Snow by the road. It was cold
Mileage 181 miles
We got up and started packing. The hotel had given Claire a can of diet coke when she checked in and she had been drinking it this morning. As she was packing she knocked it over and it poured into her suitcase. We all went into action with towels and hair dryers. Luckily the stuff that got really wet was all dark.
As we left Zion National Park, Claire drove so that Pam could get the bird’s eye view of the route from the passenger’s seat. Claire saw a giant man made tunnel hole in the side of the mountain and said “there is the tunnel”. Susan stated that it would be one major drop off. We started to speculate on why there was a tunnel opening in the middle of the mountain. Did the builders break out at the wrong location? Susan finally came up with the answer, it was one of the windows in the long tunnel. Still it did look weird and I wished we would have gotten a picture.
The drive was uneventful but Pam enjoyed the view but by the end she really needed to go to the bathroom. We
Cedar Breaks Canyon
found a port-a-potty and stopped. When she got back in the car she said it was the cleanest nicest port-a-potty she had ever been in. A bit later we stopped at a Shell station and did another bathroom break and switched drivers.
We passed by several rock shops and the rocks looked translucent and like blocks of glass. We made the decision to stop at the next shop we saw but we are still looking for the next one. Then went thru a “used to be town”. Everyone in the very small town must have been running for an office as there were political signs everywhere. We did see the Historic “Smith” Hotel which was the only interesting thing in the town.
We arrived at the Dixie National Forest. We remembered reading why Dixie was so popular in the area during our coast to coast trip 2 years ago, but no one now could remember what we had read. This road had interesting signs. One was a “Truck Entry” sign and it was roped to a tree. Another was “Watch for Rocks in the Road”, not falling rocks, just ones in the road. And the last was “Icy
The sisters at Cedar Breaks
Road”. We passed thru Duck Creek and everything is named Duck Creek. Then we saw a pond with a lot of fisherman and it was chock full of ducks. I guess that is where they got the name.
Our next interesting site was a lava flow. We later learned that this was a vent flow from about 1000 years ago.
We finally arrived at Cedar Breaks National Monument. There were large snow patches around the area. We got out. Oh my, we were not in the Grand Canyon anymore. It was cold and VERY windy. We all put on our heavier jackets… Susan was having dressing issues. She put on her jacket while still in her seat belt and couldn’t get out. Susan also fully changed clothes in the van before getting out. Claire and Pam laughed. We went to pay our fee (use Susan’s national park pass to get in free) and took in the view of the canyon. The wind was brutal. Pam was so cold she couldn’t take pictures because she was shivering so badly. We got back to the van and removed our heavy clothing. We drove to the next stop and layered our
Lava beside the road
clothing again. We did this several times. Susan stated “don’t you hate that we can’t find parking places on Memorial Day Weekend”. Ha, ha, there were so many places available. She did pick a good route for us to avoid the crowds.
After leaving the park, we saw 4 trucks with boat trailers parked like an ad on the side of the road by a grassy hill. We all stated, what???, where would you launch a boat as the only thing around was a cliff into a canyon with a small creak going thru it. We were confused. Then we saw a Tesla on the road. Where would they recharge it? I mean there is nothing around there for miles and miles.
We arrived in Panguitch. It was the first real town we have seen in days. It looked like an old western town. We drove thru the town, then back tracked so we could see the old buildings, which included a salon. We stopped for a restroom break in Panguitch and Claire scored big with a new Styrofoam drink cup and some fireballs. We got back on the road and onto scenic Hwy 12. This is where
Pam has her first major driving issue. She pulled into the turning lane to turn left and started accelerating. She was going to blow right past the turn. Susan and Claire yelled. Pam slammed on the brakes and jerked the van to the left right in front of a truck. It scared Susan and Claire to death. She was trying to kill us. At the first pretty pull out, we stopped for lunch in the car. As we were packing up, Claire hit her large cup and yes, it went over. Another fire drill with all the car doors opening and Susan and Pam jumped out to help clean it up. Luckily it was all ice, but the soft ice Claire loves best. She was sad. Yesterday, Claire really had issues with her drinking.
Our next view was the famous arch like tunnels before you enter into Bryce Canyon. We drove the remainder of Hwy 12 and made it to Bryce. We saw our hotel but headed into the canyon. Just after the hotel we saw a bunch of TPs on the side of the road. You could rent one as your room. Pam stated “can you see us
all trying to pull our luggage into one of those?”
Pam then had her next major driving moment. Susan said there is a stop for pedestrian sign. Pam heard “stop” so she slammed on her brakes right in front of a park ranger vehicle. We asked her why? She said you said “Stop”. We said “no, we said there was a stop for pedestrian sign”. She said “I would have stopped for a pedestrian”.
We arrived at the Sunrise viewpoint area and hiked to see the view. Susan had another clothing moment as she put on her backpack over her clothes wrong and then forgot to take out her camera. We made it up to the viewpoint for our first views of Bryce Canyon. We then decided to hike the Sunrise to Sunset trail. The wind picked up a ton when we got close to the rim. The area was covered with Hoodoos and we started singing “who do, who do you think you’re fooling”. A hoodoo looks like the top of a Hindu temple and in other places they look like dirt daubers nests. We made it to Sunset and get some great views of a group
of hoodoos. We hiked back on the trail and traveled to the next viewpoint. It was packed so we decided to drive to the end of the route to make our way back.
The last stop on the route was for Rainbow and Yovimpa viewpoints and we hiked out to these to see the views. As we hiked between the points we heard a little kid say to her dad “It’s cold”. His replay was “Remember when you were in the Grand Canyon and you said you were hot, well now you’re not”. Our next stop was the Natural Bridge and then we went to Inspiration point and the best of all, the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater.
Now it was time to go back and check into our hotel and find a place to eat. We stayed at the Ruby Ranch Best Western Hotel. We had to pay for this room because they would not take points. The hotel was really a very spread out motel. The front desk asked Claire if she wanted a first or second floor room. And then they stated there were no elevators. Could you picture us carrying all our stuff up a flight
The sister's at Bryce Canyon
of stairs? Claire choose the ground floor. After we dropped off our belongings, we drove to try to get our windshield wiper fixed. The place was closed but we did get gas. We then went to the rock store. They didn’t have what we had seen on the side of the road so we left. Next we try to find a dinner place that Pam can eat at. It turned out that the hotel restaurant was about our best choice. We headed over to it and as we arrived, we saw a big bus pull in and the people were heading to the door. We ran to get in front so that we would not be behind the whole bus. We still had to wait a bit before being seated. We all ordered the rainbow trout and when it arrived it tasted just like salmon. After dinner we went next door to the general store to buy some postcards and bananas and drinks. Well, that was the most expensive bananas we’ve ever seen. They were $1.10 apiece. Now let us describe Ruby’s area. Ruby’s is a monopoly. The hotel (really motel) has 5-6 long buildings with rooms. Our room number
Sunset portion of the Sunrise to Sunset trail
was 7542. There is a lake with TPs around it for rent, there is a very large restaurant, a general store, a post office, a grocery store, Rv area, village shops and a laundromat. I’m sure there was more that we didn’t see. All of this was owned by Ruby’s there was nothing else in the area that was not owned by Ruby’s.
Once we made it back to our room, we worked on the Zion Canyon blog and pictures from the day. Claire’s device to let her copy the pictures from the memory cards failed. But it turned out that Susan had the cord for her camera. We could download the pictures from her camera and Claire’s camera thru that USB cord. Pam’s photos have always been on her phone so her pictures have always been downloaded via a USB. To end the evening Susan played “Loves me like a Rock” so that we could hear “who do, who do you think you’re fooling”.
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