Our first backroads adventure: Zion, the finale.

Road into Zion from I-15 in the West near the Kolob Creek Visitors Center.

We did not know it then, but 1997 was a great time to visit Zion National Park.  We were able to drive into the park.  It was not crowded on the trails, and at points, we were even able to relish a quiet spot.

I think those days are gone.  On our more recent visits, long lines of cars approach from nearby Las Vegas.  One is required to park at the visitors’ center and take a tram into the park itself.  We found no quiet spots.

If you haven’t been there, however, you should still visit.  The trails each have a unique characteristic, and the geology is still very special.

After leaving Bryce Canyon, we spent a night at the Perry Inn in Kanab which had hosted numerous early movie stars staying there to make “westerns.” We ate at the Houston’s Trails End Restaurant which had good food and an interesting mobile catering business serving forest fire fighters all over the west.

Then we moved on to Zion.  At the time, it had roads paved with red gravel which blended in with the canyon walls.  We encountered smoke from lightning-caused fires on the way into the park, but it did not spoil our visit.  Weeping Rock was decorated with many spring flowers.  Alie made it up the “easy” trail to Emerald Pools despite an RA flare in her hip.  But, the most endangered species in the park on a weekend was a parking spot. It took some driving around just to find one.

We thought we would try one last dirt road and drove from Virgin, Utah over the plateau to the Kolob reservoir.  Then, however, we were warned the road would become muddy and was possibly blocked by the fires, so we didn’t try to continue to Cedar City, Utah.  Instead, we back-tracked to the main road much to Alie’s disappointment,

Click on photos to enlarge

Date of our visit: 17 May 1997

The finale?

We are grateful to be able to look back to so many wonderful travel adventures in our lives.  At the moment, however, mobility issues require we now find our “adventures” closer to home.

Originally written for family and friends, it amazes me this blog has so many “followers.”  I know most of those people click “follow” and do nothing else in the hope that their gesture will be reciprocated, especially those seeking income from their blogs.  However, I am even more amazed by those whom I have never met that are regular readers.  I feel like I have come to know you.  It is rather like the “pen pals” of my youth.

For those of you who do read RalieTravels regularly, I will not be writing for a while.  I do not know when I will resume, but I am confident we will resume our travels at some point, and I look forward to writing about them again.


About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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20 Responses to Our first backroads adventure: Zion, the finale.

  1. Thx for your wonderful blogposts. All the best – and keep on writing. Greetings from Germany!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. leggypeggy says:

    We visited Zion in a shoulder season so luckily it wasn’t overrun by tourists. Here’s hoping you enjoy your break.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave Ply says:

    It’s tough to write about travel when you’re not traveling. Hopefully, you can still get out for some adventuring, even if it is simpler and closer to home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ross says:

    Thanks for sharing your travel experiences. Sorry to hear you are taking some time off, but you earned it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The mountains are extraordinary, in both colour and form. Stunning stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pit says:

    Looking forward to reading from you again – whenever you feel like it. Meanwhile: take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JohnRH says:

    Ahh. Those were the days!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We are lucky, Ray, and we know it, that we can still travel.But we also recognize that we are at an age that who knows what tomorrow will bring. That’s why we are full-timing it now, filling up our reservoir of memories, so to speak. But I know you agree, those memories are ever so valuable. Your posts will be missed, for sure. Hopefully you will be able to get back to them.
    Our recent stop at Zion matched yours as far as the crowds in the Canyon were concerned, but they disappeared as soon as we started exploring other sections of the park. We were staying in Virgin so we had to head up the Kolob road toward the reservoir. I’ll post photos when I get to it. I’ve got one more post on Death Valley and then I’ll be to Zion. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      Looking forward to your posts, Curt. Until we can get on the road again ourselves, I always live vicariously through travel programs on TV and posts such as yours.
      We too consider ourselves lucky; so many places we see on those programs are places we have visited ourselves.


      • Whenever I want to return to one, all I do is jump into my photo archives, Ray. Or one of my old blogs. 🙂 There are over a thousand. For the past 20 years plus, I also have my journal. In fact the journal works great for remembering where I was when I took a particular photo.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed reliving your adventuresome travels through the Southwest with you. It’s a wonder-filled part of the country and the landscape will indelibly sear itself into our psyches.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Priti says:

    So gorgeous photos! Looking excellent place. Well shared with beautiful description 👍🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sue Slaght says:

    Ray we took some time from our blog recently and it has us re-enthused. Wishing you both all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your pictures are gorgeous! This is the first trip we plan to take as soon as my husband retires next year.

    Liked by 1 person

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