With the car loaded up and the child strapped in, we set off for the next step in our journey… Walmart. This was necessary because we’d forgotten earlier to get me or Zoe a hat for the hiking, and with the sun beating down as it does when you’re in the mountains, it was going to be necessary. And then… well, then a stop at Denny’s. Then Zion.
Actually only technically Zion. There’s another park in the northwest corner that was merged, as it’s technically part of the same canyon system, but this area is called Kolob. This was neat, in part because it’s mostly a scenic drive so I could get pictures without lengthy hiking, but also because the name inspired a location in Battlestar Galactica: the planet Kobol. BSG’s original writers were heavily influenced by a Mormon producer, so a great deal of the mythology comes from the Mormon mythology, including Kolob, which is said to be the home of god (treated similarly on Kobol). So that was a nice pop culture moment for me.
Anyway, THEN we did the drive down to our lodge near Zion. The entrance to Zion is a long stretch of road, cutting down the middle of a handful of tourist towns. The last one, and the largest one, is called Springdale. There are all sorts of smallish inns and bed and breakfasts and lodges, and ours was the absolute last lodge before the entrance. No I mean literally, you turn right out of its entrance and within 50 yards you’re showing the lady in the booth your entrance pass. Which was cool.
The lodge was called the Cable Mountain Lodge, and we’d opted to spend a little extra cash on one of the suites there. It turned out to be HUGELY worth it: it was large enough to be a single bedroom apartment and incredibly comfortable. Well equipped too, with two TVs, a sofabed, a kitched stocked with dishes and cookware and a fridge and all, an excellent little balcony, I could go on. It was great… and yet not actually all that expensive (comparatively). Plus we were in the back corner for maximum privacy, though that also meant our view was of a huge dirt mound. No matter. We spent the rest of Thursday evening working out our dinner situation and relaxing. We had to be up pretty early to get to hiking before the sun became brutal.