When we left Bryce, it was only about 90 minutes to get to Coral Pink Sands State Park near Zion. This is a small, no hook-ups park but really neat cause it's surrounded by coral colored sand dunes. A family, from the Salt Lake City area, happened to wind up in the campsite right behind us. They had also been at Bryce and had wanted to come over and talk to us about our toyhauler cause they have a whole bunch of ATV's that they ride on BLM lands. Well, as luck would have it we showed up again in the same campground as us and we gave them a tour of our rig and chatted with them. Nice people !
The sand is so fine it felt like talcum powder and boy, did it make a mess of our socks and shoes. It got everywhere ! In the sand dunes there is a particular type of beetle that can only be found there but you have to get out when the temps are cool to track one down. On Thursday, when we arrived and Friday they were having really hot weather...temps of 112 degrees so no tracking down any of those beetles. They bury themselves in the sand when it gets hot (can you really blame them).
We got up early and headed to Zion so we could hike while the temps were bearable. We hiked emerald pools, weeping rock and the riverside walk for a ways. Zion is ok but Arches and Canyonlands are my favorite places so far. I actually like the entry area into Zion, with all of the slickrock, better than I do inside the park itself.
As we were driving through the winding road, into Zion, a large deer was trotting up the road. With sheer, rock walls on both sides of him, he had no where to go but up the road. When he got to an area where he could climb up, he scrambled up into the brush.
Due to the high temps, and the fact that we didn't have any hook-ups, we decided to leave the state park Friday afternoon. We started making our way up to Jackson, WY. In Utah, we stopped at an RV park, in Nephi, UT for the night and then went to a really neat diner the next morning, just up the road. It's called The One Man Band Diner and is a local franchise. As the name implies, one person does it all. Once you decide what you want to eat, you pick up the phone and give your order to the cook/cashier/dishwasher. He cooks up a fabulous meal for you that are super cheap and calls you up to get it. He also rings you out at the cash register and clears your table and washes the dishes when you leave. He's a One Man Band ! If you get near one of these, while passing through Utah, check them out. There was also a huge parking lot that was perfect for our rig. Easy in - easy out.
We stayed Saturday night at Star Valley Resort in Thayne and we took Becky to see the fresh water geyser in nearby Afton. It was good to see the owner and staff there. This is one of the parks that we usually work but have given up so that we're able to get back east sooner. They are awesome people and they run a beautiful park.
Sunday morning I drove Becky up to Moran Junction (90 minutes from Thayne) so she could meet up with her friend Chris for a day of hiking in Yellowstone. Since we weren't able to check into our park, in Jackson, until noontime...we wanted her to get in a day of sightseeing while we got a day of rest in. Linda and I aren't used to getting up at 5 or 5:30 each morning and hiking several miles every day. Us old folks were tuckered out (and my feet were in the pre-blister mode). After dropping her off, I headed to Jackson and did laundry while I waited for Linda to arrive. She got in and got the rig settled just as the laundry finished up. Later in the afternoon, we went out for a ride on our favorite road through Teton Village into Grand Teton National Park.
Saw this fella hanging out, having a snack, near Teton Village. Saw a few other deer too. Monday was mud pot and geyser day. We drove up to Old Faithful and checked out all the stuff up there. I didn't get my way of getting everyone to get up to see the sun rise on the Tetons but we did get out before it got too hot and got back to Jackson by 4 so Becky and Chris could check out downtown. We had a great meal at Snake River Brewing and called it a day.
Our 12 days with Becky went by way too fast but we had such an amazing time ! The timeline that Linda had planned out was perfect. We had ample time to see everything we wanted to see and didn't feel rushed. We went to 6 national parks in those 12 days. About the only animal that we didn't see was a bear. I got up at 5 this morning to take Becky to the airport in Jackson for her flight back to Boston. As soon as I got back to the campground, Linda and I pulled out and were on the road by 7. Becky's flight was supposed to leave at 7 but she was still sitting there almost 3 hours later, due to a fuel gauge issue. As I write this she is still flying....since she left so late, her connection in Chicago was screwed up so she didn't leave there till 5:05. She will be a tired young lady when she gets home tonight !
Linda and I covered close to 500 miles today....making our way back to Pennsylvania. We are at the Wyoming/Nebraska border, on Interstate 80. We've got about another 1600 miles to go yet so lots of driving ahead for us. We had an amazing vacation with Becky. We had so much fun and saw so many things. It was the trip of a lifetime ! More later on our adventure heading home and our time with friends and family once we get there...