Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Leaving Grand, Heading for Zion. What a long strange trip.....

Hi everyone,

Time to move on to Zion National Park.  We survived our first leg of the camping experience – rain and vicious elk aside.  I wanted us to get a quick move on.  It’s a 5 hour drive to Zion and we have two food places to stop at along the way. But no, my husband and I are barely aided by our two lovely yet lazy children.  All this despite the fact that I told them they weren’t getting breakfast until about an hour into our drive.  I don’t get it.  We were up at 6:30 and didn’t leave until about 9:00.  It doesn’t take 2 and ½ hours to get dressed, take down a tent, fold cots, unload the car and reload the car – am I right?

We continued on to Cameron for our breakfast.  We put the address into our GPS and it kept saying we wouldn’t be there until around 11am, despite my Google maps assurance that we were only an hour away.  Just as we were approaching Cameron, the strangest thing happened.  We traveled forward in time a whole hour.  We were still in Mountain time, though. What cosmic wormhole did we slip through?  Apparently Arizona is a bit weird.  The people at the Grand Canyon assured us that we were in Mountain time when we noticed that their time didn’t change from the Pacific time we came from in Las Vegas.  We were told that they don’t subscribe to the Daylight Savings adjustment so they are the same as Pacific time for half the year.  However, part of the state obviously does believe in this country-wide adjustment since we were suddenly catapulted into the future – which only made the kids hungrier.

If I can say something about Navajo tacos.  I’m sure the Cameron Trading Post does a great job of making them.  I just don’t like them.  First of all, I’ve never eaten so many beans in my life. Ugh.  And the little ditty is true, let me tell you.  Second, the portions are so huge that even though my husband and I ordered the Mini Navajo tacos, two to three people could have eaten each one. My kids didn’t want the tacos so I let them each get the Navajo fry bread.  Again, they could have shared just one portion.  My daughter loved it.  No kidding.  These things are nothing more than the same fried dough you get at the state fair.  The shape is different but the taste is the same.  My son didn’t like it and he wasn’t feeling well.  I have to remember to buy some Dramamine (sp?) for him and me.  These longer trips are hard on both of our gentle constitutions.

After our less than stellar experience for breakfast, we continued on toward Kanab to our next stop.  Okay, here’s where I get totally confused and a little pissed. I had our way mapped to Zion.  However, you can take a slightly more Eastern and Northern route that meets up in Kanab like my original way.  I’m not sure why my husband chose the other way but after 20 miles or so, I start seeing signs for Lake Powell and the place I originally had us staying before I rerouted us to Salt Lake City because I had confused which state it was in.  And here we are passing it!! With a few changes, we could have actually visited and stayed.  BUT, it wouldn’t have been on my birthday which I’m insisting on as a day of rest. Or at least a day of no camping.  So I’m still pleased with my change but baffled none-the-less by my inability to plan how to get here from there.

We made it to Kanab in record time.  Everyone was a bit hungry and looking forward to Nedra’s Too for machacas and chicken chimichangas.  Considering we had no idea what machacas was, I was impressed that my kids were getting excited to try it.  We pull into Nedra’s parking lot and it was looking strangely empty.  In fact, Nedra’s Too is closed on Wednesdays.  Wednesdays?  I do plan on checking to see if there are any special Mormon edicts that Mexican restaurants in Kanab should be closed on Wednesdays because nothing else makes sense.  We were all disappointed, especially since Cameron was a bust.  I noticed a sign for Prickly Pear frozen yogurt and all of a sudden my kids decided that’s all they were hungry for.  We drove up and went in to the Prickly Pear Frozen Yogurt and Art Museum.  I kid you not.  Two great tastes that taste great together – yogurt and art.  One is good for the gut and one is good for the soul.  I like that – and it keeps you guessing as to which is good for which.  Maybe I’ll mail them my idea.  BUT, wouldn’t you know it.  They don’t have prickly pear yogurt.  It’s just a name.  They do have banana pudding yogurt, birthday cake yogurt, pomegranate yogurt and white chocolate yogurt.  Who owns this place? Well, we actually met the owner’s mother who was in from Georgia to help out her son. Normally this time of year she and her husband are in France at their chateau where they run some type of logging business.  They have people who do most of the managing for them. I’m not sure I believe all this.  Maybe it’s something she tells herself to feel better about being in Kanab, Utah.  I don’t know.

My husband insisted on some actual food for himself so we stopped at the Big Al’s burger and shake shop.  He had a green chile burrito because that’s what you order at a burger shop in Kanab, UT.  We all tasted it and it was really good.  So if you’re ever in Kanab on a Wednesday, I highly recommend Big Al’s.

Finally we made it to Zion National Park.  If you can, approach from the east so you can drive down the Zion-Mount Carmel highway. (I need to check on the name for that)  It’s a glorious ride in with breath-taking scenery.  Zion is a beautiful park.  Unlike the Grand Canyon where you’re up top looking in, Zion rises up all around you.  I’ll be adding pictures later for you to see.

I’ll be telling you more about Zion tomorrow.  Let me just end by saying that we finished our day at The Whiptail Grille as scheduled.  It was the best meal of the trip so far.  We had the goat cheese chili relleno as an appetizer.  It was to die for.  Crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside with a wonderful goat cheese filling.  They were out of the spaghetti squash enchiladas which was par for the course for today.  But dinner was still delicious. The kids had fish tacos which they liked.  Although, much to my husband’s delight, they told him they liked his better.  My husband and I had the chicken chipotle enchiladas.  I’m allergic to cilantro so they made it with a different sauce especially for me.  I like that in a restaurant.  The place was super casual.  We ate outside in our shorts and t-shirts and were right at home.

Tomorrow – Zion – the most visitor-friendly place I’ve ever seen.  Plus the difference between a National Park campground and a privately owned one.