Camping in Zion–Watchman

On January 1 of this year, we were hanging out at my parents’ house and thinking about the coming year. We decided that we would like to visit Utah, and I reserved two nights at the Watchman Campground in Zion that day. I looked up the average night temps, and April didn’t seem too cold. Fast forward to a couple of weeks before our trip, and I was scared to see that the forecast was for 27 degrees at night, with some predictions of rain/high winds. Eek! The predictions of rain/high wind eventually disappeared, but it was still supposed to get pretty frigid at night. It didn’t help that some of D’s co-workers told him about their weather-related camping horror stories. However, we were determined, and D managed to obtain our CX-5 just in time, so off we went Friday morning.

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D is both a walking and driving advertisement for Mazda. I think he should receive some sort of commission. 🙂

It took us 7 hours to reach Zion. Snacks, DVDs and our ipod made the ride tolerable. k made a wheat thin in the shape of Utah (shown backwards).
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We set up camp first thing. The lots are not that spacious, but you can’t beat that view. (I don’t think I would enjoy camping there when it’s hot, because there is not a lot of shade).
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Next we hopped on the Zion shuttle (mandatory from April 1-through summer) and took a short hike to Weeping Rock. (.5 mile RT).
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n fell asleep on the shuttle…
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…so D had to carry him up the hill. Good thing n is a light-weight.
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It is difficult to see, but there is water constantly trickling from the rock, and the hike ends in an alcove behind the water.
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Another angle:
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It is a good hike for kids, but I wouldn’t recommend strollers (as we saw some people attempting).

We ate dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle Company.

We ordered a Combo Man Pizza–Tomato sauce, pepperoni, black olives, onions, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, mozzarella & cheddar cheeses
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and Pasta #1–Grilled chicken, broccoli, carrots, fresh cream, cheese and penne pasta.
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The pasta was surprisingly tasty–the sauce was light and flavorful, not too salty or heavy. The pizza was OK–the crust was too soggy for our taste and for some reason we didn’t think about the fact that D is really the only one in our family who likes olives.

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We visited the store next to the restaurant and came upon this cute shy resident dog:
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Afterward we walked for a bit in Springdale, the quaint little town just outside of the park. It is easy to navigate because everything is located on one street: Zion Park Blvd.

We stopped by the Bumbleberry Inn and shared one slice of bumbleberry pie.
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According to our trusted source, Wikipedia: “Bumbleberry pie, sometimes spelled bumble berry pie, is a pie made of at least three kinds of berries, but generally refers to a mixed-berry pie as there is no such berry as “bumbleberry”. This pie often contains apple or rhubarb. Berries commonly used in this pie may include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. Bumbleberry pie originated in the United States, likely by pioneers.”

However, I like the definition on the Bumbleberry Inn’s website better: “According to Grandpa, bumbleberries are burple and binkel berries that grow on giggle bushes, so named because they giggle when the berries ripen and the bush begins to quake, and at the precise moment that they ripen, they giggle. If you were to eat a berry while it was giggling, you would spend the rest of your life giggling!”

Despite this discrepancy in definitions, the bumbleberry pie was good (and I didn’t taste any rhubarb, which is a good thing, because I am not a big fan of rhubarb).
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With our stomachs full of food, we headed back to the campsite, bundled up for the night and managed to keep relatively warm despite the temperature supposedly being in the 30’s. The wind did kick up some during the night, but our trusty REI Basecamp 4 passed the test and we did not end up having to sleep in the CX-5.

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