The morning shower gave us a few problems. The campground is really quite busy and yet only one of the two bathroom blocks are open. This meant I had to queue. When I returned to the RV Rosina was indoors having a shower. It seems her token was eaten by the shower’s meter but there was only a trickle of water when she turned the handle.
Fortunately the rain had passed over during the night, though it was still cool and cloudy. We do not always have access to reliable weather forecasts which is a real problem sometimes. We left the campground wearing jumpers and carrying raincoats in our backpacks only to be taking them off 45 minutes later because it became bright and sunny and we spent the rest of the day carrying them around.
The first free shuttle bus passing through town took us to the Zion National Park entrance. There we had to pay a $24 entrance fee for the two of us. Whilst paying I enquired about the recreation area we had passed coming in to Springfield. It seems it’s called ‘Mosquito Cove’ and it can be camped in because it belongs to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) but the Rangers aren’t supposed to advertise the fact. To top it all we discovered there was a parking area at the main gates to Zion allocated exclusively to RV’s (GPS: N37.201186 W112.984853). We were so disappointed, had we known sooner we could have booked out from the campground, taken the RV down to Zion for our visit then driven to Mosquito Cove for the night. The second shuttle from the Visitors Centre took us to ‘Temple of Sinawava’ at the end of the canyon, a journey of about 7 miles. After getting off we decided to hike back again staying beside the Virgin River wherever possible. This would allow us to escape from the madding crowds especially the parties of young school children.
On our hike we saw lots of colourful birds, butterflies, crickets, small lizards and some wild turkeys. At one point we spotted paw marks which were all in single file. My faithful scout Tonto and I, concluded such tracks could only have been made by a one-legged cat.
About half way back we rejoined the road and treated ourselves to an ice cream at the Zion Lodge, then it was back to the hiking. We had hoped to make it all the way back, but the sun was getting pretty hot and so we gave up after about another hour, catching the shuttle back to the Visitors Centre.
I’ve tried to repair the flow valve on the BBQ grill using tiny stones and mastic, jamming it at the ‘High’ flow-rate which I can then try and adjust at the gas cylinder valve. It will either work or it won’t. The problem is it’s of such a design that I can’t get a replacement part and it will mean scrapping the whole BBQ which I’m loathed to do, but since much of the lifestyle relies on alfresco eating especially barbecues, we can’t have a grill that doesn’t work, or is dangerous.
Tomorrow we set off for Bryce Canyon National Park. We are planning to take the short cut through a one mile long tunnel in Zion Canyon. Due to the size of the vehicle we have to pay to go through as they have to hold up the traffic at the other end whilst we travel through in the centre of the road which is the tallest part of the tunnel. I just hope we don’t end tomorrow with a soft-top convertible RV.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Zion Canyon Campground & RV Park, 479 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale.