Oct. 20-28 2018

Hang on to your bipfocals, because we're exploring UT 9 in hairy detail!

UT 9 here is also known as Zion-Mount Carmel Highway.

We may be pretty close to Checkerboard Mesa. When I discovered that, it took me back to my childhood when I noticed a checkerboard square logo on the back of my dog's metal tag.

It's a truism that UT 9 parallels Pine Creek through here.

This tunnel is a pre-bubbling of what's to come, so stay with me!

Through the tunnel!

UT 9 again!

UT 9 again and again!

This is one of the best road features on this trip! Come along for the ride!

This has to be the darkest road tunnel I've ever seen. But it does have occasional windows on the side. The 1.1-mile long tunnel was completed in 1930. An official website says large vehicles require an escort "by friendly NPS rangers" and have other travel restrictions. Bicyclists may arrange for a shuttle.

Stunning scenery awaits at the other end of the tunnel!

What about the park itself? Zion National Park was established in 1919. The area has had human settlement since around 6000 B.C. The park spans everything from forest to desert. The area was once Mukuntuweap National Monument.

The Tim Tent - a regular on my roadtrips since 2011 - conquers the campsite at Zion! This is called Watchman Campground - like the Sony Watchman. ("It's a TV!") In 2019, one of the many government shutdowns of the era led to a theft at this campground. A man entered the campground, destroyed a light, and stole money from the fee dropbox. Nobody knows how much money was stolen, because the government shutdown meant the park could not accurately track fees or the number of visitors.

This sign talks about Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which we used earlier.

This deer appears to be grazing on the grass!

More deer!

Another foraging deer scene!

The campground is right on the edge of the park, and one may stroll right over to the town of Springdale. This is UT 9 in Springdale.

Our mandatory Sesame Street reference: This restaurant in Springdale is called...Oscar's Café!

This may be Wonderland Road in Springdale.

Some Zion scenery.

I think this was on that trail where I was the only visitor out of perhaps hundreds I saw who couldn't make it to the end. Steak is for teeth people, stairs are for knee people, and the beautiful trails at Zion are for breathing people.

Possibly on the same trail, but I'm not sure.

More great Zion scenery.

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