We Are in Kansas, Toto… But Our Blog Is Still in Zion

Photo of Aspens on top of Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park by Curt Mekemson.
At 8,100 feet, the aspens on Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park were convinced it was still early spring. Or maybe late winter. We had climbed 4,500 feet since leaving our campground on the Virgin River of Utah.

The thunder rolled in with an unending rumble and the wind shook our trailer until I thought it might tip us over. We are in Kansas and I couldn’t help but think of Dorothy and her faithful dog, Toto. I half expected to hear the tornado sirens go off or see a wicked witch fly by on her broom. It was not conducive to sleep. Instead, I watched the lightning dance across our skylight while Peggy slept soundly. Maybe she thought I could worry enough for both of us. “Oh, was the wind blowing last night?” she asked me the next morning.

We’ve now left the backroads, mountains and mesas of the Southwest behind. It will be mainly freeway from here on out as we dash across the country to catch our Icelandic Air trip to Amsterdam— except it isn’t that much of a dash. We’ve simply eliminated our 5-7 day layovers between travel days. We still only plan to travel around 200 miles a day with every other day a layover. I’ve never had a sense of humor about driving 4-5 hundred miles straight. And it certainly hasn’t improved with age.

I may change my mind if this weather continues, however. We are under severe thunderstorm watch again tonight. We could be at our daughter’s in Virginia in four days instead of the two weeks I am planning. I have even less tolerance for tornados and golfball size hail than I do driving long distances. Tempting…

Meanwhile, my blog is still in Zion. I have at least three more posts on it, maybe more! 🙂 And then there is Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde, and the Rockies, and dinosaur tracks, desert wildflowers and petroglyphs. Will it ever end? 🙂 Peggy and I have taken at least a thousand photos. I’m afraid to count them. But don’t worry, we won’t subject you to all of them.

Today, my focus continues to be on the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park. After some very winding roads we made it to the top of the Terrace. The views continued to be spectacular.

It’s important to know that the road up to Kolob Terrace is steep and curvy. If you decide to drive up to it, and we highly recommend you do, I wouldn’t take a large RV on the road.
Photo of aspen grove in Kolob Terrace by Curt Mekemson.
Another view of the aspen grove on Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park. There were no leaves to quake in the wind!
View of Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park by Curt Mekemson.
This was a road view of what we might see once we reached the top of the terrace. As always, the conifers didn’t worry about the snow and cold.
Lone pine tree stands out on Kolob Terrace in Zion national Park. Photo by Curt Mekemson.
I was impressed with this lone pine tree.
Photo of mountain on top of Kolob Terrace by Curt Mekemson.
As Peggy and I were with this peak. We stopped to admire it.
Photo of Pine Valley Peak on Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park by Curt Mekemson
And were rewarded with this view.
View of valley from Kolob Terrace taken by Curt Mekemson.
And a view of the valley 4000 feet below.
Colorful monument on Kolob Terrace photo by Curt Mekemson.
We also spotted this attractive rock monument.
Kolob Terrace view by Curt Mekemson.
And felt it was worth a closer look.
Photo of Indian Paint Brush in Kolob National Park.
While I was staring off into the distance, Peggy looked down and spotted this colorful Indian paintbrush. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Following are several more photos of the scenery that Peggy and I saw up on Kolob Terrace and on our drive back down.

Photo of a mesa on top of Kolob Terrace by Curt Mekemson.
Another road shot.
Photo on Kolob Terrace of Zion Canyon by Peggy Mekemson.
Peggy caught this photo. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of kite flying on the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park by Peggy Mekemson.
“Pull over, Curt,” Peggy insisted, “I have to take a photo of this.” It was the most streamlined kite we had ever seen.
Photo of colorful rocks on Kolob Terrace taken by Peggy Mekemson.
And, of course, she had to photograph the colorful background behind the kite. I’ll conclude today’s post here. In my next post, we will be moving on to Kolob Canyon. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

28 thoughts on “We Are in Kansas, Toto… But Our Blog Is Still in Zion

    • Yes! Last night was clear with no winds, rain, hail or thunder! 🙂 We are in Missouri now, Peggy. The night before, the people in this campground spent it in a tornado shelter…

  1. I love Zion NP as well. We had planned another trip for April, but grandparent responsibilities rescheduled it till much later in the year. How refreshing these images are!

    • We are rushing for Virginia now, Eric, due to ‘grandparent responsibilities.’ Although I’m not sure taking our kids and grandkids on a Rhine River cruise is that much of a responsibility. 🙂 Thanks for your comments on the Zion photos. The National Park is truly one of the wonders of the world. I have at least three more posts of it coming up. And then it will be on to Bryce and then to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon— all favorites of ours.

  2. I just finished reading this blog written by a Kansas friend I met because of my travels though the area. Your mention of Toto brought it to mind, and I thought you might enjoy the photos. (Her Wylie is a pretty darned cute dog, too!)

    Kansas has been on my mind for another reason. Ye Olde Toyota system was going to spit up my missing part about June 25 — add repair time to that and I’d be without Princess for the whole of June. Unacceptable. So, I prowled online and found a Toyota parts dealer in Olathe Kansas who deals only in OEM parts. We had a nice chat this morning; he didn’t have the part, but is having it shipped to their dealership and it will be sent to me via expedited shipping tomorrow; I’ll have it by Friday or Saturday. Huzzah!

    Love the Indian paintbrush, Peggy! It’s one of my favorite wildflowers, and it’s always fun to see another species.

  3. What an amazing place to fly a kite!
    I recall cutting a trip short too as we raced across the Plains with our 5th wheel trailer ahead of approaching storms. But even “racing,” we took the back roads rather than the Interstate.

    • Peggy and I have been known to drive 500 miles out of our way to avoid major storm systems, Ray. Our hitting the freeways now is that we are under orders from our daughter to reach her house by Father’s Day and we dallied too long in the Southwest.
      The kite was neat. We were impressed by it’s small streamlined size as well as the incredible backdrop. The guy was obviously enjoying himself. –Curt

  4. The scenery continues to be outstanding. I love that kind of desert best of all and I’m grateful our country has so much of those fabulous rocks and all their colours. My fave pic of the day is the streamlined kite! Wow! Not only is the kite super cool, but the background makes it even more amazing. What a great capture, Peggy. Here’s hoping your Midwest travels are safe and you don’t get blown off the road or pummeled by hail. (being a former meterologist…I do envy the potential of seeing a tornado, but I realize not everyone is crazy like me, ha ha)

    • We found the kite fascinating as well, Crystal— both its unique shape and the background. Peggy says thanks. I’ve seen one or two tornados in the far distance, Crystal, which is about as close as I wanted to be. And we seen plenty of tornado damage. Some the day after. Last night was peaceful here and we got a good sleep. The night before, everyone in the is campground spent in a tornado shelter. We didn’t mind missing that! 🙂 –Curt

  5. What beautiful photos, Curt and Peggy. Isn’t it funny how fascinated we can be by rocks. I think about the love of rocks and it makes me laugh. Fabulous kite shot too. Sorry to hear about the windy stormy weather on your way east. It doesn’t sound like fun and yet long days behind the wheel isn’t fun either. Looking forward to more of the Zion and the area. We just loved our trip there. 😀

  6. I suppose if someone tells you to go fly a kite, that’d be a good place for it. For what it’s worth, it kind of reminded me of a jellyfish with long tentacles in a strong current. Except water isn’t usually so clear.

    • Hi Jim, I went back and found your email in my spam file. Of course you are welcome to use that photo or any that I have taken.. Your book looks quite interesting. A simple attribution to ‘Curt Mekemson’ is all that I require. All of my photos are on Apple’s Photos. I’d be glad to send you the highest quality there if your book is published. My first trip to Burning Man was in 2004 and I have been back many times. I hope to get back there next year assuming Peggy and I are in the west on our travels. Good luck in your publishing efforts –Curt

  7. Good to get caught up on your adventures. Thanks for the look at more of Kolob, stuff we never got to see because of the locked gate… Hard to see ALL the beauty our lovely land has to offer. Your photos are therefor highly appreciated. Hoping you’ve made it through the storms in fine shape…..
    You’ve missed a rather lovely spring here in your old territory. June has provided some lovely gentle springtime showers… though the strawberries and other crops are a bit slow in showing up…

    • Thanks, Gunta. I still feel we were only able to scratch the surface. Still, we were able to explore more than we ever have before. You are absolutely right about the beauty.
      We’ve kept up with the weather in Southern Oregon. When we left, the area was entering another drought period. And then May happened. It even snowed! –Curt

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