Steven is doing the drive this morning as we head to Frisco CO. It seems a good time to post stories and shots about the first few days of this summer's adventure.
DAY 1: MESQUITE NV.
We had an uneventful 5-1/2 hour drive from Palm Springs to Mesquite NV. There is no reason to stop in Mesquite except for several amazing golf courses, which is why we are here.
DAY 2: MESQUITE NV + DRIVE TO ZION NATIONAL PARK
We played the Oasis/Palmer Golf Course. A solid challenge, and stunning scenery, The other shot I'm posting here is why we will come back to Mesquite - to play Wolf Creek.
Steven Tees Off This t-box is at a 100 foot elevation.
Wolf Creek Golf Course18 "signature holes"
After golf, we headed on to ZIon National Park.
Driving to Zion
WELCOME TO ZION.
First Sighting of Zion National Park
ZION NATIONAL PARK/SPRINGDALE
This is the second time we have stayed at the small lodge, The Cliffrose. It is a perfect location right on the Virgin River, and just a short walk to the entrance to Zion National Park.
Here's a shot from our room, right along the Virgin River. (no fishing, but tubing is good)
Virgin River and Zion National ParkThis is a shot from our back patio.
DAY 3: ZION NATIONAL PARK
We're up early, ready to hike. It is raining! I mean really raining. For someone from California - well into a 4 year drought, with imposed water-use restrictions - this is shock and awe. Everything is already so green, the river is already full and flowing – and here it is, raining! Undaunted, off we go for our hike to The Narrows.
The Narrows is anywhere from a short hiking experience to a permit-required, 2 day, 16 mile trek. Regardless of how much of it you decide to do, the hike is IN the river, up to at least ankles, maybe knees, sometimes up to waist in water. The main attraction is the 3.5 mile gorge through a slot canyon, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes 20-30 feet wide.
HAD we done the hike, here's what we would have seen.
The Narrow Slot Canyon However, after doing the river access hike, as we approached the entrance to The Narrows itself, wouldn't you know it – flash flood warnings. It's so hard acting like a grown-up, but, we indeed decided to turn back. Did I mention that it's raining, and the water temperature was posted at 65-degrees. Here is where we turned around.
Start of The Narrows
These are a few others shots as we headed through the park. With Steven as a size perspective you can get an idea of the immense height of these walls. Everything around the river is so lush!
Lush River Shoreline
A Wall In Zion
We headed for the center of the park, to Zion Lodge, and hung out with a few hundred other hikers waiting for the rain to slow down. No such luck. And since almost all of the hikes here are steep and on what are now muddy, slippery trails we swallowed our disappointment and headed back to our lodge.
DAY 4: DRIVE TO GRAND JUNCTION CO.
The sun is out. Should we go back and do The Narrows? OMG – it's Saturday and by the time we are done with breakfast (7:00am) the park is already jammed. Nothing will be quiet, peaceful, or a commune with nature. The Narrows will look like a parking lot as it is one of the most popular hikes. We decided to follow our original plan and head to Grand Junction. We'll just have to make plans to come back to Zion.
Early morning on a sunny day this drive is yet more breath-taking for the colors and shadows. Can you imagine, this is not even a designated Scenic Drive!
FUN SHORT STORY:
In Utah, on I-15, we pass a posted Speed Limit 80 sign, and we and the cars around us slowed down.
GRAND JUNCTION CO.
We get to Grand Junction and immediately head off on a bike ride. For those of you not familiar with the Grand Junction/Fruita area, this is home to epic mountain biking. it's almost impossible for us to be here and not immediately think RIDE.
Steven On The River Bike Trail
Tomorrow we head to "home" to Breckenridge. Technically, we will be staying in Frisco CO, one town over from Breckenridge, with our best buddies Jan and Steve Cornwell.