7:34 PM MDT N36°56'26" W113°49'20"
You'll be glad to know that we made it to Zion National Park, and as reported it was pretty impressive. As far as sheer jaw-dropping impressiveness goes, I think the Grand Canyon has it beat, but there was much more to do and see. Zion National Park is a really cool region of red, twisty rock formations that's miles wide and filled with neat stuff.
Getting to the visitor's center was probably about half the fun. There are two entrances, and we happened to enter on the side farthest from the visitor's center, so we had to drive through the park through 17 miles of mountain road, around some spectacular mountain formations and through mountain tunnels (twice!). By the time we got there we were already pretty impressed. Which was good, since by the time we got there we didn't have a whole lot of time left before we needed to head out. The Zion people were nice enough to make a "Zion in Under 3 Hours" sign with ideas for quick visits into the park, which we very much appreciated. We decided our best bet was to try and see a thing called Weeping Rock.
The trail to Weeping Rock, the sign informed us, required us to take the canyon shuttle, so we walked over to the shuttle center and got onto the shuttle of a man who announced that he was Dan Dan the Wonderful Driving Man. I did not get the impression that he was also Dan Dan the Wonderful Walking in a Straight Line Man, but he was entertaining. As we drove up the hill, he pointed out that the beavers "live in a bank, but won't give you change," then repeated that, then waited for everyone to groan before continuing. A little later, he informed us that the trail to our right could be used by pedestrians, bikers, pets on leash, and even children --- but they didn't have to be on a leash. He waited for us to groan again.
Things went on this way until we got to the Weeping Rock trail head. Then we got off, and climbed up the trail for a sorta unsatisfyingly short distance until we got to Weeping Rock, which Dan Dan the Wonderful Driving Man had informed us was spilling out water that had actually been inside the mountain for 1,200 years. Very cool. We sat there for a while, then realized that both of our phones were dead and we didn't know what time it was. Another person up there rather confusedly indicated that it might possibly be 5:40, though, so we decided we needed to leave.
We climbed back down and went to the shuttle stop to wait. When the shuttle arrived, it was none other than Dan Dan the Wonderful Driving Man at the wheel. As we wound our way back to the visitor's center, we heard his spiel in reverse, pretty much like a tape played backwards, down to the children not needing to be on leashes and the beavers not giving you change. But towards the end, a conversation between a German family, a New York Jewish woman, and an ex-Army guy who'd been stationed in Germany --- about the Autobahn and its lack of speed limits --- spread to the entire bus, including Dan Dan the Wonderful Driving Man, and so the spiel was cut short.
Then we quickly got back into the car and started towards Las Vegas. At this point we're about a quarter of the way there, and the scenery is changing dramatically, yet again. Just think, only half a day of driving and two states left!
This blog is an account of Jacob and Mike's (Skippy) cross-country trip to move Jacob from Chicago, IL to Irvine, CA. We decided we'd document the trip by making a blog post for every hundred miles we drove, in addition to anything else of interest. There is a map that I made with a thumb tack in each place where we wrote a blog post.