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ON THE ROAD TO UTAH

Changes in Scenery

rain 38 °F

Good Morning!

I left Flagstaff with cool (cold) temperatures of 34* overnight. About mid-night it was getting cold inside the mh so I started the gen, turned on the 2 furnaces and enjoyed some warmth the remainder of the night. Waking up the surrounding mountains were covered with snow. Flagstaff is a popular ski destination. Traveling northward on US 89 the landscape changed from the mountainous, evergreen tree-covered land to vast colorful buttes and canyons. The colors ranged from pink with ribbons of red to deep earthtones. It was also a long climb to Page, AZ near the Utah state line. Located at Page is the Glen Canyon Dam which creates the reservoir of Lake Powell extending 186 miles north on the Colorado River. Next to Hoover Dam it is the second highest at 710', hydro dam in the US, supplying electricity to the southwestern states. Its reservoir supplies irrigation water to the states of CO, WY, NM, UT, AZ & CA. Driving north to Page I could look to the west and see the north rim of the Grand Canyon, a truly spectacular site.

Once crossing the bridge at the Glen Canyon Dam I headed westward into Utah and on to Zion National Park about 2 hours away. The drive was beautiful with the awsome colorful canyons stretching for miles. I thought of how small humans are in relation to these giant natural wonders. When I arrived at Zion's entrance I was turned away by a large sign saying, 'Height limit 11' 1" due to Park Tunnel Restrictions'. The mh height is 13' 5". Since I am on a time restriction with the meetings a few days hence in Salt Lake City I chose not to unhook the car, drive through the park, then return to hook up and continue along my way. I continued on for another 2 hours to Bryce Canyon National Park. Again, near the entrance I had to go through 2 tunnels of 14' in height so all was good. At the Visitor's Center cars & RV's had to be parked and guests were provided free bus shuttle service to various viewpoints overlooking Bryce Canyon. I do not have the ability to describe the incredible beauty of these canyons at Bryce. A lady said her granddaughter told her she must visit it for she could not describe the beauty either. Snow came the night before and plows scraped off the parking lots with small snowbanks in evidence. One of the stops of the shuttle bus was the Byrce Lodge (hotel), and old log structure built by the Union Pacific Railway. The railroad laid tracks and built several of these lodge hotels in national parks to encourage passenger travel to these magnificent places. Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Glacier Park are among the Lodge hotel locations in the National Parks. All are rustic in design but offer ammenities that the modern traveler expects, such as fine dining, room service, etc.

Since it was getting late in the afternoon I chose a campground at the park's entrance. There must be 500+ hotel rooms and 2 large campgrounds, along with about a half dozen restaurants, and a rodeo stadium here. At least a dozen tour busses were parked in front of the hotels, all loaded with 'touring seniors' - like me. Rather than face another frozen dinner in my mh I went to a restaurant to eat. The waiting line was long and I got acquainted with a couple behind me in line. They kindly invited me to join them for dinner. They are horse ranchers from Santa Cruze, CA. A year ago they made reservations for this trip including a donkey or mule ride down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Two weeks ago their Cruise Director called them to inform them the herd (drove) of donkeys came down with bronchitis and are 'off work', sitting on their asses for a month. They were very disappointed. We had a very nice time together.

Tomorrow its on to Richfield Elks Lodge in Richfield, UT then to Salt Lake City the next day.

Posted by dixter 09:21 Archived in USA Tagged canyon út bryce

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