John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

May 2007 Journal

  We got up early and headed out at 730am for Zion NP.  We tried to get on the ranger tour but it was full so we got tickets for tomorrow.  We hiked up the Parus Trail and then at Canyon Junction caught the shuttle up to the Temple of Sinawava.  Then we hiked down from the Temple to the Grotto.  We saw a buck mule deer 3 pointer.  We had hiked for 6 miles.  We were ready for lunch so we headed back to Hurricane and stopped at JB’s. 

       29  We headed out Dinosaur hunting today.  We first went to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and then to Ft. Pierce.  We continued on the gravel road and found the wash with the dinosaur tracks.

Today we stayed around the cow.  We went for a walk through our neighborhood and then went to the potluck cookout the campground had.  We met some people from Alberta Canada and another couple that has been full-timing for 2 years. 

Today John is cleaning the outside of the beast.  Then the seal on the toilet should be replaced.  So we headed out to the RV store for the seal.  Since were out were also going to the liquor store.  Normally it’s not a big deal, but the closest liquor store is about 25 miles away.  We got back and had dinner then headed out about 530pm to Springdale where Zion NP is. At the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater the Back Alley Blues Band is playing at 8pm.  So we stopped at the Spotted Dog Café for a couple drinks and an appetizer.  You cannot get drinks without ordering food.  We got to the theater about 730pm.  It’s a small outside theater.  It has 900 seats and about 900 benches.  It’s in a beautiful canyon surrounded by mountains.  Even though it’s a Saturday night on Memorial Day Weekend, there was only about 300 people there.  They played until 10pm and then we headed home.

After our adventure yesterday, the beast is covered in dust.  Even though John just cleaned her, he is cleaning the inside today.  I worked on TCI stuff.  In the afternoon we sat outside, listened to Margaritaville and relaxed.

Today we are headed to Silver Reef Ghost Town.  It’s just past Quail Creek Reservoir and Leeds.  We visited the old mine, the cemetery, the Wells Fargo Building (which is now an art gallery and museum), and the old bank.  We followed this other road, and found out it took us into Dixie National Forest.  We saw a sign that said St. George 24 miles.  The road was not paved, but didn’t look to bad so we kept going.  It was beautiful.  We were, out in the middle of nowhere!  We put the 4 wheel drive on to make it a smoother ride.  There were parts of the road that were not so great.  We stopped for a few photo opportunities.  After about 15 miles, we came across some trailheads and stopped to check them out.  We were now in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.  We didn’t hike but did take some flower pictures.  Then we stopped at St. Helens Sports Grill for lunch.  We went to Walmart for a few groceries then back to the cow.  It was a perfect temperature, so we turned on Radio Margaritaville and sat outside in the sun.

Today a storm has moved into the North.  It is VERY windy, hence the town name, Hurricane.  The cow is shaking.

This morning we hung around and updated photos and the website.  This afternoon John was on a mission.  To scale Mollies Nipple.  This is a 1800 foot mountain we can see from our campsite.  People have told us you can hike it and drive partial way to it.  We tried to find it by driving when we first got here, but you are on 4 wheel drive roads in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.  We found a path off of airport road so we went to check it out.  I was not about to hike up 1800 feet, but John was ready.  We found a path and off he went.  I watched him for quite a while through the binoculars.  Then after he was pretty high, he disappeared behind the ridge.  He made it up to the top of the nipple and had a beautiful 360 degree view of this whole area.  He saw Quail Creek Reservoir, Sand Hollow Reservoir, the West Temple at Zion NP and more.  On his way down, it was a little difficult since the wind had picked up.  He made the 5 mile round trip journey in about 3 hours.

We got up with the sun this morning at 6am.  We left about 645am for the Smithsonian Butte Scenic Drive.  It starts at the old bridge road in Rockville.  The first mile is paved, then it’s gravel and dirt for 8 miles.  You end up on Rt 59.  We took the little side trip to Grafton.  It’s a historic town now, but in the 1800’s it was a little town.  We stopped at the cemetery and checked out the grave markers.  A few were killed by Indians.  Then we went to the old schoolhouse.  Right across the road is where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed.
We got back on the gravel dirt road and continued.  We went past Hildale and Colorado City.  Colorado City is in Arizona and is an old Mormon community.  We continued on Rt 59.  We stopped at Pipe Springs National Monument.  We didn’t know anything about this area, but it was very interesting.  We went on a tour of Windsor Castle and then walked around the grounds, read all the plaques and went through the museum.  In the 1800’s this was a ranch set up by the Mormon Church.  It was a natural springs which supported over 5000 head of cattle.  It supplied cheese, butter and meat to the Mormons in St. George that were building the church.  At the time, St. George was a 4 day stagecoach ride.  Now it’s an hour car ride.  We ended up spending almost 3 hours there.
We continued on Rt 59 to Fredonia, then we went North on Rt 89.  If you go south, it’s 60 miles to the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Go east and you hit Lee’s Ferry at Lake Powell.  For us, we were ready for lunch.  We stopped at Gramma Tina’s in Kanab.  Kanab is where over 100 westerns were filmed.  After lunch we continued north to Carmel Junction and Rt 9 and took Rt 9 west back to Hurricane.  We had to go through the tunnel again.  We got back and had dinner.

We headed up to Zion today around 230pm.  We took the shuttle up to Zion Lodge and started with the lower Emerald Pools Trail.  We ended up taking the Middle Emerald Pools trail back to the lodge. Then we hiked along the Virgin River down to the Court of the Patriarchs Shuttle stop.  These are three rock formation called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  There is a small hike up for a nice view.
We caught the shuttle down to canyon junction and then took the Pa’rus Trail down to the visitors center.  Along the way we saw a wild turkey and came upon a young buck mule deer.  The deer didn’t care about us at all.  We were able to get about 3 feet away for a photo.  Once back at the visitors center we took our truck out of the park and walked around the town of Springdale.
It’s a small town with lots of shops and some restaurants.  We went to Oscars Café and had a couple cocktails and burgers outside on the patio while watching the sun setting on the mountains of Zion. 

Today we hung around until about 2pm.  Then we headed out to Red Cliff Recreation Area.  We did a couple hikes and then came back had a couple cocktails and went to dinner.  We went to Lapita’s Mexican Restaurant.

After letting the cow air out for a day, we washed the carpet and were putting her back together

Today were staying around the cow and taking care of her.

This morning we did projects around the cow.  We left for golfing at Sky Harbor Golf Course at around 145pm.  At 2pm they have twilight golf.  The cost is 38.00pp all you can golf including a cart.  It’s only about 2 miles from our campground.  It’s a beautiful course.  We took some pictures especially on the tee box of the 5th and 18th hole.  From the 18th hole you can see a waterfall.  As we golfed we saw lots of birds, chipmunks, gambles quail and hundreds of rabbits.  Rabbits everywhere.  For the 18 holes we golfed we only saw a couple other people, so we basically had the course to ourselves.
When we finished we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items and came home.  When we pulled in our cow was running water from the storage areas which is not good.  The shampoo holder in the shower fell and turned on the shower.  The holding tank filled up so water was streaming out the shower and into the carpet in the bathroom area and then down into the storage area.  I started working inside and John emptied the storage areas and worked outside.  We left the storage area empty and open overnight and slept on the pullout couch so we wouldn’t have to walk on the floor.

We got up and headed out around 930am to Zion NP.  We took the Watchman Trail from the visitors center.  After we parked and on the way to the trail, we saw 2 deers right at the visitors center.  We went over to the trail.  It had a 400 foot elevation incline.  It was supposed to be 2.7 miles but it worked out to be more like 4 miles round trip.  After our hike we walked over to the Zion Theater and had a snack at the bistro.  We saw Zion Treasure of the Gods in Big Screen.  After the show we headed home and had dinner.

We left around 9am this morning.  We’re heading up to Kolob Canyons area.  We stopped at the visitors center and then went on to Taylor Creek Trail.  It has a 450 ft elevation.  We hiked in about 3 1/2 miles.  Along the way we saw 2 cabins that were built around 1930.  It was a nice path.  We followed the creek and crossed it over a dozen times each way.  We made it to the double arch.  John hiked another 1mile in and up.  I took a break.  We headed back.  I hiked about 7 miles and John did around 8 miles.  We drove up to the top by the lookout.  We stopped at the store and then back to the cow.  Since it’s 98 degrees we decided to turn on the air.

John waxed the truck and I worked on getting our new wifi adapter setup.  Then about 1pm we headed out to Zion NP and took the shuttle up to the Temple of Sinawava and hiked the Riverside Walk again.  This was the first hike we did in Zion.  We weren’t prepared for the Narrow last time so this time we brought our hiking sandals.  We hiked the mile in until we got to the Narrows.  Then we had to hike in and out of the Virgin River.  The Narrows goes for about 5 miles.  We hiked about ½ mile in.  The river was very cool but refreshing.  On our return we spotted a new bird and got a picture.  It was a Black Headed Grosbeak.  We hiked the 1 1/2 miles back to the shuttle and took it to Weeping Rock stop.  I was done, but John was on a mission.  He wanted to hike the Hidden Canyon Trail.  It is only 2 miles round trip but it has an elevation incline of 850 feet.  So off he went.  I relaxed by the river.  While on his hike at about 800 feet elevation at the entrance to the canyon, he came across a pond of frogs making loud noises and it echoed through the canyon.   When John finished, he was also done for the day.

Today is a Time Out Day.  We’ve been doing a lot of hiking and we just stayed around the cow, read, laid in the hammock and did nothing.  Nice day!

The morning is a bright sunny day and a lot less wind.  We got ready to go and headed out to Kolob Terrace Road around 1030am.  We decided to drive to the end of the road which is about 25 miles North of Virgin.  We started out at about 3000 ft elevation and Kolob Reservoir is at 8818 ft elevation.  On our way we saw patches of snow.  This area is just beautiful.  The reservoir is very secluded and surrounded by pristine mountains and trees.  We decided to drive around the lake on the 4 wheel drive road.  We saw three new types of birds today.  One we can’t identify but it’s like a small duck all black with a thin very narrow beak about 5 inches long that is a half arch.  Another  one is an American Avocet.  It was a pretty bird.  It’s head is rust colored and back is black and white.  It has a long beak about 8 inches, slightly curved at the end.  It’s about 18 inches high and walks in the shallows sweeping it’s bill from side to side.  The third one is a blue bird a little bigger than a finch.  Maybe sparrow size.  It’s called the Mountain Bluebird.
It’s about 20 degrees cooler than down in Virgin.  We saw quite a few cars at the reservoir but no people or boats.  We went over by them and at first we thought they were ATV’ers.  We started talking to a reporter from the Salt Lake City Sentinal.  All these people were search and rescue.  We also had seen a helicopter but didn’t know why.  There is a 23 year old man from Hurricane Utah that’s been missing for 2 weeks.  They found his car a week ago but haven’t been able to do a ground search due to the weather.  They had a 1 1/2 feet of snow a few days ago.  Yesterday they had divers in the reservoir and today they have helicopter, dogs, ATV’s and men on foot searching.
We left the reservoir and headed down.  On our way down we stopped and had a snowball fight, then we went on to Lava Point Lookout for photos and to eat our lunch.  It was beautiful.  We could see the Temple, the area where the visitors center is and the narrows.  Then we headed to Wildcat Canyon and the Northgate Peaks Trail.  It’s a 4 mile round trip trail that’s though meadows and pine forests.  At the end of the trail, you can also see the Temple.   

Last night we had some rain.  This morning from our living room windows, the mountains to the Northwest had fresh snow on the peaks.  It was very beautiful.  It’s a little cool and windy today, so we’re having a domestic day.  I worked on bills and John cleaned the truck. 

 Off we went around 10am headed for Zion NP.  We took the shuttle up to Zion Lodge stop and then took the Middle Emerald Pools Trail to the Upper Emerald Pools Trail.  Then we took the Kayenta Trail to the Grotto and had some lunch.  We walked down the Grotto Trail back to Zion Lodge.  We had some coffees and then took the shuttle to Canyon Junction.  We hiked the Pa’rus Trail down to the Human Museum where we watched a 22 minute movie about the history of Zion NP.  By this time we had hiked over 5 miles today.  We took the shuttle back to the VC and headed home

Today we took it easy and then headed to the RV Parts store for some supplies and to Walmart for groceries.

We left around 930am and went to pick up the tire that was repaired.  The service center mounted it for us and we were off to Zion National Park.  We got to the visitors center around 1130am.  After looking through the VC, we took the shuttle to the last stop which is the  “Temple of Sinawava”.  From April to October, Zion NP does not allow cars on the scenic drive up the canyon.  Actually that is a great idea.  The shuttle works fine and no parking problems.
We took the Riverside hike to the narrows.  We didn’t hike down the narrows because your hiking in the Virgin River and we did not bring our hiking sandals.  Next time we’ll be prepared. Then we took the shuttle down to Big Bend.  We got off and noticed 3 mule deer coming to the Virgin River for a drink.  Then we looked up and saw mountain climbers going straight up a flat rock face.
We hiked the river trail down to the Weeping Rock stop and then took the Weeping Rock hike.  Then we got back on the shuttle down to the VC.  We were done for the day.  We were ready for dinner and to relax.  Got back to the truck and the same tire was flat again.  Well were getting our practice at changing tires.  Stopped back at the tire repair and they fixed it and mounted it again for us.  Hopefully this will be the last time.

We got up early and left Vegas around 7am.  The drive was nice and short, about 3 hours.  We did have an hour time change so now were back on Mountain Time.  We got checked into the Willowind RV Park in Hurricane Utah.  Moving is getting much smoother.  We were ready to go out adventuring by 1pm.
We stopped at the Pioneer Museum which is also like the visitors center.  Then we drove down the road and found a dirt road which was very scenic.  We followed it for about 12 miles.  We kept thinking we would run into something, a house, town, car but nothing.  We turned back and headed for the grocery store.  When we came out, we had a flat tire on the truck.  So we changed the tire and dropped it off at the auto repair.