Saturday, August 8, 2015

Seeing an Old Friend, Making a New Friend at Zion

It's a little masochistic to visit the fabulously scenic Zion National Park on a picture-perfect Saturday in mid-August with all the crowds of tourists filling the place and packing the entrance lines..

But when my ol' Florida pal and former running mate Mike Melton says he's going to be there, I make it a priority to blast the 175 miles from Vegas to get to Zion.

I got there a little earlier than Mike, who had to follow the torturous routine of waiting on line to pay for the 15 bucks to go through the walk-through entrance, then wait some more to get a shuttle bus to check out the Narrows, that signature last stop in the popular national park that is shattering attendance records this year.

Meanwhile, I was bicycling on the section of park roadway that is off-limits to cars and allows only shuttle buses and guests at the Zion Lodge.

I wrote about bicycling Zion in May and it was tremendous to see the park in full bloom with flowers and guests from around the world visiting in the middle of summer.

While cycling, I caught up with a fellow bicyclist named Dan from nearby St. George, who told me that he once spent all day biking the three-mile switchback road 22 times back when he was a lot younger.

Here he is, biking with me on the Zion Canyon road that leads to the Zion Lodge and Narrows.

Later, I met Mike at the Narrows and we chatted some and then we caught back up at the Lodge, which had a power outage and we decided to head back into Springdale for a late 3 p.m.lunch at Oscar's.

Mike was duly impressed with the scenery in Zion.

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