04/29 We head out of Cedar City toward Cedar Breaks National Park. What an incredible destination (and incredible drive to get there). We should have known that Cedar Breaks would be closed for the season because there is still a lot of snow there. We see a marmot; lots of deer; an osprey with a fish in its mouth; and lots of ducks. We continue to drive on scenic Route 12. It is the most incredible drive ever! Duck Lake may be a place to come back to: There are several VRBO rentals in this area as well as fly fishing and other outdoor opportunities available.
We decide our next stop is Bryce Canyon National Park. We were there a few years ago and it is worth another stop. Before you get to Bryce you drive through Red Canyon. Red Canyon gives you a taste of what is to come. It’s a quick drive through (maybe there are nice hikes but we’ve never stopped at the visitor center).
I look for campground choices in the Bryce area but many of the sites don’t open until Memorial Day. I find a KOA campground (in Canonville) that gets good reviews. When we arrive we are a little unhappy that it’s not closer to Bryce–it’s about a 20 minute drive (a really scenic drive). But as we settle in we come to see that it’s a very well-maintained place with a nice view from our campsite. We even have a nice grassy area to set up the dogs’ playpen. The managers are very nice and helpful. We’d come back here again without hesitation!
H sees our neighbor getting out of her rig and says to me “We need to…” And I say right away “Don’t say it!” Because I know he is about to say “We need to lose weight.” He and I can read each others minds after nearly 33 years of marriage and 38 years of being together. Guess we’d better stop those traveling potato chip indulgences. For the record, of the 8 rigs here right now we are the thinnest people (use your imagination and include suspenders in the visual). Oh, wait! 2 other rigs pulled in just now and they are slimmer and YOUNGER.
Toby is a real pill! He is such a barker! People walk by (some with dogs) and he will not quit barking. I want to rip his larynx out! I am going to get his crate out and see if “time out” in the crate will be enough negative reinforcement to quiet down.
04/30 H wants to be in Bryce for the sunrise so we wake up at 5am, quickly stow everything, grab a fast breakfast and we’re off! Unfortunately there are clouds and haze so not good photographic opportunities. While H is on his photographic safari, I wash last nights dishes and clean up Diana while we’re parked in the parking lot. It is here that I develop skills to undress and dress in our tiny bathroom with the door closed. I wasn’t sure I could do that but it was easier to master that skill than it was to close all the curtains for privacy.
There is a nice 20 mile drive through Bryce that we are surprised to find we did not complete the last time we were here. The roads are nearly deserted. At one point about 25 motorcycle riders zoom into the scenic overlook. It was quite a sight! They were from many different countries (based on the spoken languages) and apparently this was an organized tour. There was a support car with an extra cycle if one of the others broke down. I thought that was an interesting tour alternative. By the way, all those riders looked mighty COLD!
We then took off on Route 12, considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country, for about a 100 mile drive to Coral Reef National Park. The drive is incredible–the scenery changes around every bend in the road. We marvel at all the different rock formations and colors. How did so many different and incredible geological sites occur within is area of Utah?
The road is uneven with lots of curves. There are really high winds and Diana is buffeted by them. It’s not a pleasant driving experience for me but H enjoyed himself!
We stop at the tiny town of Boulder and we are surprised to find 3 restaurants to choose from for lunch. (Later we hear from our campground manager that all three are excellent!) We order “to go” and have our lunch with the dogs in Diana. I have a hamburger with Mexican flare and H has a lamb burger Greek style. Both were excellent and came with great cole slaw. I bought some unusual homemade preserves: onion and chili. I’ll have to find a good way to enjoy them.
It took us a little over 3 hours (not including lunch) to get to Coral Reef but it was worth it! What an incredible place. We took the 20 mile scenic road and were amazed the entire way. There is a nice little park in the valley that includes a restored homesteader’s house and ranch buildings. We did not have time to see the park because it was getting late and I did not relish the thought of driving back especially in the dark. It took 2.5 hours to drive back–I drove the speed limit even though the winds were as strong as earlier in the day but I was more confident strong-arming the wheel.