Oh, man, I knew my luck would run out sometime. We had intended to get out of town about 10 yesterday morning so we could climb in Veyo during the early afternoon, but T didn't even get up until almost 11 [I let him sleep out of guilt; he's been sleeping badly for the last week or so (and I have been re-watching The Office on Netflix whenever I have 20 minutes to myself)].
We got into St. George in time to catch a movie (Be Kind Rewind--not bad--this site ran a "sweded films" competition with some great entries), but decided it was to early to turn in yet, even though we had called the climbing park to get permission to open the gate and come in after hours to camp and climb early in the morning. Instead, we drove up through Zion to Mt. Caramel Junction, the one-horse burg where we found ourselves nearly stuck about this time last year, and got a motel room so we could have HBO and showers in the morning.
The motel had a great little pamphlet about touristy stuff in the area (go figure, right?), and we had been meaning to check out Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for some time, so we headed down the 89 a little ways. When we arrived, a tour group had just returned, but there wasn't going to be another one for an hour and a half and T didn't really want to wait that long because the tour itself is 90 minutes of touring the canyon and visiting some of the dog and cat buildings. T had found out about a ghost town west of Zion that he wanted to bike to later and didn't think we'd have time if we spent 3 hours at the sanctuary, and I've been feeling another cat coming on for a few weeks now so it was probably a smart move on his part.
Instead, we dinked around the gift shop for a half hour, then walked down by the horse/burro area and to the pig pens. You know what? Horses kind of give me the willies. They are just too big and after reading one too many fantasy novels I am convinced one of them will kick or bite me in the face. But the pen full of shaggy burros and floppy-eared goats was wonderfully entertaining.
On the way back up to Zion, a very nice Mormon man showed us around a little cave his parents bought in 1950 and turned into a bar/dance hall. Now it's a museum with dinosaur footprints and petrified dinosaur poo (among other things, of course).
And that, unexpectedly, was the height of excitement for the day. N was very, very tired when we arrived in Zion with every intention of riding the bus to the top of the canyon and biking back down, so we settled for a short nap followed by early dinner (Utah time) or late lunch (Nevada time) in Springdale. The ghost town was supposed to be a few miles past town, and at only a 6-mile round trip, we thought we could leave N to continue his nap in the van while we biked in, took some pictures, and biked back out. The turnoff was not marked as well as we'd thought (or at all?), so we missed it and figured "oh well."
It wasn't that much farther back to St. George and the Veyo resort, but it was just after 6 local time, and T doesn't stop for the night any earlier than 11, but there wasn't enough daylight left to get on and off the rocks....so we came home. With the intention of being at Red Rocks early tomorrow, but still. We just needed something to eat up some time, and driving home to sleep in our own beds sounded pretty nice.
Which leaves the bikes still untouched on the back of the van, and the climbing gear in a bucket with last year's dirt still on it.
We should have at least gone on the animal tour.