Saturday, May 2, 2015

Recovery and a Little Innocent Drive


On April 24, we did nothing. It was recovery day from the big hike in Bryce Canyon. We were both very tired and sore. I took only one picture.


I went for a short walk to try to loosen up the muscles and caught these storm clouds over the canyon. We knew we were in for colder temps and some possible SNOW!

On Saturday, April 25, we decided we needed to get out and do something and walking was out of the question. Rigor mortis had set in and both of us were having trouble walking down the three stairs from the bedroom to the living room in our trailer. We also wanted to go to church in Cedar City (78 miles away). We also needed a Walmart stop. We had not seen a Walmart in over a month. I also needed to get my prescriptions filled and the closest Walgreens was in Cedar City. I looked at the map and decided that we could make a drive down through Zion National Park and then turn back north to hit I 15 to Cedar City and then come back to Bryce Canyon by way of Hwy 14 that goes by Cedar Breaks National Monument. The only problem was that Cedar Breaks is not open for the season yet. I wondered why…

We got going, albeit very slowly, and made it to the truck to head out. I turned on my heated seat to act as a heating pad for my aching back. We drove the 70 or so miles to the entrance of Zion National Park. The East Entrance road is a marvel all by itself. It was built in 1934. It is beautiful. It was a cloudy day, but I still got a few pictures.
This is Checkerboard Mesa:



In the middle of that road, there is a tunnel that was bored right through the rock. The cool thing is that there are windows in the tunnel. The view out the windows is awesome. Here is a shot looking back up the valley at the windows for the tunnel:


One note is that the clearance in the tunnel is 13 feet, 1 inch. Well our trailer is 13 feet, 1 inch. I don’t think we will drive it that way. Part of the reason for taking this trip was to find out mare about camping options near Zion. We looked at the campground and it was crowded and not where we wanted to stay. So, we looked at a few other options.

The size of the rock walls in Zion is amazing. Pictures just can’t capture the majesty.


I can’t wait to explore more and get some pictures on a sunny day.


We drove on through Springdale, which is a cool little town, and on to Cedar City. It was cold with intermittent rain. We got all of our business done in Cedar City and made church at 5:30. This was a normal size church. Then it was time to head back to Bryce. I knew we were going to gain some altitude as we went up near Cedar Breaks NM, but I did not do enough research to know how much. When we saw the first car coming in the opposite direction covered in snow, we got a bit concerned. The drive was beautiful at first.


The road was just wet at first, but we could see the snow up higher. We aren’t going up that high…are we? Well, we started to climb and climb. We passed 8000 and it started snowing, then 9000 and we were in heavy snow and the road was snow packed, then 10000 and we were in a blizzard. I was in 4 wheel drive and going about 20 MPH, but the truck never wavered and we just kept going.




Oh, yeah, the road got real curvy also. It was nerve wracking. Once we got to the top it leveled out and slowly lost altitude. When we got back down to 8000 the road was just wet and on we went back to Bryce. Along the way, I noticed some signs for designated ORV trails in the Dixie National Forest. I may need to check that out while I am in the area.

Once we got out of the snow we came across a heard of elk by the side of the road.


Oh well, that was the adventure for the day. I could really use less of those. We have some more exploring to do at Bryce Canyon over the next few days and then it will be on to Zion. Utah is an amazing state. If you have not been here, plan to make an extended trip at one point in your life. Just don’t wait too long, you will need your youth as much as possible to explore this incredible place.

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