Note to self: Never, never, ever take the 15 North towards Vegas on a holiday Friday, or any Friday for that matter. And don’t think if you leave at noon it’ll be all right. A six plus hour drive to Mesquite turned into an eight plus hour drive. Traffic always sucks, but to be out in the Mohave desert, in the middle of nowhere, in stop and go traffic is stupid. Waze isn’t going to help you on this drive.
We were hemming and hawing since our last trip about where to go pre-Thanksgiving. Then the Bennetts contacted us in mid October; their Belgium trip fell through and they wanted to know if we’d like to meet them in the Zion area. We thought about it for a minute and replied if the weather is cooperating we’ll be there! Odds are it would be chilly, so we wouldn’t need full hook-ups like we do in warm weather to prevent Sara from baking like a potato in the Airstream while we are out riding. This could be the perfect opportunity to boondock and finally hike The Narrows in Zion. Every Spring when we are out there The Narrows are typically closed because the North Fork of the Virgin River is flowing too fast and too high. So we boned up on boondocking and The Narrows and even researched pet sitters, so we could exceed the 6 hour max alone time for Sara in the Airstream.
Two weeks before departure while riding with my Thursday night group, Cory mentions he’s going to Hurricane with Josh and a couple of other guys. None of them had ever been so he’d been researching all the rides. Their dates matched our dates, so I told him to stop his research, that I was the mayor of Hurricane, and I’d love to guide his group around. We get a real kick out of showing first timers the incredible rock terrain. It’s like reliving our first visit.
The flat tire was the final nail in the coffin of The Narrows hike. It just wasn’t meant to be; red flags were popping up everywhere. First, the road in Springdale, the town right before the entrance to Zion, was all tore up, with only one lane open, and a flagman 24 hours a day, with waits up to 30 minutes each direction. Second, Zion was a lot more crowded than the park service anticipated. It got so bad they stopped letting people enter the park. In hindsight I’m sure they wished the shuttles were operating. Third, the pet sitter never got back to us. Finally, while we were driving into Springdale the evening before our big Narrows adventure to rent gear for hiking up the river, we got the flat tire. At least it didn’t happen while we were towing! The Narrows will have to wait for another day.