Because dogs aren't allowed on any other trails besides the Pa'rus Trail, we dropped Abbie off at Doggy Dude Ranch for the day so we could go hiking. If you're going to Zion with your dog I highly recommend DDR -- it has great rates, wonderful employees, and it really seems like a puppy paradise with lots of land for the pups to play fetch, hang out and cool off in the doggy pools. After we got back from our trip DDR updated their facebook page with a few pictures of Abbie. I love that the picture below was the only picture featuring Abbie with another dog. Man, Abbie is giving that dog the STINK EYE!
After dropping Abbie off we left our car at our campsite and hopped on Zion's free shuttle to the hiking trails. Here's the view next to the visitor museum. I just love those clouds. After melting in 95-degree weather the day before, thankfully it was about 10 or so degrees cooler. It was warm but breezy, the perfect hiking weather.
We spent a nice chunk of the afternoon hiking three miles round-trip to the Upper Emerald Pools
The views near the lower Emerald Pools
After leaving the lower pools the paved trail turns into a maze of rocks
We relaxed for a bit at the Upper Emerald Pools and ate our lunch of sharp cheddar cheese, Ritz crackers, apples and Trader Joe's Trek Mix (with cashews, almonds and chunks of chocolate!). Simple food (and water!) always tastes way better when you're hiking!
Next we got back on the shuttle and rode until the last stop -- the Temple of Sinawava, gateway to The Narrows. We hiked for one mile up the canyon until we reached the point where the paved trail turned into the Virgin River.
Sadly, we had to turn back at this point as The Narrows were closed because the river was too high. Major bummer, but that just means that John and I will have to come back soon!
After getting back to our campsite we picked up Abbie from DDR and then made some vegetarian Frito boats for dinner. We ended the night with some Trader Joe's chocolate chip cookies and a game of Mancala by lantern light.
This is one of my favorite photos from the whole trip. I think it's definitely a framer. I love how even Abbie is smiling for the camera!
After surviving the heat the first day, Abbie's near-death experience and her first kennel stay, and cooking in the wilderness, I think camping on our own was a total success! John and I agreed that we can't wait to go again soon!