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Zion National Park, Southern Utah
In the afternoon we drove over to Zion National Park and again consulted with the rangers. The drive into Zion is as gorgeous as the park itself. Once in the park a shuttle bus takes visitors down into the main canyon that is now closed to auto traffic due to the impossibility of thousands of cars all fitting onto the one road. Only visitors headed for the lodge may bring their vehicles. The shuttle has lots of places you can be dropped off to hike or spend time. It is a looking up experience.
On our way out of the park we pulled over because we spotted a mountain goat posing atop a high rock formation. Other cars quickly caught on and pulled over for the show, which lasted a good 15 minutes. Further along the same road we were treated by seeing a group of mountain goats picking their way nimbly along the rocks right beside the road and jumping in the road at times. Many pictures and videos were made. Much fun. A great end to a fantastic day. Again, we are so blessed to have such national treasures.
We planned to tour four national parks in Southern Utah before lighting in the Prescott, Arizona area where Frank was set to share his music the following Friday. First we situated ourselves In a charming, if not remote, campground run by the Lutheran Church. Quite by accident we discovered Lutherwood and loved our stay there - two miles down a gravel road in the beautiful hills of Southwestern Utah. Deer and cattle were all around us and the stars at night were astounding.
Bryce Canyon is a short drive from Lutherwood. It is a canyon fairyland that you view from high atop a long mountain ridge. The park rangers are so helpful at orienting visitors. We saw the sights, without spending time to hike down in and around the canyon in one full morning.
Redwood National Park
An easy drive from Crater Lake in Oregon to Redwood National Park in Northern California, we were awed by the height and size of the trees along the highway. Redwood is actually a cooperative effort between the Federal and State governments and you will see both state and national park rangers throughout your visit.
Once inside the actual park and walking through it, we were again so grateful for all the people who have put so much effort into, preserving it for posterity. Lady Bird Johnson was one of these people. A loop hike named in her honor was an easy hour acquaintance with the giant trees as Frank read a self guided tour booklet while we passed through the forest. All warnings about bears being active in the area aside, we thoroughly enjoyed the park, including the Visitor Center, situated at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.