30th July 2015

Thursday, July 30 - Monday, August 3, 2015: Nationalparks.... one more beautiful than the other

Once again, I had a good nose for the camping ground, which I had chosen just because of the good location: not expensive (the first to make a reduction because I am alone), clean, green grass to put the tent on plus a shady tree - besides the usual table / bench / fire ring. Without long thinking about  I booked for 5 nights right away as I could drive easily from there to the surrounding national parks it would take Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. On the drive to buy some food - this time only 4 miles away - even a German bakery what means the first nice dark bread since I left home. Just right for the planned hikes. The next morning, an early start as I wanted to avoid the announced heat. The "Observation Point" in Zion National Park was on the plan; early in the morning at 6 with the motorcycle around 50km to the National Park, changed clothes and then by shuttle bus to the beginning of the trail. Luckily there was again another hiker - an American teacher - and so we went up the 4 miles and 700 meters together. He was quite a glad that I was there, he had a slight fear of heights. The effort was worth it, the views of the canyon was breathtaking. Plus – completely extraordinary - walking all the time in the sand. Imagine that: you're at 2500 meters and it looks like on the beach.


The next day - August 1 and therefore Swiss national day, including mounted flag at the motorcycle mounted - I again got on my way early in the morning, direction to the Grand Canyon. "only" to the North Rim, as this northern viewpoint was only 160km away. Early in the morning this time not because of the heat but because of the announced thunderstorms. In addition, in the morning all these spots are far less crowded than later on. The trip was worth it in any case, the view down the Canyon was really extremely impressive. Walking down was out of the question as it would take two days. So after shooting the obligatory photos – just in time before the rainstorm started- and back towards Glendale. Since I started relatively early and my bike clothes thanks to the temperatures quickly dried up again (I was stupid enough to leave my rainsuit in the tent!!), I decided to drive a little extra round, means a really nice dirt road of about 50km. The scenery super, thank God no oncoming traffic – because of the drought you would drive afterwards for minutes in a red cloud of dust.  However Suzy Blue was not blue anymore but red powdered afterwards. But anyway, it was fun and I have to be prepared in case the road conditions are no longer quite as perfect once I will come to the southern countries.

Day 3 of my National Park Round: Bryce Canyon was to be explored. Unfortunately again thunderstorms were announced for the afternoon. Means no way of sleeping long but again I started in time (about 60km of driving), change clothes and off we went to the Fairy Ground Trail, a round trip of more than 15km, but with only a little difference in elevation. Should not be a problem, to get through before the storm. The rock formations in Bryce Canyon again a completely different world - I go slow the superlatives! Hiking is possible - or at least by me- open-mouthed. What was the set in advance? "Should not be a problem"; Well, only the storm did not keep on the weather forecast. About 3km before the trail end it started to dribble.


Little Judith therefore speeded up to win time. Which brings me our dad to my mind; when he was hiking with us, "Seeberger women", he had often meant: "Have you stolen something that you have to run like that"? But hey, that’s just our pace. I had to smile; this situation would be exactly have been a moment for his remark. But so I made it back to the motorcycle just in time before the storm went really off. Only that this time I had cleverly even the rain gear with me. Back in my tent I was exhausted as I did not make any rest or eat something. So I spent the rest of the day taking a nap and have my lunch break. Now that’s a nice way of living – isn’t it?

Day 4 of my National Park Round - means today – I headed once again back to Zion National Park. Famous, among other things because of the narrow gorge through which the little river Virgin has carved it’s remarkable way. One can - and it’s highly recommend with rented neoprene socks and water-boots – walk up the river and see how the canyon becomes increasingly close and marvel at the incredible traces of time. But see for yourself!

I was glad I was already on the way back at 11 clock. This hike to the "Narrows" belongs to the most popular destinations in Zion. True crowds came along, they all trying to avoid getting wet. I had made up my mind in return, not to leave the river until the beginning of the walk - not a problem, except that in the end I had to make a break on the sandy beach of the river. "had to" because I was wet up to the navel. But as I had the bikini on underneath I easily could take pants / T-shirt off and let it dry in the sun. 

Today again I was back early, so once more I took a gravel road to the “backyards”. Namely through the valley “Johnson Canyon” where all the famous Western with John Wayne and Co. had been filmed. Of the former Western city was not much left, but I could well imagine the sudden appearance of a horde of Apaches on the hilltops ;-). And shooting apparently still common, at least indicating the battered signs on the roadside!! 




Tomorrow I will head towards Lake Powell and Monument Valley before slowly but surely approaching the Mexican border - and then my journey will take on a completely different "coloring": different language, different cultures ... I am really excited about that.

But not anticipate; first it is again enjoying a few days the natural beauty of Utah and Arizona (and ev. New Mexico). And possibly also make a trip to the Navajo Indians and learn something about their culture.