Returning back to I-15 we continued south to Toquerville and turned left onto UT 17 to La Verkin where we stopped for lunch. The market had lots of pumpkins ready for Halloween.
Continuing east we travelled through Virgin where we missed a turn off that would have taken us to a scenic 19 mile spur road deep into Zion., Damn! We soon arrived at Springdale, the western entrance to Zion National Park The weather was fast changing for the worse when we arrived at the Visitor Centre.The most interesting parts of Zion National Park lie on a spur road to the north and Route 9 that leads out to the eastern side of the Park. The road north up the canyon is now only accessible by catching the free hop-on/hop-off shuttle bus. There are only 400 car parks along the road, and in the mid 1980's they had 3500 cars and Rvs competing for those spaces every day. The only solution was to introduce the shuttle buses, and it works well. The buses run every few minutes and stop at strategic points along the road.
Surprisingly, the rain stopped as we returned to our bike, and the sky above Route 9 was clear and blue. We decided to head off without getting the wet weather gear out, and were rewarded with clear skies for the rest of the day.
The road out of Zion climbed in a zigzag that led back and forth up the side of a steep canyon, a part of it wet and muddy, before entering a series of long dark tunnels.
Leaving the park we continued east to Mt Carmel Junction where we turned right on US 89. We rode up this road a few days ago on our way to Bryce Canyon: now we took it in the opposite direction to Kanab where we stopped for lunch – at a different diner to the one that took so long to serve us when we stopped here last time.
From Kanab we rode to Page on US 89, a more direct route than we took westbound when we visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.As we rode toward Page we realised we were heading directly into some really stinking weather.
Fortunately, it seemed to be going in the same direction as we were. In any case, we reached Page before riding into the storm.
Taking advantage of our local knowledge of Page, we found a motel right in the centre of town that was not only directly across the road from the supermarket, but also half the price of the motel we stayed at earlier. As an added bonus the room was HUGE and comfortable. On the downside there WiFi only worked in the motel lobby, but we were able to live with that.