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Scott, the pugs & I are just back from a 15-day RV trip through Utah and Arizona.
It was our first time RVing and I'll include our thoughts on the RV experience and the pros and cons in a future post.
By the numbers:
1,782 road miles driven.
76.33 miles by foot.
227,171 steps later...
FYI, This post is just a bare snapshot of our adventure. I posted the trip in real time on Instagram so check that out for more pictures of our travels and the parks, as well as seeing all of the foods I made in our camper!
Consider this post more 4-1-1 informative for trip planning than picturesque.
FOOD: Since we were on a strict budget, I cooked in the camper (details and recipes in a future post--make sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don't miss it!) but we did take care to look at menus at local restaurants and campground lodges whenever we could to see what options would be available for vegans and plant-based campers.
Zion National Park
We hiked the Narrows, which is THE trail to experience in Zion.
We slogged through the Virgin River all the way from the Temple of Sinawava to the Waterfalls (which is worth the added distance after Wall Street imho), and then detoured to Orderville Canyon on our way out.
It took us about 6 hours total, but that included a very long stop for lunch, and walking an extra mile because the shuttle wasn't in service. To be certain, it's an all-day event and exhausting even for a fit body, but an amazing experience.
If you're planning to hike the Narrows, spend the money to rent the special shoes, aqua socks, and walking stick. Also get up as early as possible and on the very first shuttle. Not only will you have the trail mostly to yourself, it's 1000x more stunning in the soft, early morning light. YES it is wet and cold.
If you're a casual hiker, there are a few gentler and paved trails in Zion, but most of the famous trails are moderate to strenuous (and long!) and several hikes are technical (canyoneering, climbing and/or rappelling experience required).
Eats: Unlike a lot of other Parks, Zion sits next to a fairly populated town, so there are dozens of shops, cafes, and restaurants all within a short walking distance.
I was pleasantly surprised to see nearly every restaurant and cafe had "vegan" and "vegetarian" options clearly marked on their menus. You could even find non-oatmeal breakfast options like tofu scramble at Cafe Soleil, and most coffee shops offered almond and soy milks.
If we'd had money to spend on dinner out, I would have ordered the spaghetti squash enchiladas (vegan-adaptable) at Whiptail Grill. That sounds so cool!
BTW, there's also a small, independent grocery and health food store, Sol Foods, with many "fast food" options for vegans like microwave burritos, plus specialty items like vegan "jerky". They also have many special "gluten-free" items!
Bryce Canyon National Park
The Hoodoos remind me of all the drip sand castles I made at the beach as a kid! They're really cool to see and BEST viewed in the soft light of dawn or dusk.
We did the Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Bryce Point (I would recommend going in the OPPOSITE direction--Bryce to Sunset--which would be predominately downhill).
We also descended down in the canyon via the Queens Garden Loop ...
Celebrate the many tastes of fall with this week's meal plan!
Red Lentil Pumpkin Stew (NEW!), Cheesy Pumpkin Pizza (NEW!), Fall Tabbouleh (NEW!), and Fall Kale Slaw Wraps (NEW!) are all NEW! and will have you fall-ing in love with the new season.
Also new this week: Sopa de Fideos (NEW!), Sushi Rice Bowl (NEW!), Caprese Spaghetti Squash (NEW!) and much more!
Sopa de Fideos
Meet our Herbie of the Week: Randy!
Randy was introduced to a plant-based diet when his wife started researching better ways to combat osteoporosis without medications. He agreed to go on a 28 day challenge with her, and even though he lost weight and felt great, he wasn't willing to part with his favorite foods like nachos and cheeseburgers.
A couple years later his son Brent, a former Herbie of the Week (you can read his story here), went ...
This week's meal plan is all about feel good (and good for you!) comfort food!
Usher in the fall season with a "Steak" & Cheeze Baked Potato (NEW!), Instant Pesto Pasta (NEW!), Eggplant Parm Subs (NEW!), & Fiesta Casserole (NEW!).
Also on this week's menu: Jerk Chickpeas, Spinach Artichoke Dip Soup, Veggie Pot Pie & more.
Eggplant Parm Subs
Meet our Herbie of the Week: Slim!
By the time Slim was 56 years old, he was on 7 medications, had high cholesterol, hypertension, AND Type 2 diabetes. Over the years he also tried multiple fad diets to lose weight, but none of them proved successful (or sustainable).
Fast forward to 2011, he and his girlfriend watched "Forks Over Knives" and immediately adopted a planted-based diet after seeing the success stories -- and he hasn't looked back since!
Today, just ...