Day 20 – Zion National Park

Springdale is a beautiful and pristine little town just outside Zion National Park. It’s manuicured gardens and white picket fences, balconied houses and up-market boutiques betray its wealth. Now we are back in Utah after a short stint in Arizona. And we have come forward an hour again to be seven hours behind the UK. And it is extremely hot again, after a bit of a cold spell (relatively speaking) at the Grand Canyon. In mid summer the average temperature here is 100 degrees.

This is the last national park we will visit and we are beginning to feel a little tired after so much driving and walking. So the walk we did today was pretty arduous, the heat and altitude taking its toll. We walked the Emerald Pools Trail after taking the shuttle from outside our RV park to the park visitors centre and catching another up the Zion valley. Zion is very different again, as have all the parks we have seen. It feels small but every view has a very vertical feel to it. Every mountain towers over you and their sides are sheer cliffs. They seem to go from zero to thousands of feet immediately! You are hemmed in on all sides and at close quarters with each of the mountains all at the same time. There are signs everywhere warning you of your impending death if we do not take care. Indeed, there have been about ten fatalities since 2004. I let Rachel go first! I am a gentleman after all!

We have to admit to feeling sad that today marks the end of our RV tour in wonderful Colorado, Utah and Arizona. And, after an early afternoon break back at the RV park, we really wanted to get out there again and do somemore walking and make the most of being in Zion. But our flesh was weak and, after a nap (me) we went to laze by the pool before heading out for dinner at the Switchback Grille – a pretty posh but quite laid back restaurant. We celebrated our final night in Utah with a great fillet mignon (me) and enormous, stuffed chicken breast (Rachel) and finished the whole thing off with the best $5 shakes we’ve ever tasted. A fitting end to the middle section of our road trip.

I must tell you of the couple who are staying near us in the RV park – they have a dog that is wearing doggy walking boots so that it can go on walks with them on the sharp rocks. I kid you not! I have the photo to prove it. I saw the dog again this morning and, for some reason, it was only wearing one boot. Who goes walking with only one boot, even if you are a dog? Answers on a postcard please.

So this is our last night in our RV. We will be sad to see it go now that we are so used to it. I’ll miss dumping the sewage every couple of days. But we will look forward to a proper American king size bed in Vegas tomorrow, although I think it will be a bit of a culture shock to be in amongst a mighty throng of people on the Las Vegas Strip. We have enjoyed the solitude and space in the desert.

So, every end is another beginning and we head for Vegas tomorrow morning and the start of the final section of our road trip and we are very much looking forward to seeing the sea again as we head up the California coastal highway at the weekend.

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