Thanksgiving 2016: Zion National Park in Southern Utah

Odometer (Legend):  549,008

549008

Odometer (ILX):  187,248

187248

Trip Distance:  849 Miles

sgu

What are some of the most expensive toll roads you’ve driven?

park_fees

On Thursday morning, I paid $30 to drive 14 miles on State Route 9 in southern Utah.  $2 per mile!  But that’s a small price to pay for this kind of scenery-per-mile, right?

ilx_at_zion

Truth is, that fee was actually the cover charge for Zion National Park, and it just so happened that I needed to pass through Zion in order to get to a Thanksgiving feast that was awaiting me at Aunt Jodi’s house on the other side in Rockville.

Knowing, though, that I wouldn’t need to re-enter the park since I’d be taking a different route home, I decided to “pay it forward.”  It was Thanksgiving Day, after all.  As soon as I got through the park and exited its west end, I hit the brakes, threw the hazards on in the ILX, and rushed out the driver door to hand my park pass to an unsuspecting motorist going the opposite way who was waiting in line at the ranger station to enter.  “Do you want a free park pass?  It’s good for 7 days,” I told the driver of a white SUV.  “Umm, sure!” he said as he took the brochure and receipt.  “Happy Thanksgiving!” I yelled as I ran back to the ILX and drove away.

zion_entrance

Growing up in southern Utah, my family’s home was only 45 minutes from the gates of Zion National Park.  Zion is one of Utah’s 5 colorful national parks, established 97 years ago and covering over 200 square miles in the southwest corner of the state.  There are some key features including waterfalls, gardens, and picturesque sandstone cliffs carved away by the Virgin River at the base.  Holiday tourist traffic was heavy on Thanksgiving but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the scenery and stopping for a few photos on my quick drive through.

tunnel

My favorite feature of the park is 1.1-mile-long tunnel called the Zion – Mount Carmel Tunnel.  It was carved away in 1930 and shortened the distance from Zion to nearby Bryce Canyon by 70 miles.  The tunnel is narrow and requires a special escort for oversize vehicles.  The interior of the tunnel is completely black except for 3 or 4 spots where there are ‘windows’ opening up to the outside canyon.  Unfortunately cars are not allowed to stop at those windows.

We dined heartily on turkey and trimmings at Jodi’s.  It was good to see my brothers and a couple of my cousins.  Here are a few photos and a short video from my Thanksgiving weekend.  Check out my cousin Dillon’s dance moves at 1:46 in.  I hope you and your families had an enjoyable one.

group

Highway 89 northbound just south of Page, Arizona

highway_89

Utah state line near Lake Powell in Page

utah_statel

I liked this Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah

parry_lodge_kanab

Highway 9 westbound

zion_road

Curvy road after exiting the tunnel

ilx_front

These backdrops never get old

ilx_at_zion_3

Quick jaunt to Salt Lake to visit a family member in the hospital

salt_lake_mountain

Sunset off mom’s back patio on Saturday night

mom_view

Visiting a couple of my favorite little people, nephew Rex and niece Vivienne

rex_viv_tyson

I was shocked on Thursday evening when my friend Chris messaged me about an article that had just been posted on Jalopnik about my garage and Acura collection.  Jalopnik is one of the largest automotive media pages around – with over 300,000 followers on Facebook, 150,000 YouTube subscribers, and a huge presence overall.  A couple of months ago, I had shot a quick email over to editor Andrew Collins who I also knew to be an Acura driver (with a > 200,000-mile TL).  He took enough interest in the story to put together an article about it.

jalop_feature

The level of response was pretty nuts.  My blog had its best view day in its 5-year history, with 2,558 views and over 1,200 visitors the following day.  Both the Facebook post and the article itself got about 300 comments each. I was terrified of reading them but eventually got the nerve.  To my surprise, most were overwhelmingly positive.  I’m glad a few people out there can relate to a my madness or at least consider it a little bit entertaining.

stats

The blog, by the way, is sitting at around 496,000 views overall since I started it in March 2011.  That means we are shortly coming up on a Drive to Five milestone of a completely different nature.  Thanks for being part of it!

15 Responses to “Thanksgiving 2016: Zion National Park in Southern Utah”

  1. I nearly cried when I read about your park pass generosity.

  2. You need a dashcam Homefry!

  3. Wow Zion looks absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to go up there some time.

  4. Very cool photos from Zion! Any chance of going back here with the NSX or the ‘Teg?

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  5. Absolutely stunning scenery Tyson!

    Someday…

    Hey if it’s blog view hits your looking for I could post this:

    “Tyson Hugie decides to sell his entire Acura collection!!!…”

    I’m certain you’d see a “noticeable” increase in views 🤣

    BTW don’t even think about it 😉

    • No way, Jose! Nothing’s for sale! Haha. The good news is that next month is my final $376 NSX car payment so now everything is paid for! That puts a few extra bucks in my pocket for… gas money, or whatever. Hope the rest of your holiday weekend went well. I need to check in and see the latest on your Domicile Destruction. 🙂

  6. I might need to make the trek down to Zion one of these days, those views are amazing! Any chance we are seeing 550k by the end of the year on the Legend coupe?

  7. Hi Tyson,

    How are you doing so far? I noticed that your Legend coupe got almost ready to hit 550,000 miles soon! I can’t wait to see it. Great picture of your family. Is your family live in Utah? Utah is really nice state. I hope you have a good weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: