Zion National Park has two campgrounds suitable for RVs and travel trailers. Watchman accepts reservations and is booked up from last month to October; the other (South) is first-come, first-served. The Park Service website warns that reservations are advised, but I am too Mediterranean to plan that far ahead.
Kat learned from FreeCampsites.net that people routinely park their rigs on Lions Blvd in Springdale, UT, a mile from the entrance gate. We got to Zion in mid-afternoon but figured we’d avail ourselves of the park’s free water and dump station while scouting the campground — maybe someone left early. The ranger at the gate told us we had no chance unless we appeared by 9:30 a.m., which struck me as odd since checkout is 11:00. We got water, made water, then parked on Lion Blvd.
Up the boulevard somebody has a chicken and turkey coop. Big old gobblers roamed the yard, lording it over the roosters. We had a dinner of shrimp with red curry sauce. The moon was full but our view to the east was full of mountain; by the time La Luna came up she was white as a ghost. We planned to get up early and find a site at South. If we failed, we could try again tomorrow, or blow off Zion and move on to Bryce Canyon.
The stakes were high.
Around 6:00 a.m. the first rooster crowed and a moment later someone who doubts my ability to hear, noted “A rooster.” I laughed “Yep!” A minute later he crowed again and the Kat was getting dressed. My odds of further sleep had struck none, so I too rolled out.
Four campers had spent the night on Lion Blvd. Three were yet to stir when we left. We arrived at South Campground at 6:30, second in line behind a couple of Scots who must carry the stain of Teutonic blood. She was walking the grounds looking for early departures, and when he saw me pull out the bicycle, he began hoofing it too. Kat bailed out to chat up a lady packing up in a drive-thru site, and the Kat found our spot. #94 had been Georgia Jen’s (she’s from New England with GA plates) and Jen willed it to us. I did the paperwork before the Iron Ranger. We got settled and set to work on breakfast. The Camp Host knocked, skeptical of our claim on the site. Georgia Jen had left a day early. I’m trying to explain “We talked to her … ” when Kat interrupted with a question for the host:
“Are you Light Curve on the Road?” That’s a blog on HitchItch.com (they won’t have us because I write as much about philosophy as travel). He broke into that 150 watt grin all bloggers get when somebody recognizes us (our next such time will be our first). “Yes, but I haven’t posted anything since April.” Kat shook her head: “March”.
With that retort, our trial was over.