So last weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) was my anniversary to my wonderful wife person, that being said we decided to ditch the little minions and head south to Zion National Park for a weekend of relaxation.
Freedom started early when we dropped the kids off at the in laws on Friday night just before their bedtime. Then we headed home to pack for the trip. We had originally planned to take the motorcycle down but with 50%+ chances of rain in the afternoons down south we decided to take the car instead. Once the car was loaded with the necessity (Cameras, clothes, 5 gal water, and redvines) we headed to bed to toss and turn until the morning hoping it would come soon.
Morning came soon enough and we headed out bright and early grabbing a couple of Mocha's on the way out of town and some Mc'D's breakfast. Our first stop was going to be the Meadow hot springs but when we arrived the partiers from the night before were still trying to wake up and we decided to move on.
We got to Cedar city around mid day and decided to have some local food (non chain). We stopped at "nastys Pizza" sorry that was "The Pizza Factory" - No beer other than near bear was served and the calazones that we had well lacked everything other than the taste of a fresh opened can of Prego.
Heading on our next stop was just east of LaVerkin at the LaVerkin overlook to see some beautiful views before we hit the park. Then we headed to the park. Paid our $25 for the 7 day pass and drove through catching a look at the splendor as we headed to the east side of the park to our budget rooms in Mt' Carmel at the East Zion Thunderbird Lodge famous for their HO-Made Pies. after checking in and finding our room "clean" and everything we needed for sleeping we decided to head back to Springdale (the town just on the west entrance of Zions) and have some dinner. We first decided on some Fresh Mex in town but after waiting 20 minutes to be seated (noone else was waiting at the sign that said "Please wait to be seated") we were told ohh you can just sit anywhere. Sit anywhere we did and waited another 20 minutes watching people who had been there for longer leaving we decided to leave. we walked down to the Spotted dog and it was just a bit too pretentious for budget Hikers and I really just wanted a nice big meal for the energy I would need in the morning. So we cross the street to the "Whiptail Cafe". Quick service.. good.. those that know me know I don't eat salad dressing, sour cream etc so when I ordered it without that stuff on the salad I expect it to not be there. it came.. it was on the salad with the comment that the Chef figured he would just put it on. then to top it off whatever flavor was in the food was masked behind more red chili peppers than was needed. We both decided to be done with the day at that point and to get something simple from the convenience store and take care of ourselves for food the next day. Back to our room to become inebriated and pass out.
We woke up at 5:15 and headed out ASAP to get on the trail. First to stop near the visitor center to the SOL Cafe for some Mocha's (hoping they didn't mess them up) and a couple of breakfast food things. The food was excellent and we enjoyed the first good meal of the trip with smiles. Then we headed over to hop on the shuttle for our first hike of the day. Angels landing - 1 word- BREATHTAKING - Described by the park handout as Strenuous, long drop-offs and narrow trail. Not for anyone fearful of heights. Ends at summit high above Zion Canyon.
After Angels Landing we headed over to the Hidden canyon and weeping rock trail heads on the park shuttle. The hike up to weeping rock was not a hike in any way more of a stroll for .25 miles only to end up inundated with Throngs of people standing still and panting from over exertion. Quickly heading back to the TH we had a quick lunch of PB sandwiches, granola bars and crackers and then we were off to Hidden Canyon. This is a great hike but unfortunately it was later in the day and the number of people on the trail took away from the coolness that should have been there. In the end it was a good trail.
Once we were done with Hidden canyon we hopped the shuttle towards the museum and walked the Pa'rus trail from the Museum over to the visitor center then to the SOL Cafe' for a early dinner (Yerros and Rubens and Beer). Once dinner was done we decided to relax the rest of the day and we went back to east Zion sat in the hot tub for a bit then crashed.
Come to find out the beds in our room were not as comfy as we first thought then again we were a bit inebriated at the time so that may have been part of the issue. Today we are going to head home. so we showered and packed up the room checked out and headed west to the east entrance of the park to take a quick hike to the overlook trail. Some seriously great views could be had here as well as a nice little hike to get the blood moving in tired legs.
From there we headed back to the SOL Cafe' for some more coffee and then headed north to Kolob canyon to take some pics then head home.
In the end this was a great vacation!