Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Scootering through Zion National Park


Zion is up, Bryce is down. That  means that you look down on Bryce Canyon to see the hoodoos and geographic wonders.  In Zion, you look up too see the rock formations and wonders.  

See what I mean. Zion is up.

I was able to scooter all around Zion with no real problems. I saw people in wheelchairs having no problem either. So if you have mobility problems, don’t hesitate to visit Zion. You will want to have your camera ready all the time. Opportunities are everywhere.
I wasn't even on an accessible trail and was able to scooter all over. This pic reminded me of an upright dinosaur and I was transported thousands of years back in time.

One thing, it’s hot there in summer. Really hot, so be prepared for that. Carry water.

Vegetation grows where it can, surprising me at every turn. Rocks don't stop plants. Only man stops plants when we use pesticides that result in scorched earth.

Not too far from the Visitor Center is The first of two accessible trails at Zion National Park is the Pa’rus Trail. To access the trailhead you can ride on a paved trail from the Visitor Center and through the South Campground to reach it or start at the Canyon Junction, which happens to also be a shuttle stop.  This is about a two hour trip, so drive it early in the morning. It’s just too hot to do it later.

The Pa’rus Trail has some beautiful desert landscapes with great views of the canyon.

The only other accessible trail in Zion National Park the Riverside Walk. It’s about a 1.5 hour hike and runs parallel to the North Fork Virgin River. There are some trees on this trail, so it’s not as much of a hear danger.  This trail is paved and barrier-free, but the hills are challenging unless you have good electric or manual power. Be careful tho - there is some sand on the trail. If  you get into it, you may need help getting out.  It also has some relatively steep grades, so be sure your scooter or wheelchair has a good charge in the battery and enough power to get up them..

Just past the Visitor Center is the South Campground.  Campsites 103, 114 and 115 are designated for campers with access needs. Some who use a wheelchair may still find this site challenging to maneuver around. Access modifications include a raised water spigot and extended picnic tabletops. The fire pit/grill are at ground level. Restrooms are nearby these three sites and an asphalt trail leads to the South Campground Amphitheater; some wheelchair users may need assistance on this trail. This was very difficult for me and I have a powerful scooter, so be careful.

Go see and hear the park ranger talks. They are all accessible and infinitely interesting.

Take the Free In-Park Shuttle. It’s a great way to see the park. It’s equipped with a lift and the ability to hold two wheelchairs at once in designated spaces with tie-down seatbelts to keep the chair where it’s supposed to be.  You can get off and on when you wish and another one will usually be along within 15 minutes. 

One thing that was brought home to us when we visited: Donna’s billfold dropped out of her pocket when she was in the bathroom. We did not learn that until we were some 40 miles out of the park.  When we called, distraught, we were told that someone turned it in. We raced back there and sure enough, the lost and found department man said, “Hi Donna”. He had checked her driver’s license and knew who she was. What we relearned was that people who go to parks are honest folks. Even the cash was intact.  We were so grateful that we donated the cash to the park.

Taken right outside the bathroom where Donna lost her Wallet

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