Monday, September 3, 2007

Road Trip - Zion National Park

Our three week road trip is underway. We got an early (well, early for us) start and sped up the I15 toward Las Vegas. Thank god for air conditioning, as the "World's Largest" thermometer in Baker was reading 103 as we blew past on our way to Zion National Park.

It has been a while (more like a decade) since either one of us had been to Zion. Since then, the park service has added a shuttle system that goes up and down the valley. You can't drive in the upper part of the park unless you have a special permit. That was fine with us, as the shuttles were very convenient, ran every 6 minutes, and stopped near our campsite. And they provide photography opportunities for the lazy, this one taken through one of the sun roof openings.

We arrived with enough time to do a quick jaunt up to
Weeping Rock, so named for the constant runoff down the rock face.

Dinner was a curry that we have been making for years. It is a reverse-engineered version of the Chicken Pathia we used to get from Indian take-aways in Edinburgh when we lived there. It worked well for camping, as we had the curry base sauce (some of which we almost always have in our freezer) pre-made.

We just needed to heat up the sauce, add the Pathia-specific seasonings, cook up some rice (without a rice cooker, no less - bringing long lost skills into play), and serve.

Post-dinner, it was time for drinks. On this occasion, we chose to go comfort style, and broke out a bottle of Jameson by candle lantern light.

Which in turn, resulted in smiles by candle lantern light.

That night we had a beautiful full moon. The moon was bright enough that we were able to do a night hike without any other source of light. When we got up for a middle of the night pitstop, however, the scene was very different. It was pitch black, and the stars were amazing. Then we saw the moon. It turns out that the complete darkness was courtesy of a full lunar eclipse. We weren't able to get a picture, but we found this one later in the Grand Junction Free Press.

The next morning, we got a leisurely start, and made a stove top frittata.

We brought a par-cooked potato along with us to make this easier. Swiss chard and goat cheese round out the dish.

After breakfast, we did a nice, but hot hike up the Watchman trail, ending up at top of the rock outcrop below (the bottom outcrop, not the top - we weren't being *that* motivated...)

Dinner that night was Beef Fajitas. We had some steak in the cooler that we had started marinating before the trip. We cooked up some peppers and onions:

and finished it off with black beans and guacamole.

Next stop, Bryce Canyon...

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