Around nine in the morning Geri drives Chuck and me to the depot for the Zion shuttle.
I ride in the back seat with the crew. This is going to be so much fun! Bridget and Spike are Geri’s responsibility today. She’s babysitting them, along with her own dogs who are at home — Scottie, Doogie Bowser, and Radar. I say goodbye to Geri and the crew and add, “I hope Spike doesn’t get territorial about the water dish again. If he does, feel free to shut him up in the bedroom.” Geri assures me they’ll be fine and away they go. Free at last!
I love riding shuttles!
I think it’s because I’m always the driver, hardly ever a passenger. The Zion shuttle is the best I’ve ever been on. One reason is the breathtaking subject matter. I take photos from my window seat (which later I discover are no good due to windows reflected on the photos). Another reason this is the best shuttle ever is I have two guides, not only the informative voice over, but also, Chuck, who’s been to Zion National Park around five or six times already, and hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for the experience.
Our plan is to take the Riverside Walk up to the Narrows.
I cannot begin to describe the majestic rock formations, the ever-present Virgin River, the “weeping” cliffs with lush greenery growing out of the rocks, or the many grottos along the walkway. Everywhere you look, every step of the way, there’s a beautiful scene. I find Zion is too magnificent for my digital camera to capture. The strong contrasts of morning light and canyon shade are more than it can handle. The photos in my slideshow only hint at the grandeur and beauty of the Riverside Walk.
If you want to see photos of the Narrows, you’ll have to look on the internet.
Although it’s cool on Riverside Walk in the morning, it’s been hovering around one hundred degrees in Zion the past few days. Neither of us feels like pushing ourselves in order to return exhausted in the heat. Chuck and I are satiated by all we’ve seen, so we decide to go back.
“This morning is a highlight of my travels, Chuck. I really enjoyed myself. Thanks for showing it to me.”
When Geri picks us up, Bridget and Spike are in the back seat.
Of course, they are thrilled to see me again. On the way back to Chuck and Geri’s fifth wheel at Zion River Resort, Bridget lies up against me, occasionally licking my arm. Spike goes back to sleep. Geri gives them both a satisfactory behavior report. It’s true Spike hogged the couch and Bridget tried to pull a crying jag. Other than that, they were good!
Zion Riverside Walk
This morning the crew and I are up early as usual.
We have an eight-thirty appointment at Porter Auto Repair in Hurricane to have the air conditioning fixed. At the shop a dye is installed to detect any leaks. None are found. The fan clutch is not operating properly and is replaced. Freon is put into the system.
Never for a minute did I expect the fixing of the air conditioning to be cheap.
Here’s the details . . . labor for replacing the fan clutch: $77.00, labor for partial charge of the system: $70.00, labor for installing the refrigerant: $35.00, labor for installing the dye: $0. The fan clutch cost $112.11 and the refrigerant cost $62.00. So to summarize . . . Labor comes to $182.00, parts are $174.11 ($5 discount), plus $10.68 shop supplies and $22.92 sales tax at 6.25%. Grand total . . . . $389.71.
One of the co-owners of the shop, Sandy, gives me a copy of the NAPA warranty. He points to the paper. “I know you won’t be in the area, so keep this. If you find your van’s not staying cool after a few months, call this number. “
I load up the crew and we drive off to Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, and the thrift store, riding in cool, cool comfort.
At Wal-Mart I pick up some beef dental chews for Bridget and Spike, some nail polish (sandal season is here!), duct tape, a bird feeder (I left my last one hanging from a tree in Wikieup, Arizona), and a bag of seasoned, cooked, and frozen chicken strips. I also purchase a gift for Chuck and Geri and their “Hound Herd.” Of course, who do I bump into at Wal-Mart whle pushing the cart with her gift in it? Geri! At Ace I buy an eyeglass repair kit, now that I’ve returned the one Geri loaned me. Last stop is the thrift store where I donate two paperbacks and buy two paperbacks. I also find a great camp shirt for cooler days.
On the way back to our creekside camp, I consider my finances.
I save so much money living the way I do that a bill of almost $400 doesn’t upset me. I’m going to have auto repairs and maintenance all along the way. It’s part of the cost of having a life beyond my highest dreams. I consider that a bargain!
Lovely photos Sue! Hopefully I will see many of the places that you write about.
I sincerely hope you do, Teri, plus some extra places you discover on your own!
Since you live the way you do the repair or up keep on your van is no different than if you lived at a house. You’d do repairs and up keep on a house so it’s smart to keep up the van too. Love the pictures and the stories.
That’s right, Sue. And I suspect the maintenance and repairs of the PTV and BLT are going to be a lot less than the maintenance and repairs on a house.
I’m happy you enjoy my blog.
Beautiful photos. I love Zion. Hey, your repair work was not to bad. When I lived in my RV it seems I spent every other week at some repair shop. Allways something going wrong. I realy want to get another one but it kinda makes me nervous too about getting one in good shape.
Glad you enjoyed Zion. It is a truly amazing place !!
The cost of repairs is one reason why I went with the Chevy van pulling a Casita. I’ve talked to people online in forums before I bought the PTV and BLT and to people in person on the road since, and I’ve heard the Class A owners (and the Class C owners to a lesser extent) complain about the burden of high repair bills.
It’s easy to love Zion. Glad you enjoyed the photos.
Thanks for that info Sue. I am hoping to set myself up in a year or so to travel fulltime for awhile ………. I had a class c and it was a headache as far as repairs. So, maybe should look more into trailer and truck/van. I am still researching.
Is there anything you DON”T like about the ptv and casita combo ??
I honestly can’t think of anything I don’t like about my van-towing-a-fiberglass egg set-up. I suppose I could say hitching and unhitching, but that has become so easy that I don’t give it much thought. I hate to even mention it because so many people think they can’t do it or that it’s a big hassle. It isn’t. It’s like driving. At first it seems complicated. Before long. you’re driving and following safety rules without thinking about it.
When I return to camp after a day out — let’s say, to Zion Park, I don’t have to level and chock and put everything back where I want it (unsecured). I just go home! and I don’t worry that someone has taken my site.
In fairness, I haven’t ever lived or even driven a Class A, B or C. Maybe those other class of people (LOL) would tell you differently.
Re: repairs . . . It’s my understanding not all shops will work on RVs. That must be inconvenient if you move around a lot. Ask some people who know about that. I may be wrong.
I will tell you one thing . I was ripped off in a couple of shops on my Rv work. Thats another story. I can see how it may be cheaper to just have a van or truck and tow a trailer.
Again I am overwhelmed by the pictures!!!!! The beauty of the land is fantastic. I am so glad you are getting to see all this first hand. Also want to thank Chuck and Geri for being so good to my sister!!!
Oh, Pauline, you can’t imagine how beautiful it is. The shuttle would go around a curve and I’d see these massive rock spires. Chuck told me to look at the Ponderosa pines, which are very tall, growing on top. They were so high up they looked tiny.
Yeah, Chuck and Geri are very good to me. Love you, too.
Pauline, Your sister is always so enthusiastic, it’s fun to be around her. Went last year with my wife Geri and her love of one of my favorite places was matched by Sues’. It was a pleasure ! And Geri said the dogs were REALLY good!!!!!!
Thanks Chuck, I think she is very special also!!! Spike and Bridget were so well behaved when they stayed with us. So glad you and Geri are so helpful
I think you got a bargain with your total bill; I would have expected something like twice the amount. So, congratulations on a good day at Zion and not getting fleeced at the repair shop.
It’s good to hear you second my opinion about Porter Auto Repair. Sandy owns the shop along with his son-in-law, and his sons work in the shop. He took the time to explain the process, every step of the way. I got a lesson in air conditioning! Thanks for writing, Rick.
No free lunch is there?…sounds like it was a fair bill for the repair, considering all things today. So nice of your friends to give you such a nice day!! Heh, little Bridget licking your arm…our last dog was like that too…she wanted you to know how much she missed you, huh?
Bridget was affectionate the entire ride. Spike gave me a happy hello lasting about five seconds. Then he took a nap. Even so, that’s a big show of gratitude from Spike!
Ha! Ha! It was fun bumping onto you at WalMart! What a surprise! Both Chuck and I are really glad you had a good day doing the River Walk at Zion and the Crew really did behave themselves! No UPS pkgs today, sorry!
You better not have seen your gift! I tried to hide it . . .
I wasn’t looking for, or expecting, a gift! So I wouldn’t have noticed! But what I do notice is your weight loss! You really look great in those photos with Chuck and in person too!
May I also mention that this week my blog is about the Zion Ghost Town of Grafton? Sue mentioned that my photos take a long tome to load, Chuck and several others say they load up pretty quickly. So to determine if I do need to downsize the pics even more, may I ask your readers (as I have also asked mine) if they think the photographs load too slowly. I am hoping it’s just Sue’s Computer or her connection. Anyway, if some of you would take a look and tell me what you think…should I downsize more or not, I would appreciate it! http://www.phunnyfarm.blogspot,com You can respond to: email@example.com Thanks so much and thanks Sue for mentioning a potential problem! Geri
I have never been to Zion, but it is high on my list. That River Walk sure looked like the thing to do.
It’s the most outstanding experience I’ve had so far on this journey. . . excepting maybe my visit to the Casita factory to pick up the Best Little Trailer!
I do remember walking in the river up the Narrows but it was 20 years ago & I’m afraid my memory is a bit foggy now. Your colorful photos did bring some of the nice scenic memories back for me:))
Hi, Al . . . .I’m sure you took home excellent photos.
Beautiful pictures, I would love a scenery fix like that.Isn’t it fun to have that happy reunion with your pets, even if you leave for a short time they are just as excited as if you have been gone for hours or days.
Bridget always acts like I’ve been gone for years!
Your pictures are beautiful, Sue. I’m glad you found people you felt comfortable enough to leave the crew with. Now, I’m going to make your day. My air went last summer. $1500. A week later on brand new tires–a hole in the side of one–couldn’t be repaired. $200. There, feel better, now?
If I’m only gone from the house for a little while, Jack jumps up on the couch where I usually sit–that’s the only time he does it. In the trailer, when I went to take a shower, he would jump over to the same spot (where he knew he wasn’t supposed to be) and hide his head. He thought if I couldn’t see him, he couldn’t see me. They are all a barrel of monkeys!
Your bills don’t make my day at all. $1500? What a shock.
Jack sounds like a character. He reminds me of a toddler at my house once. We were playing hide and seek. I said, “I’m going to find you!” Her voice comes from behind a chair . . . ,, “Oh no, you aren’t!”
What a satisfying day that must have been! Able caregivers tend to both the PTV and the crew while you get a nature-fix.
What a beautiful spot – can’t wait to see it for myself. Thanks for sharing, Sue.
You’re welcome, Kim! You’ll be out here . . .
Wow, K and I checked your blog! Was that you in bright green, white shorts and neat hat. Wow again! Never saw you in shorts!! It was snowing, remember.LOL.neatneatneat. Glad you and C&G are having fun. Cheers, BR, K and kids!
Yes,, that;s me in the hat. I don’t think I’ll ever forget The Blizzard at Caballo Lake. The crew was up to their pits in snow!
For anyone interested, go back to DEC 3rd, RVsues blog ‘Chili Rellanos”. Check out the neat pix she took of a ‘snowy fence’!! cheers br
Sue you have the best life ever.
I know I do, Angie. I count my blessings and enjoy every day.
Hi Sue, Was there 11 years ago, and all I can still say is WOW,,, As fas as your repair bill goes as you been told by other’s you did just fine,, I just had my system charged $182.00 that;s the going rate for just that here in Sacramento..
Good to know how my bill compares .. . Thanks. If you go back to Zion and have vehicle problems,you know where to go in Hurricane.
I did that beautiful walk with my husband, then he went on down the narrows for the day. He said it was amazing but had to wade through some pretty deep water a couple of times.
Glad your pups showed Geri their best behavior.
It’s a walk you don’t forget. I’ve heard the water is very cold.
That is a beautiful walk and I love taking the shuttle. Nice not to Have to drive once in a while. I walked the river several miles a few years ago and want to do it again this summer.
Glad you got that AC fixed and can hardly believe it didn’t cost more. Yes, vehicles do require maintenance and you certainly do keep expenses down.
I hope you do get to Zion this summer, Gaelyn!
LMAO oh my god! How many women can say they bought summer nail polish and duct tape in the same sentence! LOL Please keep posting. I’m living vicariously through you and the crew. I wish so much I could be out on the road like you are. Maybe you should head somewhere cooler? Like Klamath Falls, Oregon. It hailed and rained here today! Julie
I open up my blog this morning, while the coffee is a-perkin’ , and your comment has me LMAO! Oregon is on my must-see list. Hail and rain! Gee, I’d hate to miss that!
You look great Sue ! Kelly
Thanks, Kelly. I think I’m getting some results from this diet.
Zion is our favorite place so far in our travels. The first time we took the shuttle we got sore necks from looking up so much. It is truly beautiful. Your photos make us want to go back!
Jim and Gayle . . . Zion is a place I could revisit every year and I’d never get tired of it. We took the walk in the morning before the crowds arrived. They came as we were leaving. Remember the squirrels . .. They walk along with you and pose on rocks for the camera.
Sue it is so funny because I did the same thing when we took the shuttle to our hikes. I was snapping pics from the shuttle as if it was going to be the last beautiful spot in Zion and after so many pics I realized I could easily have filled my 64GB card with pics and still not do Zion any justice. Amazing, amazing place and I vow to go back there and spend a lot more time there.
Hi, G…. Even if you did think your photos captured Zion, the light would change and you’d have to start all over again. I hope you do go back!
I’ve put additional photos in the slideshow since I first posted this entry.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my computer is a morning computer. It doesn’t like to be bothered late in the day with things like opening a browser, uploading photos, posting and editing text . . .all that stuff. It likes to take a nap instead and then goes to bed early.
I’ve heard being at Grand Canyon is being on top looking down, while being at Zion is being at the bottom looking up.
I couldn’t get over the constant thought while on the shuttle ride… Gee I hope that rock…. or that one… or that one, doesn’t let go and fall on us. .
Chuck kept pointing out humongous boulders a hundred feet up or more that looked like they could fall at any moment. “Oh, look at that one! I wonder when that’ll come down.”
Geologists call it mass wasting and it really is a concern in the canyon country. I’ve been witness to some big rockfalls, fortunately from a distance. Was standing under a cliff not too long ago and heard what sounded like a rifle shot, then saw huge rocks coming down, lots of dust, but I was a couple hundred feet away. Very impressive to see.
Really nice photos, Sue. Makes me want to go back. The last time I was in Zion you could drive in, no shuttles. It’s gotten really popular, and that wasn’t all that long ago.
Are bagworms the same as tent caterpillars? We’re having those around Moab, but not too bad.
Enjoyed your recent post about Little Egypt. I tried to comment but my computer thought otherwise.
Bagworms are different than tent caterpillars. I think tent caterpillars are more common in the East.
sheesh…Scary experience with the falling rocks.
Thanks, and the comment did come through.
Hi, Sue. So glad that Geri could help you out with the crew and that they were good for her. The pictures were so beautiful. Glad your AC repair was quite reasonably priced.
Zion is one of the places that hubby and I have talked of visiting. A couple months ago I was researching the area and other RVers were talking of a huge bagworm infestation that was taking place. They showed pictures of their tires, awnings and picnic tables covered with the squirmy things. No one could tell us when and if it ended. Since you didn’t mention them I assume that they’re gone or have taken some other form that is less repulsive.
Thanks so much for the interesting stories and great photos. We always enjoy them. Hugs to Spikey and Bridget. Stay cool.
About the bagworms . . . First off, realize I haven’t taken a survey and I haven’t been looking for bagworms. I haven’t seen anything crawling around like you describe. In the cottonwood trees across from “our” creek, there are small bags hanging from the top branches. I’m assuming they are bagworms. Whether the worms are still in them or not, I don’t know. Like I said, I haven’t seen any of the actual worms. My tires and other surfaces are fine. So come to Zion and enjoy!
I’m glad to hear you find my stories interesting and that you like the photos.
Bag worm season was over before Sue arrived! At Zion River RV Resort, we spray our trees for bagworms so the problem here never became a problem!
Thank you for the information, Geri Moore-Hajek. We will ressurect our plans to visit and glad that RV Sue won’t have to be bothered with them.
The spray they use here at Zion River Resort is basically soap water and is enviromentally safe. But on the Virgin River and North Creek, we can’t spray but keeps them out of the RV Park pretty well.