Leaving Bryce Canyon on Saturday, we headed south toward Zion National Park and the last leg of our trip. Our first stop for the day was to be in Glendale, on UT 89 a little to the north of Mt. Carmel Junction and the road leading into Zion. In Glendale is a junkyard with all kinds of cool old cars and trucks. It's a place that is a popular stopping point when traveling through this area, especially for photographers. Following are some of the shots made while wandering around this place.
After leaving Glendale, our next stop was for lunch at the Thunderbird Restaurant at Mt. Carmel Junction. The Thunderbird was built in 1940 by Jack and Fern Morrison. However, Fern, who was known for her baking skills, had been baking and selling pies to truck drivers from a lean-to at this location for years before that. Although Jack and Fern have long since passed, the restaurant, now owned and operated by their grandchildren, continues to serve up home-cooked meals and pies. In fact, the sign outside reads "Home of the Ho-Made Pies". The story goes that Jack had to shorten the word 'homemade' in order to fit it on the small sign, and it has remained that way ever since.
After lunch, we had planned a trip into a slot canyon south of Mt. Carmel Junction before making our way into Zion. A slot canyon is basically a narrow passage, or canyon, in the rock that is formed by the wear of water and wind erosion. After piling into a four-wheel-drive truck to carry us down the trail through the deep desert sands, we arrived at the opening for Peek-a-Boo Canyon. Hiking into these canyons is an interesting experience. It is like a narrow hallway with a sandy floor, with towering sandstone walls on either side. In some parts of the canyon, the sky is not visible due to the narrow and sloping walls overhead. I can only imagine what it must be like being caught in one of these canyons during a flash flood.
After making our way back out of the canyon and to our 4x4 shuttle, our next stop was in Springdale, where we would be spending the next couple of nights. The national parks were still closed, but we had to drive through Zion in order to get to Springdale. We were warned before entering that the park was closed and that stopping was forbidden. As if that wasn't bad enough, stopping in the park could result in a $200 fine. This was my first time to Zion, and although I only got to see it from the road, the scenery was spectacular. I look forward to a return visit some day when the park is open!