Carolyn and Jordyn signed up for the half marathon trail run hosted by Vacation Races and being held near Zion National Park and we had been planning this trip for some time. Carolyn had put in some decent training in preparation only to catch Covid for the first couple weeks of March. Her training took a major hit but she got back out to running as quickly as possible and had regained some of what she had lost.
Our oldest daughter, Caitlin, agreed to join us for a family reunion trip. Caitlin was closing on her condo so she had to fly to St. George Saturday morning where she would join us for the rest of the trip.
It was a beautiful Friday for traveling and we went through Flagstaff towards Page, across Northern Arizona to Fredonia and headed to Hurricane, UT. Very scenic drive passing by the Vermillion Cliffs to Jacob Lake and coming off the plateau to the area around Zion. We stopped south of Hurricane in Apple Valley and Jordyn and Carolyn picked up their race packets and info for Saturday morning. From there we headed on to St. George for the night.
St. George is a growing town and the restaurants were packed with long wait times and we ended up eating at a pizza place so we could get to bed for an early start Saturday morning back to Apple Valley. St. George is becoming a very cool town.
Race day got us off to a very early start and the morning temperatures were in the 30’s. There were 500 total participants in the half marathon with about 320 being female. Off they went and I read in the car staying warm. I returned to the finish line and watched and waited for my girls to cross. I watched six male finishers and Jordyn appears crossing the line as the first female. Let’s just say I was stunned. Her time of 1:58:31 on a difficult trail was astounding. The run was closer to 13.5 miles so the time was more impressive. Carolyn finished about 20 minutes later and was first in her age group. Knowing how Covid had impacted her training, her accomplishment was amazing. It was a great morning to be me.
From the race we went to Hurricane for coffee at River Rock Roasting Company. What a great local coffee shop. I will return. From there we head to the St. George Regional Airport to gather up Caitlin and head to Springdale, located at the entrance of Zion. I love Springdale. The town is small, beautiful, well kept, and handles tourism like a champ.
Our stay is at the Curio and it is beautiful located along the Virgin River. Our day is spent hanging out at the pools, relaxing and enjoying the amenities and the beauty of the area.
No trip to Springdale is complete with out a stop at the Zion Brewery located at the entrance to the National Park. It just might be the most scenic brewery in America. The beer is brewed off site but definitely worth a stop.
Sunday we head into the Park on the shuttle bus since Jordyn had secured us tickets because you can’t get on without having a preordered ticket and they are sometimes hard to come by. Our hikes include all of the Emerald Pool stops and down to the lodge. Still many Covid restrictions in place including mask required on the Shuttle. Some worthy coffee shops to check out in Springdale include Deep Creek Coffee Company and Feel Love Coffee that recently opened in Springdale after finding success in St. George. Some fun and busy spots for dining are Oscar’s Cafe and Zion Pizza and Noodle Co. Both places pack them in and the Pizza and Noodle place is a repurposed very old Morman Church, in case you were wondering.
Back to the Curio knowing that we are headed back to Arizona, Monday. On Monday we travel through Zion to the eastern entrance and it is a beautiful drive. We stop for a hike that is new to us located just inside the park entrance. Our hike is along the East Rim Trail and there are few hikers encountered. Our hike is an out and back for a total of 5+ miles. The Overlook area is very scenic. I enjoyed the solitude of the hike which is often hard to come by on the trails located near the western entrance to the park.
After our hike it is on to Kanab for stops at Sunny Creek Coffee and Big Al’s Burgers. Sunny Creek has fantastic coffee and espresso drinks located in a trailer. Always busy and run by some local ladies. With coffee in hand, Big Al’s bison burgers are a must have. This place is legendary and seems to always be busy. It makes our drive home much easier.
This road trip was about the race, family, and enjoying some down time in Springdale. Our first major road trip of 2021 was a great adventure with all my girls. What a wonderful time in Southern Utah.