The Anchorage Adventurers Meetup Group Message Board › Thanksgiving in Zion --- Update on camping and food --- Wednesday Nov. 6

Thanksgiving in Zion --- Update on camping and food --- Wednesday Nov. 6

Doug Van E.
Fruita, CO
Thanksgiving in Zion
Update on camping and food  ---  Wednesday Nov. 6
I am sending this message to the whole group so those who have RSVPed can see the update and so any of you who have yet to decide if you will join us can see the scoop to. It's a long message divided into a few sections since a lot of planning and a lot of participant questions are involved with this event each year. The sections below are:
1. Who will honcho the food so we get enough dressing and not 4 gallons of cranberries?
2. List of group gear and 'stuff' that we need and need volunteers to share in bringing
3. Camping notes
4. The outdoor fun we came here for
5. A previous update that shows where we will be camping (outside the Natl Park; pretty & Free), what to expect for weather averages and other incidental notes.
Stacie Boyles 801-391-4059  AND
Sandy Crow 917-620-0078
will be coordinating the food.
If you are coming from WSA, please let Stacie know what you want to/ plan to bring.
You Anchorage folks please communicate with Stacie.
If you are coming from Backpackers Anon..., please let Sandy know.
In either case, please let them know your cell # and a regular email address so there is more than just the meetup mail system for communications. They will not broadcast your email address to the world. Any messages using that email will be sent Bcc or only to you.
They will be putting together a master food list and will plug you in or if they do not hear from you on what you want to bring they may ask you to bring . . . something.
2. GROUP GEAR. There may be a few things I forget from this list and if so, either let me know &/or just bring it. Where we are camping does not have picnic tables or any other amenities except beauty.We need participants to bring (and let me know what you are bringing, please.):
Tables - we need large, stable serving tables (see photo on the calendar page). Need 5-6 of these. We can also use a bunch of more portable roll-ups
Tarps - large tarps with poles and tie-outs in the very rare event that it rains
Kitchen box - 1 or 2 river trip-type kitchen boxes that include things like extra serving bowls & utensils, pot grabbers (for hot pots &/or Dutch ovens), etc.
Groovers/ Camp Toilet (probably want 2. I can bring one so we need 1 more) With this set-up we will need the toilet for solids and a pee bucket so we do not fill the toilet or stink up the ground. River trip people know what I'm talking about. Here is an article that explains the process.
Pink flamingos- yard ornaments to mark the path to the groover
Hand washing set-ups Need 2, 1 for the groovers and one for the kitchen. Here is a video of an easy way to make a set-up to bring with you, please (do not count on finding a limb though that may be possible). Here is a link to the fancy kind of system.
Hatchet &/or Axe to split all that FIREWOOD we are each going to bring so we can have both evening and breakfast campfires. A breakfast campfire makes it so nice to get out of bed on a camping morning (I'm always up early).
Dish washing set up - I am pretty sure 3Doug already spoke up for bringing this (4 pan system - sludge, wash, warm rinse, cold bleach rinse for sanitation and safety)
Trash bags- if each person brings one or 2 we will be great. If you have large rocket boxes like we use on the river that would be even better so we can have a kitchen trash can with real sides.
Food storage containers for your left overs and 'group' left overs- TupperWear, zip-lock bags, etc.
Dutch oven - bring your own if you want to prepare a meal or dessert in it; or, announce that you need to borrow one so others are sure to bring theirs
Lantern- nice to have more than headlamp light if we end up eating or cleaning up after dark
Spare rope, cord; heavy mallet or mini-sledge hammer
Other . . . ????
The map below (scroll way down) clearly shows where camp will be.
We expect to have a 20' tepee - if you get in late at night and need a landmark. . . look for that
There will be a WSA BANNER hanging up
There is room to spread out for camping if that is what you like; or stay close to the central kitchen area if you choose.
Be considerate of where you park your vehicle. I am not sure if this is private or BLM but it is a commonly used camp area. As such people have driven all over and placed tents all over. Do not block through-roads that provide major access and only take your fair share of space for your tent and car since there will be many of us and probably others camped here too.
Please plan to use the groover for a toilet (not drop & bury in such a heavily used area as this) or you can drive 5 minutes into the town of Virgin and find indoor facilities.
4. The outdoor fun we came for (if someone has a re-markable white board we can post announcements on please bring that)
There are many hikes of all lengths and difficulties. Some depend on the weather.
Come with ideas for what you want to do &/or hikes you plan to do that you are willing to share with others. Or, come and just join in. There are good books and lots of internet resources so you can know in advance what kinds of opportunities there may be. Among us there will be all levels of hikers, I am confident.
One hike that requires a permit is Subway from the Bottom Up (if you want, please apply for a permit and let me know you got it). This is a Zion classic. It is a wet hike so bring sandals or water shoes you can change into once the hike route starts getting wet.
There will have to be an Angels Landing hike. This is another Zion-Must Do.
Brucer has lots of ideas for other hikes and he really knows his way around this place.
Some people are also talking about wanting to walk up the Virgin River Narrows, another Zion classic. This does not require a permit to walk the lower 4 miles, bottom up. Warm river gear and shoes can be rented in Springdale or bring your own wet suit, neoprene socks and shoes that can walk in water much of the trip. This is a MUST DO trip sometime; now or during a warmer month. This is the trip that made me want to start canyoneering.
Canyoneering- You have to bring all your basic gear. If you own a rope please bring it.
Thursday/ Thanksgiving Day morning I am willing to take a few beginners and any others to a place a few miles from camp called Lambs Knoll. There are 2 or 3 short canyons there we can do before returning to camp to prepare dinner. If you are new and want to try this mini-canyoneering adventure please try to rent from a university outdoor program or borrow from a friend: harness, rappel/belay device, 2-4 carabiners, 1 or more 12'-15' pieces of 1" nylon webbing. You must bring your own helmet (bike, ski or climbing helmets are OK). We may have a very limited number of harnesses to borrow.
I know Lyn Brown has a permit for Subway on Friday. Join us if you have a drysuit or FULL wet suit. You must also have neoprene socks & gloves. This will be wet and cold and take all day.Headlamp also required.
Brucer & Danny have been looking at some dry canyon options. I have 3 or 4 dry canyons highlighted in the Zion Canyoneering book. If you have that book look for the 3AII or 3AIII canyons. "A" canyons are dry (well, usually dry).

Thanksgiving in Zion
Update on camping and food  ---  Monday, Oct 2
You are all adults and you will all camp where and how you decide you want to but I am going to give you a 1st hand report of our campsite of choice. I was just there this weekend.
The national park personnel I spoke with said Watchman Campground may be pretty crowded over Thanksgiving Weekend and at best we are likely to be disbursed all over a large campground there.
So the plan is to camp not in the national park but on BLM/ public land about 14 miles from the park entrance. Approaching Zion from the west on UT Hwy 17 then Hwy 9 you go through the town of LaVerkin then along Hwy 9 you reach Virgin, UT (no jokes necessary).
In Virgin and heading east toward the national park, turn left onto Kolob Terrace Road. Go 1.8 paved miles to a small dirt turn off. About 50 yards into this road (there are a few avoidable ruts) veer to the right. Weave through the maze of small roads to a large open area on the right with large trees and the river within view to your left. If all goes as planned there will be a 20' tepee set up here as our landmark and social center (hopefully there by mid-day Wednesday).
This area is public land, with lots of large trees, along a river, right down stream a few miles from one of the classic Zion hikes - Subway, from the bottom up. See map below and this link.
There are 'NO FACILITIES'. We will need to bring

  • all our own tables and chairs - no picnic tables.
  • our own toilet or as we say on river trips, 'groover'­­ (if you do not want to use this it's a short drive into Virgin to facilities)
  • hot shower (which I expect Brucer Richardson will set up like he did last year but that time the park service made him take it down. Those who did have a hot outdoor shower last year loved it.)
  • anything else we want to for a comfortable car camping experience

I realize that some people may want

  • a campground with picnic tables and restrooms (give Watchman Campground in the national park a try but make reservations well in advance if they accept them?)
  • an RV park with hook-up facilities
  • indoor accommodations such as a B&B or motel in Virgin or Springdale

Those other options are all good and available. PLEASE plan to be at the THANKSGIVING DAY afternoon POTLUCK DINNER no matter where you camp or otherwise stay.
­Temperatures­­ on average are 60's during the day and 30's at night.

Presuming that we all bring plenty of FIREWOOD we will have both evening and morning campfires. I can assure you of that warmth, at least in the morning since I often the 1st one up and out building that fire.
It is all about what you, and him and her and I each bring.
The past 2 Thanksgivings like this we have had all the best of what you have at home and then some. Plus group left overs from Thursday make for great group meals or meal supplements.
In a few weeks we will begin food organization. Please plan to contribute $5-10 each toward the major expense fund - so those who bring big stuff like turkey, ham, etc. can be compensated for spending more than, for example: I will probably spend on the yam dish I will be making (pre-making and cooking, to be re-heated for actual dinner time) or the salad or dessert or whatever you plan to make/ bring.

This is a participatory event and your active participation will make a good event GREAT.
Doug Van Etten  970-433-4312        Mary Hertert  970-778-5985
DouglasVanEtten @          colorcreek49 @
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