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!