April 29 – May 6
We were excited to explore more national parks, so we headed north to Zion. Along the way, we stopped to let the pups stretch their legs. When we walked back up to the trailer, we noticed the front underside had fallen down! There was insulation falling out, our propane line and electrical wires were dangling. Slight panic. Thankfully we were in a giant parking lot and had tools in the truck. There was an epic bridge nearby, so it was also kind of a photo op spot. Bus loads of people were coming through as we drilled and riveted. We paused several times as enthusiastic international travelers asked about the trailer. It took longer, but it helped lighten the mood. We couldn’t completely repair it, but within a couple of hours we had it rigged so we could finish our travel for the day.
We found a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) camping spot half an hour from the park. It was tight quarters on a creek and we were lucky to grab the last spot as the sun was going down. There are campgrounds in the Zion, but once reservations open up six months or so out, they book up quick. True in most National Parks. Zion National Park is beautiful! Its small, there are lots of visitors, but it is super organized – kind of run like a theme park in a way complete with shuttles with recorded greetings. One hike in the park allowed dogs, so the pups could walk around with us for a bit. Our major hike was Angel’s Landing. It was a longer hike, the first half is full of steep switchbacks on mostly paved walkways. In the second half you are climbing up skinny ridges. There are chains to grab onto for balance, but it felt slightly life-threatening. Definitely the scariest hike I’ve ever done. Post-hike we googled if people had ever been injured on the hike and it did indeed have a death toll. Sheesh.
There was a tool rental place in a town nearby where we could rent an air compressor to finish fixing the underside of the trailer. Beehive Tool Rental saved us. We had to buy a few more things for the repair, but we were able to rent the air compressor and set the trailer up just across the street from the rental place. We patched the section that was missing, drilled new holes in the steel chassis, added new rivets all over. It was a little stressful, because the damage looked so bad initially, but in the end we were able to fix it for less than $150 and we walked away owning our very own rivet gun.
We were so close to Bryce Canyon, we decided to head there for the weekend. We drove through Zion, cutting through the mountains in narrow tunnels and found a BLM camping spot close to the park entrance. We had a beautiful hiking day there. There isn’t much else around, but the canyon is really unique with bright orange hoodoos (the spired-shaped rock formations) everywhere. We were glad we stopped over, but we were ready to continue our pursuit for cooler weather.