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After spending two nights of freezing temperatures in the low twenties, I headed south to lower altitudes and warmer weather in a place everyone knows – Zion National Park. Nothing about this park is like I remember it, and it has become so commercialized it’s not even near one of my favorites. Even on the last day of October, the crowds are awful. I can only imagine what it would be like on a summer weekend. 

Like Bryce Canyon NP, Zion has a huge city just outside it’s gate with miles of gift shops, motels and resturants. Most days in the summer you can’t even find parking in the park and shuttle buses are the only way to enter. Even the road through the canyon is only accessable by shuttle in the summer. 

I found a BLM site just outside the park where I will stay for a couple of days.  From there i will drive into the park to hike some of the trails and read about the history. 
 

 
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Last night I camped at a primitive BLM campground outside of Capital Reef NP in the Dixie Nat’l Forest. This morning I drove through some of the most extreem country I have ever seen. The road to Bryce from follows the ridge of a mountain for a few miles between Boulder and Escalante, UT known as the Devils Backbone. The road is on top of the ridge, no guardrails, and 1000 ft straight down on BOTH sides. It even unerved me a little.

Tonight I am staying at Bryce. I will do some hiking tomorrow and catch up on cleaning. Outside of the park is all built up with all sorts of touristry things. I found a laundry and also an honest to goodness shower place- not that I need it or anything;)

 
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You’re right Mom, you can bathe in small amounts of water if you have to. I boil about two quarts and add another quart of cold water and it’s plenty for my shower. I have not found a National Park with showers yet. When Daryl, Karen and I were in Kings Canyon, they had showers for pay.

When I left, Daryl and I were kidding around about the show Then Came Bronson and I thought it would be cute to see how many people are old enough to remember it. I liked the nomad style of Cain in Kung Fu, but I couldn’t see myself walking barefoot and karate chopping bad guys.

I will hang around Capital Reef today and look for a hiking trail. I may try to gather some wood for a fire, yesterday I paid $12 for wood that lasted two hours. I won’t do that again.

 
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I’m at a place called Natural Bridges National Monument. It’s so neat to show this card and get in free. I’m really getting my moneys worth. There are a few campers here but only one tent that I saw. It will be another cold night tonight. 

Tomorrow I may hike down to one of the bridge formations if it’s not too cold. Then I will try to get into one of the free campground near Capital Reef; there are many listed in my guide book. 

Two days ago I was doing laundry in Moab and I noticed that Secratariet was playing across the street at the movie house. It was a really good movie. And don’t worry, I have figured out how to take a bath/shower in my van. I won’t go into details, but it’s very efficient and effective. I come out smelling like a rose. 

 
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Published on October 26, 2010, by admin in Adventure.

10.24.10

There was some pretty bad weather last night. It was the first time I made a campfire since leaving Phoenix, and I realized it was mistake soon after it blazed to life. Usually, the wind will die down after the sun sets, but it picked up and swirled with increasing force through the night.  The fire sent sparks in all directions and chased me with smoke wherever I sat.  On top of that, I cut my finger trying to use a screwdriver and vicegrip to split wood. I need to get a hatchet.   

Along about midnight, there came a driving rain that sounded like hail on my van roof.  I was snug and safe in my vehicle but campers in tents had a rough night. I talked with one tent camper that said sand blew through the mesh of his tent and coated everything with a fine layer.

I’m at Canyonlands NP today. I will hike some tomorrow when I have more time. The air is still cold but the sun is out. The forcast for the next few days looks pretty good.  Cell service is really bad in these parks.     

10.26.10

I hiked about 5 miles today to a place called Lost Canyon. It is no wonder Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used these canyons to escape and hide out from the law, they are like a maze for miles and miles. I’m headed for Capital Reef NP today.

 

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