The Mighty Six. Day 3: Majestic Zion.

I woke up at 0430 and failed to get back to sleep. It wasn’t the time change as such, as we had gone to bed at a normal hour. Just my mind started thinking about all the exciting things to come. And then when I might have persuaded my mind that sleep was good and necessary to actually do all of the the exciting things it was on about, my stomach joined in the conversation, complaining loudly that it was hungry, and was it breakfast time yet? We always seem to be ravenous for the first few days before the body catches up to normal. I got up at 0730 and showered before the alarm clocks went off, emerging in time to see the sunrise on the hills opposite .We then remembered that breakfast was served until 9am, so went for food before continuing to get ready for the day.

The temperature outside was-2C, with a wind chill factor of a further 5 degrees. There were three people enjoying the hot tub, submerged to neck level and wearing woolly hats. I had suggested doing that but Andrew (er…thankfully!) wasn’t keen on this idea. Springdale was forecast to be just as cold, so I dug out a lot of clothes from the case.

After getting fuel we drove to Zion Cycles where we rented road bikes for a ride up the main canyon. We rode through town and then walked the bikes across the bridge to the park entrance and through the visitor centre, where we picked up the Pa’rus trail. It was beautiful, if still somewhat cold, especially in the shade.

The path joins the canyon road at Canyon Junction. From there, only authorised cars and shuttle buses are allowed, so much of the time the ride was traffic free – just us and the majestic scenery. As required, we stopped whenever a bus came up behind us to allow it to pass, but this rarely interrupted us, quite often we seemed to time it with (yet another) photo stop.

We passed the entrance to Weeping Rock shuttle stop, all closed off since the rock fall with little sign of anything been done. Such a shame as this is the Observation Point trail, our favourite.

At the end of the canyon we had a snack whilst ensuring a very bold squirrel didn’t investigate our packs to closely.

Then it was mostly downhill on the way back, with good views of the Virgin River. It was a beautiful and peaceful way to see the canyon.

After returning the bikes we stopped briefly at Hoodoos supermarket for supplies and then drove easy through the park.

After stopping for coffee at Mt Carmel Junction we drove through the high meadows, the Sevier River winding back and forth across them, to reach Bryce shortly before sunset. We have a lake view cabin.

We unloaded the car and then headed for dinner in case it got busy, but it didn’t seem too bad tonight. Time then for blogging before bed.

Photos taken: 133

Videos (yet to be) made: 1

Steps taken: 8,681

Miles cycled: 22.5

Distance travelled: 109 miles

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