Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zion Trip - Day 1

On May 19th, my friends, Veda and Pat, came to my house. They came here to get ready for our week long backpacking trip to Zion National Park. Pat's daughter, Colleen, flew in on Friday and we left on Saturday morning. Our first night was to be spent at Jacob Lake which is about 40 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrived early enough to be able to drive to the North Rim for a nice walk to a viewpoint.

We had a nice steak dinner planned so after we got our tents set up, we borrowed a BBQ grill and tried to get it started. Unfortunately, it started raining and the tarp we were using leaked so we weren't able to keep the BBQ fire going. Finally Colleen suggested we just go out to eat. So, that's what we did. We knew we wouldn't be able to keep the steaks fresh for another day so we gave them to the campground host who appreciated them. So, our first day was a little disappointing but we did get to see the North Rim before our drive the next morning to Zion.

Zion Trip- Day 2

We packed up our stuff and headed to Zion. We stopped in a backpacking store in Kanab, Utah and got some last minute stuff. We had to go to the
permit office which was on the west side of zion and we entered on the east side so we got to drive through the beautiful canyon before starting our hike. We got back to the trailhead around noon and started hiking. The trail was sandy in lots of spots but mostly a nice trail.... ALL uphill! It was 5 miles to the spring where we planned on camping.

Home Sweet Home. We found a campsite that someone else had made and it had a firepit, seats and 2 tent sites. It was a great place to set up our tents and we really enjoyed the work that someone else put into it. The spring where we got our water was just down the hill from our site. We slept good that night after eating a packaged meal in the evening and oatmeal for breakfast the next morning.

Zion Trip - Day 3

The third day at Zion we just wanted to hike the whole day. We got up, had a breakfast of oatmeal, got water from the spring and headed down the trail towards Cable Mountain. The Cable Mountain trail was about 2 miles long and very interesting.

There had been a burn there several years ago and most of the large trees were burned but it made for some very interesting pictures. It was hot that day and we were pretty tired by the end of the day. We also hiked the Deer Trap Trail. We hiked a total of 10 miles.

Cable Mountain was pretty awesome because it was at the top of a very high cliff in the middle of Zion. If you're brave enough, you can get close to the edge and take pictures of the canyon below which is actually the main part of Zion Canyon and an incredible view. We could see Angels Landing, the west rim trail, the Observation Trail and Weeping Rock. We had no idea what the view was going to be like when we started out, but we were so glad we did this hike first. It put the whole rest of the week in the canyon in perspective. The cable was built in the early 1900s to lower lumber to the bottom of the canyon. By wagon it would take several days to get there, but by cable it only took an hour or so.
Angel's Landing is a hike we did later in the week. Yes, we hiked all the way to the top of the mountain.... even me, the scared-of-heights weenie. Pictures from that hike coming later. We also did The Narrows and I'll have pictures of that later, too. You can see the buses in the canyon in this picture. Nobody is allowed to drive their cars into the canyon because there is pretty much no parking so they have a very efficient bus service taking folks into the canyon.

Zion Trip - Day 4

We decided that we should go back to the main part of the canyon if we were going to get to do everything we had planned for the rest of the trip, so we left the East Rim a day early. We hiked the 5 miles back to the car which was alot easier since it was mostly downhill. We got back to the main part of the canyon by 3pm and went to the campground there. We set up our tents and then decided to take the shuttle through the canyon.

We got off the shuttle at Weeping Rock and discovered that we could see the Cable Mountain from there. That's where we had hiked the day before! We walked to Weeping Rock where the water comes right out of the rock.

After the shuttle ride, we went into Springdale, a small town just outside the west gate of Zion. We wanted to rent wet suits (and a dry suit for me) to hike the Narrows the next day. We also went out to eat that night at the Red Spotted Dog Restaurant and had a really nice meal.

Zion Trip - Day 5

We packed our tents and everything after eating breakfast in the campground and drove over to where we ordered the wetsuits (and dry suit), picked them up and drove back to the parking area. We parked and hopped on a bus heading to the Narrows. Everyone else wore a wetsuit because the water was 47 degrees. But 47 degrees sounded cold to me so I got a dry suit. Basically, you're inside a plastic bag so you don't get wet, but the water is still around you so it's cold. So... you wear sweats and warm clothes inside the dry suit. I have to say that I never really got cold but it was pretty warm when I was out of the water and in direct sun.

We hiked about 2 miles into the Narrows. It was very slow going because the current was very strong and we were walking in water from ankle deep to neck deep. It was an amazing adventure but the best part was when we came back down stream. In the places where the water was deep and there were no rocks we could float on our backs in the water. It was great fun!

Veda took these wonderful pictures.

That evening we ate at the Spotted Dog Cafe again and it was delicious again. Then we drove through the park again to a cabin that we had rented for 2 nights near the east entrance. The cabin was wonderful and we all slept well.

Zion Trip - Day 6

This is our cabin. It had two king sized beds and it was perfect for 4 people. We thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in it for the two nights... even though it was pretty far away from the canyon. We didn't mind because the drive through the park was so beautiful. After we got ourselves moving, we drove back to the canyon and headed to Angel's Landing.
The first part of the trail to Angel's Landing was about 2 miles and the last half mile was very steep uphill. In fact, the last part was VERY steep. It's called Walter's Wiggles. As you can see in the picture, the switchbacks were almost straight up. This is looking back down the switchbacks from the top. Makes me tired just looking at the picture. Whew!

The hike out to Angel's Landing was a half mile long. The trail is along this 'fin'. The canyon was a steep drop off on either side of the trail. There were chains most of the way up so it felt a little more secure but still quite intimidating besides being exhausting. Most of this part of the trail was climbing over boulders.

From the top it was quite an exceptional view... and we even encountered some friendly (hungry) chipmunks. We weren't really allowed to feed the chipmunks but occasionally a peanut from our trailmix would fall.

It was a dramatic hike and I'm happy to say I did it, but it was alot of work and kinda scary for someone that's generally afraid of heights. That night we headed back to the comfort of our nice cozy cabin and slept like babies.

Zion Trip - Day 7

Colleen had to leave the next day, so Pat dropped Veda and I off at the Park Entrance while she drove Colleen to the airport. We caught a bus to a hotel/spa in Springdale and pampered ourselves. Veda got a pedicure (she'd never had one before) and I got a facial (I'd never had one before). Pat met us at the restaurant across the street from the spa and we had another wonderful lunch. The only tables were outdoors and it poured down rain, but we still enjoyed it.
We left Zion and headed back to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We stopped at Pink Coral State Park in Utah and enjoyed the interesting sand dunes, then drove into Kanab and stayed in a hotel called Perry Lodge. There are lots of old westerns that were filmed in the area and all of the film crew and actors had stayed in this lodge so we enjoyed looking at the old pictures in the lobby, then got to watch one of the old movies that had been filmed closeby.

Sewing Room Tour

On May 17th, my favorite quilting group, In Stitches, did a sewing room tour of four of the members homes. There are 12 members in the group so we will do this 2 more time to see everyone's home. We also did a progressive lunch. The first place we went was MY house. I served appetisers. I had a friut salsa with homemade flour tortilla chips and Mimosa's to drink. I took pictures at each person's sewing room but I didn't take time to take pictures of mine so I took some pictures recently to add to my post.

Back row: Sheila, Julie H., Julie N., Flo, Jamie, Karen, Eve
Front Row: Linda, Carolyn

My sewing room including my HQ quilting machine.

My sewing room. Notice the awesome ironing board that Alan built for me.

Flo's House

The second home we went to was Flo's. She served a salad and white wine. She has a beautiful home that they've only been living in for a year or so. Her sewing room is one of her bedrooms and she has made great use of her space.


I have to put a picture of her kitchen. Take a look at that backsplash. It is the same travertine tiles as on the floor. When some of the pieces were broken as they were laying the tile, she chipped them to make them even and used them as the backsplash. She used it in the bathroom around the sink and tub, too. Very cool..

Jamie's House

The next house we went to was Jamie's. She made the main course.. chicken enchiladas.. yummm.... She has a really cute, small, 2 bedroom house and she's converted her master bedroom into her sewing room. I think she figures she spends more time in there than in her bedroom so why not...

She has a great sewing table. She hired someone to lower her sewing machine into the table so the surface of the table is even with the table of the sewing machine.

Jamie has a pet tortoise. Her name is Sandy. She entertained us for a long time while she ate her lunch. She likes corn, but she makes a mess..

Karen's House

The last house we went to was Karen's house. She lives in a duplex and has a large double car garage that she uses for her sewing room. She has huge tables and cutting areas and sewing areas and tons of storage. It's amazing how much stuff she has in there! No wonder she can make such a huge variety of quilts. She served dessert.. Rhubarb Pie and ice cream.

We had such a great time that day. We started at 10am and finished around 5:30pm. We can't wait till our next sewing room adventure.