Here we go, off on our longest road trip to date. The end destination was Colorado, but we couldn’t drive that far without stopping in Zion first. So to Zion, we went! Our life at this point was nuts. We were literally packing our bags for vacation while packing our house up to move. When we came home we would be staying in Michaels parents house for a week while our new home was getting prepped. It was chaos.
So Thursday, August 25th we packed up the remainder of our things, did a deep clean of our old place, drove some things down to our new home and finally ended up back at my in-laws to unpack, grab some food and be on the road. Phew! The drive took about 8+ hours and we ended up leaving San Diego probably close to 7:00pm; we didn’t want to wait till the morning. Plus we wouldn’t have slept anyway, the day before vacation is like the day before Christmas! The drive was going great, Michael is such a trooper when it comes to handling the majority of it, but ya know the longer you’re on the road, the higher your chances of running into the police. At around hour 7, RIGHT after I had taken over driving, wee-oo, wee-oo, wee-oo or something of that nature, danggggiiiiittt! I mean it was probably 2:00am and no one was on the road, my 90mph was totally justified. He didn’t seem to agree. I got my ticket and waved goodbye to the friendly motorcycle and Jesus lovin’ officer and then I firmly placed my two hands on the 10 and 2 position and drove like my mom was in the front seat. We safely arrived at Zion around 4:30am, which was good because we were told to get to the campground early as the sites were first come, first serve. Second in line, bam! Our friends had suggested the Zion South Campgrounds as its minutes away from the variety of hiking trails you can go on and camping was only $20/night. While I slept until the campground opened at 7:00am, Michael couldn’t help but stretch his legs and get to shootin’.
7:00am and we were greeted by the sweetest woman asking how many nights wed be staying and what camera Michael was shooting with; we made small conversation as there were now cars lining the streets waiting to get in. She looked for the most photo-friendly site and said “Oh, you’re going to love the big rock in that site! 89, go on ahead.” Simple life lesson; be nice. It gets you a big rock! We set up camp, and for whatever reason we had two blowup mattresses. One of those mattresses had been growing its own moldy camp, so we had to toss it, but we had that backup mattress. Funny how life works. Our air pump wasn’t working so well, but hey, we got a “water bed” for the weekend floating to and fro with every movement. We decided to take a quick nap. 4 hours later it was time to explore!
We walked into the small town and hopped on the shuttle bus. It was our first day, so we decided to do one of the moderately difficult ones; nothing too strenuous. Emerald Pools! You have the option of seeing the upper, middle or lower pools or all three, which is what we did. The middle and lower pools were super easy, nothing to write home about either. BUT the upper pool was a bit of a climb and well worth it. Nature never ceases to amaze, and its always there to do just that, it’s only a matter of you taking advantage of it.
The picture above will give you an idea of how massive the canyon walls were once you get to the Upper Pools. Absolutely breathtaking.
After hiking for a few hours, we grabbed the shuttle and headed back to camp, but not before running into a friend on the bus from back home! Of all places and all the shuttle buses, we managed to see someone we know. I LOVE when that stuff happens! Almost as if God goes, “hey, they’ll enjoy this!” and its like a subtle reminder that we were exactly where we supposed to be, like a giant thumbs up right in front of our faces. We went to the market to grab some snacks and necessities and made some food and libations at the site. While we were cooking, we noticed we had a new neighbor at the site next to us. He wandered over and introduced himself; a wonderful gentleman named Steve. He had just finished vacationing in San Diego while visiting his daughter. This man loved to adventure, and at the age of 60, he wasn’t slowing down anytime soon. We want to be like Steve when we grow up.
The moon was bright and our eyelids were heavy. We headed for bed just as soon as it started to rain. The view from our tent was gorgeous, though daunting. All we saw were clouds, thick, heavy, black clouds. We were in for a long night.
What do you suppose happened? Find out….on the next post. Are you reading that in a Mr. Moviefone voice? I truly hope so, because thats what I intended when I wrote it. And now I can’t stop writing in that voice. Coming. Next Post. To a computer screen near you. Find out what happens to the Ko’s as they sleep in a tent in the middle of Zion.