August 13, 2005

Travel Log - Day 2

We are up early and ready to head to our first National Park. We hope to spend two days here and tour both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. It is a beautiful day today, warm but not too hot (a nice change from hot and humid AZ). I have never been to either park but have seen friends and families photo albums of the beautiful natural rock formations. We have purchased a National Parks Pass - a must for anyone who plans on visiting more than one National Park or who wants to spend several days coming and going through the toll gates. The cost is $50 and is good for the entire year. One visit to a NP costs $20 and is good for a 7-day period. In our case we are planning on visiting five parks and spending several days at both Yellowstone and Glacier. The park pass is a great saver!

Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a wonder! I was so impressed with the beauty but also with the entire logistics of how the park is setup. If you have never visited Zion and plan on doing so someday -- keep in mind that during the summer the park shuttle's visitors in (a great way to see the park). In winter most of the drive is closed. We were able to take the shuttle, which runs every 90 minutes, and get off and on at every camera spot, hiking spot, or just lunching spot in the park. The shuttles are frequent so you can get off and without spending more than 5-10 minutes wait, you can get back on and ride to the next stop. The entire loop takes 90 minutes and if you wanted to, you could just stay on for the ride. The bus drivers offer wonderful tour information and interesting stories about the park. We were blessed and spent most of the day in Zion.

The Great White Throne, Zion N.P. Utah

It is late in the day and we decide to take the trip to Bryce, even though it will take us 2 hours to get there. We see no reason to back track and return to St. George for the night and so we brave the hour and head for Bryce. Bryce was a dissapointment to us. Maybe it was because we had seen our fill of "hoo-doos" on our trip to the Badlands in S.D. a few years back. Bryce is a park full of Hoodoos - or salt deposits that nature has carved into strange and wonderful patterns and sculptures. The entire park consists of a drive in and out, a loop, with many photo spots to take pictures of these unique rock formations.

We drive through Bryce and end up spending the night in Fillmore, Utah. We find a good family restaurant and a clean room to spend the night in. Our hotel has an indoor heated pool and spa - a bonus - so we spend the late evenings soaking our tired muscles and then drifting off to sleep. There is something about spending a day out of doors and hiking and being in the fresh air that just helps one to sleep. We drift off thinking of tomorrows drive - on to Salt Lake City, Park City and hopefully Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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