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Emerald Pools at Zion

It is decided: Zion is a favorite spot of ours. We’ll be back. Terrific desert weather, greenery, wildlife, beautiful scenery, peace and quiet thanks to the shuttle bus system, and thanks to good cell phone coverage, I can work from here too!

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Today we decided to hike the Emerald Pool trails: Lower, Upper, and Middle, in that order. The total hiking distance was about 4 miles, which is average for us and well below Emma’s tolerance level of about six miles. Fabulous hikes! Scenery that you just can’t believe. The photos don’t do justice to the beauty of this place.

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The Upper Emerald pool is not emerald-colored at all, but it is a tranquil and lovely spot at the end of a hot hike. Technically, no swimming is allowed, but the sign didn’t say “no wading,” so we did and cooled off nicely.

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The Middle Emerald trail offers fantastic views and crosses over the top of the Lower Emerald Trail. Water from the sandstone drips down constantly to make small waterfalls.

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There’s a lot to do in Zion besides hiking. For example, you can rent horses for trail rides, which seems like a fine idea. I think they organize these from the Zion Inn, which is midway up the canyon. The Inn looks like a fine place to spend a few days if you don’t have an Airstream. 😉

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Bicycling is possible on the riverside Pah’rus Trail for a few miles, and there’s a museum right up from the campground too. In the town of Springdale, just outside the park gates, there is a giant screen movie theater and the usual artsy shopping, restaurants, and outfitters to browse too.

We got back around 3:30 and took the shuttle into Springdale to try the local pizza joint. We’ve been guzzling huge amounts of fluids due to the dry air and high temperatures (well into the 90s again today), so it was nice that the pizza place has a free refill policy. After some browsing in town and at the Visitor Center, we headed back home to the Airstream to shower and settle in …. and then a knock came on the door from surprise visitors Trish and Doug!

Turns out Doug has been following our blog for months, and since they live in nearby Kanab, they decided to look us up while camping in Zion for a couple of nights. They have a Casita 17-footer, which is very similar to the Airstream Caravel we started with two years ago, and they have a lovely 7-year-old daughter named Hope. Emma and Hope took off on their bicycles, and played checkers, and the adults spent the evening talking about everything, until 10:30. What a nice bonus!

Meeting people like Trish and Doug is a big part of the reason we travel like this. They’re wonderful people, full of ideas and enthusiasm, and we’re glad to know them. They’re not the only people we’ve met this weekend, either. Yesterday we met a couple from Essex NY (near our home town) who winter in Tucson AZ, and we plan to look them up later this summer when we are back east. You meet the most interesting people in National Parks. This has been the most enjoyable weekend we’ve had in a while.

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