Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Hot Time in Zion National Park

At Temple View RV Resort, St. George, Utah...

Okay, let's go ahead and get this out of the way:  We are spoiled, whiny, tenderfoot, prima donna deplorables. No one reading this post could arrive at any other conclusion, based on what will be my sniveling account of how hot it is here in St. George. Furthermore, this post may get the prize for being off-the-rails silly. I think it's because of the heat, but sometimes I just feel like writing something for fun.

Here's the strange part: I knew it was going to be hot before we headed down I-15 to get here. I assure you that my faculties have not yet deteriorated to a point where looking at a high in St. George of 105 degrees on Weather Bug doesn't enable me to associate that with a certain level of potential human discomfort. Yet there we went, undeterred, as though I were thumbing my nose at silly little things like, well, facts. 

In this case, my discomfort level when we arrived at St. George and I descended the steps from Phannie's air conditioned cockpit led me to believe that, somehow, I had flatlined at the very moment I opened the door and, having perished, stepped squarely into the afterlife which, to my surprise, turned out to be hell! I must tell you that this was not the outcome I had in mind as my exit strategy.

I looked again at the sign that read 'Temple View RV Park' in an effort to convince myself that I had not, indeed, been cast into the lake of fire. I instinctively raised my forearm to cover my mouth and nose in an effort, I suppose, to keep from inhaling the hot wind that would surely char my lungs. 

Across the driveway, I could see the park office's entrance door, and I staggered toward it, hoping it wasn't a mirage. After I took a few halting steps, I looked at the soles of my shoes to see if any melted asphalt had clung to them, impeding my only chance to save myself. Then it occurred to me that I had left in Phannie's cockpit cupholder my Yeti mug that was filled with ice water. I was beginning to panic; I think I saw buzzards circling overhead.

I was thinking that if I could just make it inside the door, perhaps one of the staff members would call 911 before I dissolved into a puddle of lard before their eyes. Sandy, of course, was oblivious to all of this, as she had probably resumed her nap back there in Phannie's copilot seat, footrest extended, and with four A/C vents blowing enough cold air directly on her to make her usually cover up with a light blanket as we roll down the highway. 

Before I had brought Phannie to a stop in the driveway, I had fired up the genset to give life to the roof airs, which I turned on before heading outside. With the dash a/c and the roof airs on, it was downright frosty in Phannie. Except I wasn't there; I was busy succumbing with a heat stroke there in the driveway.

I had just enough strength left to pull open the office door, where a blast of cool air washed over me. After a few minutes, the room stopped spinning and I could barely see the counter clerk, gesturing toward me and saying, "Are you Mr. Mills?" 

I wondered, "How did she know?" My first delerious thought was that she had read my name on a secret 'Do Not Resuscitate' list circulated by some left-leaning group toward anyone whose vehicles show Texas license plates. After a few minutes of deep breathing, I was able to make sense of things and finally get registered.

Okay, maybe I've embellished things a little, but my point is that it is pretty danged hot here in St. George and, after months of our frolicking in cool and mild temperatures north of the equator--which I believe runs exactly through St. George--we were not accustomed to this hellish climate where the sun is certainly no more than about 65 miles from earth.

So why would we come here in the summer, you may ask? Other than the obvious answer--stupidity--my thinking was that, since we are headed toward Flagstaff anyway, why not stop here and see a couple of national parks we had not visited before? It made sense to me, and I thought we could just 'man up' and git 'er done. And really, that's what we're doing, but not without plenty of shared speculation as to whether my dementia is becoming really obvious.

We really didn't know what to expect as we drove toward Zion N.P. We had looked at it online, but there is nothing quite like seeing it in person. The photos and videos don't quite do it justice. It consists of a relatively short canyon whose many-hued rock walls soar almost vertically above the fast-flowing stream that runs through it. It is a beautiful and colorful display of nature's wonder, and I would like to have spent a good bit of time there, walking on some of the many trails and taking photos. 

But that wasn't going to happen. It wasn't any cooler in the canyon than it was in St. George, and neither of us enjoys the outdoors in these conditions. As luck would have it, the shuttle bus that drove us through the park was a brand new air-conditioned one--the only one in the fleet--and we didn't dare get out of it for more than a minute or two at its stops. Nevertheless, I was able to get a few decent photos, but this place is worth another trip when brimstone isn't falling from the sky like it was on this day.  Here are a few photos I was able to shoot:






I kept thinking how lucky we were to have had Phannie's bedroom air conditioner replaced in Salt Lake City. If it had gone out here, I guess we would have had to be airlifted out or something--who knows?

I hope you've had fun reading this silliness; it was fun writing it.


Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

I had rather own little and see the world than to own the world and see little of it. 
--Alexander Sattler



24 comments:

  1. I've heard that after visiting St George in the summer, one of the pioneer leaders remarked "If I had a home in hell and a ranch in St George, I'd sell my ranch and go home". It sounds too hot for comfort.

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  2. I still remember your demeaning comments about how cool you were earlier this summer and how hot you friends were down in Texas. The old saying, "stuff that goes around, comes around!!".

    As far as being concerned about the buzzards, I think you are safe...... even they have their standards!!

    Stay cool, drive safely, and show up at the next rally (poker game) with plenty of money. At least neither of us lives around Houston. That's where the poor people are having real problems.

    See you later,
    Your concerned buddy, Richard!

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    1. Okay, Richard...perhaps I was a bit snarky back then. But that doesn't make me wrong about my thinking you need to have your head examined. I have to think that someone who doesn't leave Texas in the summertime may be a little undermedicated (or overmedicated, I can't figure which). And I won't need much poker money; I'm tanned, ready and rested. Besides, I have a few new jokes. Until then, old pal.

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  3. Dare I tell you that it hasn't gotten above 70* in our little hidey hole we found to wait out the Labor Day Weekend?

    Sorry for your sufferin'. . .but thankful you were able to get a brief overview of Zion. . .you will need to return for sure!

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    1. You could have gone all day without telling me this. This leads me to question your salvation.

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  4. Yep, it's hot, hot, hot. Not a time to be outside exploring anything. Zion and Bryce are gorgeous parks but spring and fall should be the times to go there. Flagstaff was definitely cooler when we came through yesterday.

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    1. Since I was expecting this, I really am not entitled to do all this whining. Looking forward to getting the heck outta here.

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  5. Call us whiny then too, we don't venture out too much when its hot.

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    1. Well, that makes me feel better. Perhaps we should refer to ourselves as merely'discriminating' rather than 'whining.'

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  6. Oh my! We are running the furnace AND the extra heater to keep warm in theYukon tonight. We have an appointment for our annual services in Salt Lake on September 18th. Craig insists on keeping the yearly schedule time. I don't think it would have hurt to let it go for an extra month, and stay north. I guess hotter weather may be the new norm. I am already looking at where we want to spend next summer. Keeping somewhat cool is my goal.

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    1. Well, you guys are in a whole 'nuther category of smart. What a fantastic summer you've had! Hopefully, by the time you get to Salt Lake, things will have cooled a bit. They've had an unusually warm summer there, too. And Craig gets a thumbs up for being attentive to your coach's service needs. I'm pretty picky, too, and that has served us well, as we have much the same engine/chassis combination. We will definitely be cooling it next summer, that's for sure.

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  7. Thanks for the chuckles Mike. Always enjoy reading your posts. Whether its too hot or too cold, us humans will always have something to complain about, not that it will do any good. It sure makes life interesting though, doesn't it?

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    1. Hi, Bill! Thanks for your kind comment. I just figured with all the negative stuff going on, it might be time for a laugh. At least that's how I hope most folks see it.

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  8. Beautiful photos! ! Love checking out your blog for travel advice and inspirations, thanks for the share!
    Gregg

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    1. Hi, Gregg! I'm glad it holds some interest for you. The blog has become far more important to us than we imagined when we started it in 2005. As a source to remember all the places we've traveled and the things we've done, it is without equal. And if others get something from it, that's a big bonus! Thanks for reading.

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  9. I did get a good laugh Mike. You should plan better. Zion is the best park we have found so far. Go back in spring or fall when buses aren't running then you can drive yourself.

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    1. Hi, Doug! Funny you should mention planning; I'm not very good at it, probably because I don't enjoy it, preferring travel based on whim. But, in my view, even the most poorly planned trip is far better than no trip at all. And yes, we want to go back to Zion, but definitely not in the summer. Thanks for reading this rag and being kind enough to comment.

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  10. Funny:) Beautiful place...have not been there yet due the the heat issues. In the end you are what you do ...and see:))

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    1. How true! I would definitely recommend a visit, but at a cooler time of the year!

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  11. Yes, you certainly had fun writing that!

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    1. Yeah, I do enjoy writing, especially when I'm feeling a little silly. They say that we sometimes get that way when we get old, but I think I had rather be silly than grumpy!

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  12. Quite honestly the most entertaining post you have wrote! Zion is magnificent and I'm glad you and Sandy got to see it! We can't tolerate that kind of heat either.... won't tolerate it! Thank goodness you have found cooler locations!!! We love and miss you both!

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    1. Thank you, Jackie! Sometimes I get silly like that. (I may be under- or over-medicated; I'm not sure which.) We're in Williams, AZ now with temps in the 70s. We're happy, happy now! Love and miss y'all, too!

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