Sunday, March 25, 2007

Iron, Lion, Zion

Sorry for the length of this post, but we haven't had internet access for a while. We're a couple of days behind but we'll catch up over the next few days.

After a late start (partly due to Utah being in a different time zone) we ambled into town for a coffee and supplies. Springdale is a lovely little town, a stones throw from the parks entrance,

which appears to rely on tourism for its main income. Lots of hotels, motels, cafes, tat shops and outdoor enterprises! Whilst Abi was desperately looking for a toilet (I don't know why she didn't go before we left), I popped in the deli to get lunch. $12 (£6.50) for two huge sandwiches and chips (crisps) + I couldn't resist some peanut brittle! We had a coffee before going back to the RV and heading into the park.

The first hike Abi wanted to do involved a 3.5mile walk up one of the canyon walls. Reasonable easy going, but the altitude doesn't help! It ended up at a place called the 'Upper Emerald Pool' (being a middle and a lower too). It would have been a tranquil place to have lunch, had it not been for the group of screaming kids climbing all over the place. We had to chuckle when one of them fell off a boulder & got wet (only her pride was hurt!). I'm sure Americans vocal cords develop differently to ours - they are soooo loud! Why can't people enjoy the scenery without shouting?!?! We decided to head back down another trail to avoid the masses! As you can see from the photo's we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We stopped at a small stream for lunch before proceeding down to the valley floor then walking back along side the river to the RV - quick pit stop and then off again!

We've both commented on how we feel like snails carrying our home around with us, the advantage being you don't get caught short (see first paragraph) and you can brew up whenever we like! So, here we were, in the middle of the most spectacular National Park having a cuppa and a fudge brownie! Makes us feel like pensioners at the seaside :-)

After a brief rest we drove to the end of the Park and hiked another 2miles to the narrowest part of the canyon. We passed lots of returning river walkers - you can hire all the relevant waterproof boots / trousers etc that enable you to walk up the river in waist high water. It looks interesting and after hearing how easy it was, perhaps we should have given it a go. We saw quite a few squirrels on the way back & several deer (Abi thinks they are different as their ears are bigger!!) but that was about it! There are some coyote's around too, but I'm assuming they heard me 'plodding' up the slope & disappeared!

After a short drive back into town & hooking up the RV we walked into town proper for some dinner. We ended up in the Pioneer Lodge - fantastic burgers & an awesome cheesecake (also free Internet access was a bonus as we couldn't connect at the RV Park). What makes me smile is the level of service people expect here (and the size of the tip, 15 - 20%!!). The servers (can't call them waitresses) are very attentive and quick. However, last night I had finished my meal before Abi, the server took my plate away and asked whether we'd like a dessert!! You should have seen Abi's face, it was a picture - I decided to wait until she'd finished before making my selection!

Tomorrow we are off to Bryce Canyon & Calf Creek Falls, Abi wants to hike to a waterfall, but this means that we will have to boon-dock (camp in the wild) without power or water - sounds like fun!!

We have been on the road for a week now and we are enjoying every minute of it, it's been a wonderful experience and a great way to see the States. We are picking up on the RV 'lingo' and getting into the lifestyle, so I thought it was about time that we shared our new found knowledge with you ....

What types of motor home are there?

CLASS A - the big rigs, like buses.

- the vans, think 'the A Team'.

- like ours.

FIFTH WHEEL - like caravans, only bigger and the hook into the bed of a pickup.

- like conventional caravans, but on the large side!

Then there are the PICKUPS with the small caravan type unit on the bed of the pickup (generally with the 'over cab' section).

Some other terminology we've picked up includes: PULL THROUGH - Where you can drive in & out of your camping spot (no reversing required).HOOK UP - this is a phrase which has many different meanings, in the RV world this refers to the utilities you connect when you park in the camp. These include water, electricity, sewage outlet & cable TV.

Our motor home is 35ft long and 10ft wide, this is probably the largest CLASS C type motor home available. It has a 50gal fuel tank, 40gal fresh water tank, 40gal grey water holding tank (washing & shower water) & a 30gal water tank (number 1's & 2's). We have 2 batteries for electrical supply and a generator for boon-docking (see previous post!). Inside we have a standard double bed at the rear with 2 small wardrobes & under bed storage, further forward is shower, toilet & wash basin. In the main living area we have lots more storage, gas powered fridge, 2 sinks, a convection microwave oven & a 3 burner hob. We also have an air conditioning unit in the roof, heating and an extractor fan. We have a table & 2 benches which convert to a small double bed, another 3 seater bench which converts into a single bed and a double bed over the cab - apparently, some of the large CLASS A motor homes have flat screen tv's and hot-tubs!

That's about it for now - I'm off to rub deep heat into my aching muscles! More to come tomorrow x

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