Sally and I are writing this post from a tent in Zion National Park. It’s been pouring rain since the minute we decided to start pitching our tent. The plus side is that we were assured we do not have to worry about the flash flood warnings because our campsite is juuuuuust far enough away from the river.
How did we get here? Four days ago I decided it would be fun to go on a road trip. Utah seemed like a good idea, so I mapped out a few places I wanted to see, told Sally get her $h!t together and get in the car with me. On our first day we spent a solid 8 hours driving from Vail to Bryce Canyon National Park in South Western Utah.
Our very first stop was just off the highway in Palisade, Colorado famous for their delicious peaches. Its hard to know which farm to stop at, so we stopped at one a few down from the highway exit. I don’t this it is possible to go wrong with a farm fresh peach this time of year, and this peach was no exception. It was YUMMY! The combination of juicy, not too firm, not too squishy, and perfectly sweet (we bought a few pounds).
When I-70 was built, they did not route it through the more interesting parts of Utah. It is not as flat as Kansas, but there is a whole lot of nothing. The cool thing about being able to see for what might be hundreds of miles is how big the sky is. You can see the weather all around you, so we could see for hours that we were driving into a thunder storm. It was far away and we hoped it would pass, but unfortunately as we got closer the lightening got more intense and the prospect of camping on an exposed ridge did not seem as appealing. We made it a few miles up the scenic byway to Bryce Canyon before we decided to turn around and rent a cabin for the night. It was a quirky place full of European tourists. Despite trying to make this a low cost trip, it was the best $80 we’ve spent so far.
It turned out that Harold’s Place was just a few miles from the Thunder Mountain Trail head, which we had been planning to ride. It was one of the hardest rides we’ve tried to do both physically and mentally. The rain from the night before made the desert sand really sticky and the loose rocks even more unstable. Turns out for these reasons most people ride the trail in the opposite direction. Leave it to us to to ride a trail backwards. As stressful as the uphill was, the downhill was all smiles!
After our bike ride, we made our way into the National Park. Along the high ridge we had some spectacular views of the Hoodoos that make Bryce Canyon so famous. Inspiration Point is one of the more well known viewpoints, and boy is it inspirational. The rain had decided to stay away, and the sun illuminated the red rock.
For our road trip, I had decided to dust off my Canon EOS camera and put it to use. The setting are all wonky and my lens unimpressive, so when a nice man named Mike asked me if I wanted to take a few photos with his fisheye lens I couldn’t say no! Standing there, talking with Mike was one of the best photo lessons I (we) have ever had.
Another day, another awesome adventure. Now we’re off to explore Zion!