Friday, March 20, 2009

Ride 22B - Zion's Back Door

There is a "backdoor" to Zion's National Park, and we found it today. [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 22B - Zion's Backdoor]

The second part of the day in the truck we spent traveling from St. George to Hurricane and then to Apple Valley. We stopped at the Conoco in Apple Valley (the only store) to ask for directions to the interconnect road between Ut-59 and Ut-9. The high school gal running the store had no clue but referred dad to an "old timer" regular customer and he knew right off — "go down the road a bit and turn left at main."

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

It turns out that this was the same store which had short-changed dad out of a $50 bill a few months back. And incredibly, dad was riding in the area last month with a friend who told him about an attempted scam on him too, at the same store!

The boy behind the counter had deliberately played dumb. He placed Ralph's ten inside the till before making change, looked puzzled and asked if Ralph had an additional "one," as if it would be easier to then give correct change. Ralph told him to just take it out of the ten. Then the boy gave him the wrong change three times, before stating that "you didn't give me a ten."

Ralph told him directly that he did so, and instructed him exactly how much change he had coming. AMAZINGLY — this is the only store I have ever seen where absolutely nothing in the store is labeled for price! If you are deliberately going to scam someone, how better to do it than to have nothing, anywhere, marked for price.

The gal seemed astonished that I would even ask for prices, and annoyed that I would ask her to go "scan" the items so she could tell me how much they were. Everything that I wanted to buy was twice to three hundred percent higher than in St. George!!

When dad saw me put the items down and refuse to purchase them, that was when he told me the story of his $50 and ralphs $10. WHAT A SCAM! And I see that someone has uploaded a photo of the store on Google Earth's Panaramio for everyone to see!

The road turned out to be exactly where the old timer said it would be and took us up over the ridge and down into Rockbridge. What a view! What a road!

The Google Earth file available from the link above contains three photos of the back side of Zion NP. Two are panorama's and they still don't do it justice. Best take the ride to see for yourself — but don't take your car!

The ground is a little bit red clay, which holds memory of past rainstorms in the form of deep ruts where crazy people have tried to slam their way up the road spinning and throwing mud. Now they are dry and hard as rock.

The return trip through Laverkin and Hurricane is relaxing and you are quickly back on the freeway going through St. George.


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