Ski rentals (way too expensive!), and must-see sites.  The women at the information desk referred us to the Coves in the Glen Canyon National Park for a good spot to go swimming.  While trying to find a good spot to jump into Lake Powell, Matt spotted a few Jack Rabbits and we saw plenty of lizards. 

 

 

 

 

The jack rabbits look similar to a regular rabbit, but with bigger ears and longer legs.

The jack rabbits look similar to a regular rabbit, but with bigger ears and longer legs.

 

We saw many lizards like this one that had a neon blue tail.

We saw many lizards like this one that had a neon blue tail.

We took turns jumping into the warm lake off a sandstone rock.  After swimming, we made our way over to the nearby beach to hang out for a bit.  We were able to drive the Corolla right up to the water’s edge because the sand was packed tight. We relaxed in the sun, swam in the warm lake, and napped for a few hours.  Before getting back on the road, we took advantage of the showers at the Lone Rock Beach. 

 

We took this picture of our shadows from a cliff by the lake.  The rock you see below in the photo is the one we jumped off of to go swimming.

We took this picture of our shadows from a cliff by the lake. The rock you see below in the photo is the one we jumped off of to go swimming.

It was late afternoon when we finally reached Zion National Park.  The park had limited access for public vehicle, so once we reached the Southern Visitor’s Center, we would have to take a free shuttle bus the rest of the way down the canyon.  We entered by means of the East Entrance.  This route allowed us to check out Checkerboard Mesa and the Mile Long Tunnel built in the 1930s.  Although we made a valiant attempt, neither Matt nor Danielle could hold their breath through the entire tunnel.  Once on the free shuttle bus, we stopped at the Courtyard of the Patriarchs.  Here, we ate some left over Quiznos subs before getting back on the bus to continue down into the canyon. 

 

 

The view of Lake Powel from the top of the cove.

The view of Lake Powel from the top of the cove.

The sand was so compact, we were able to drive the Corolla right up to the water's edge.

The sand was so compact, we were able to drive the Corolla right up to the wtaer's edge.

 

We admire the scenery as we rode the bus past the Grotto and Zion Lodge.  Our next stop was at the Weeping Rock.  This porous rock structure adsorbs water when it rains and eventually the water drips from a ledge.  As we walked up to the ledge, it felt as though it was raining!  On the bus, the audio tour informed us that the water dripping today was 800-1200 years old.   Weeping Rock is also the location of the largest group of hanging gardens in the Zion National Park.  The last stop of the evening was at the Temple of Sinawava.  I’m sure this was a beautiful area, but by the time we had arrived, the sun had set and it was too dark to check things out. 

Danielle and Matt at the entrance to Zion National Park in Utah.

Danielle and Matt at the entrance to Zion National Park in Utah.

 

 

 

 

The entrance to the Mile-Long Tunnel in Zion National Park.

The entrance to the Mile-Long Tunnel in Zion National Park.

 

We retuned to the car around 9:00 and hit the road for Bryce National Park.  By 10:30, we decided to pull over on the side of the road and set up camp.  It was windy and trucks were flying by, but at least we didn’t need to spend another night in the car.  We made a few Cups of Soup before watching a mover on the laptop and heading to bed.

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