Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zion Get-Away

Hubby and I spent last week at Zion National Park.
Ahhh...one of our favorite places to be!

We started at the end of winter and the season officially changed to spring while we were there.
So, now, we've officially been there during all four seasons.  It's wonderful there at any time of year.
On this trip, the temps ranged from the 60's to near 80 for day time highs.  Nights were cool but not too cold.  I'm not sure how cold it got but I don't think it went below the 40's.

There were clouds a few times while we were there but most of every day was sunny. 

We went just before the busy season was to begin. 
The shuttles officially started the day after we left. 
Check out how empty the visitor center parking lot was...

It was very obvious that it was spring...trees were changing so fast that they often
looked different and more green in the afternoon than they did in the morning.

Nature is amazing!

These trees were the most surprising.  They barely had buds when we arrived.  A few days later the buds were bigger.  The next morning, the trees were covered in red...

As the day went along, the red blooms stretched out and became pale green.
Here's what the trees looked like a little further back...

We noticed these white, fuzzy looking balls on shrubs all over the park.
There were millions of them.  They look soft and fluffy.  I wondered what they were.

I wondered if they were the result of some kind of bugs.  
I tried to crush one between two rocks to see but it was just as hard as a rock and uncrushable.
Hubby found one on the ground and tried to peel the fuzz/white back but it was hard too.
We asked a ranger a couple days later and he told us that the white balls were created from a wasp.
The wasp injects a protein and it's eggs into the plant.  The protein causes the plant to create
the hard green shell to protect the eggs.  I wonder how the wasps will ever get out since it's SO hard.

This little lizard sat near us in the sun for hours one afternoon
while hubby read and I did a little needle felting.
Check out those long nails and the saw tooth edge of it's ear...  

We saw deer again on this visit.  They looked woolly from their winter coats.

We even saw some lounging around in the afternoon. 
I bet they were enjoying the warming weather.

This trip started out as an extension to hubby's grandmother's 90th birthday celebration.
She wanted to go to Las Vegas to celebrate.  Since Vegas (about four hours away) is over half way to our favorite place, Zion, it made sense to go there (about two to three more hours).  The Zion part of the trip quickly became a celebration for hubby's 50th birthday (this month) and my 50th for last year.
We were able to get reservations for the whole week at Watchman Campground in the park.
And, we scheduled a day to do something we've been dreaming of for years...
a canyoneering adventure!  So exciting!

Hubby's grandfather came down with double pneumonia a couple weeks before the trip.  He is doing fine now but grandma's 90th birthday celebration plans were changed.Vegas was cancelled and she had a wonderful party at home.  But, because we'd already paid for our trip, we kept with our plans and went to Zion.  We just eliminated the stop in Las Vegas.  We were relieved about that because we don't really like Vegas.  Although, we'd planned to hike in Red Rock Canyon while were there.
Maybe, we'll do that another time.

Our week in Zion was wonderful.  And, our canyoneering adventure was amazing!  
My next post will be the story and photos from that day.  :-)


Michelle said...

Looking forward to the cayoneering pics! I love Zion and the last time we were there we hiked up to Angel's Landing.

thewovenspoke said...

Oh, what a wonderful week you had. I love Zion and other parts of that area. I'm so happy you guys had great time:)

Carol Cook said...

We love Zion. We stayed for a few days on a long road trip and ate at The Spotted Dog. We loved it so much that on a spring ski trip to Brian Head, we drove over an hour to go back to The Spotted Dog. It was great the next time too.

Utah is such a beautiful state. We had planned to go skiing in Utah for spring break (next week), but with Steve's shoulder replacement there is no surgery or even travel for awhile.

gilly said...

That just sounds like a perfect getaway - thanks for sharing your beautiful pics,

Magdalena said...

That must have been a great experience. I like your photos. S o I get an impression of stunning places so far away. Happy Easter for you and your family.

Kathy Inozarks said...

looks like an amazing trip-I love spring coming to life too-sometimes it happens so fast we miss it, if we take the time to watch-lovely photos

KarenB said...

I'm looking forward to your canyoneering post! Looks like it was a wonderful getaway!

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Looks like a wonderful trip. Those blue skies are gorgeous.

Vicki Boster said...

Oh my-- so very beautiful--- your pictures always are!! We love Zion too-- would so love to return there. Looks like you had a magnificent week-- love that you beat the crowds!!

Happy Easter--