Thursday, October 16, Day 45 St. George to Zion National Park

In the morning, we cruised around the city of St. George, which seemed very clean and bland. We took a tour, with a Mormon elder, of the St. George Tabernacle, which Brigham Young had ordered to be built, in 1863, so that his followers would settle in the area and grow cotton! He made St. G. his winter home. It is a handome, well preserved edifice which is still used as both a church and a community center. It seems to be the crown of the city.
The drive to Zion was uneventful, until we started to glimpse huge rock formations that rose majestically out of the desert floor. The drive into
Springdale (the town at the Zion entrance) itself was fantastic. Absolutely breathtaking!
We checked into our last Best Western Plus – which again we had prepaid- and again found ourselves in a cramped dreary room. This is truly the last of the BW’s ever for us. Had a late lunch at Jacks Grill which was very tasty and then took off for the National Park itself. We took a shuttle bus into the entrance and then another shuttle within the Park. The shuttles are all free and run every 10 or so minutes. There is a reason for the shuttles. There must have been thousands of people coming and going in and out of that portion of the park. Everyone was crammed into 2 large buses (which moved in tandem). They were the only way you could ride around the park. We went up the Riverside Walk, at the end of the canyon. The trail was paved and packed with throngs of people. The whole enterprise is now so commercial that the idea of enjoying the grandeur of the canyons in a peaceful and tranquil environment has been totally wrecked. I went back to the hotel, but Peter stayed in the park and went to the Court of the Patriarchs, where he found a dirt trail, with no one else there, and had a lovely, peaceful experience.
Arriving back at our hotel, we were exhausted and so ordered a takeout sandwich from our local Jack’s Grill.

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