Archives for posts with tag: Utah

The minute I read about an outdoor market being open today, it was immediately declared my day off from writing. I’ve been to a million of these markets over the years and even sold my hand painted shirts and jewelry at functions very similar to this trying to find enough money for food, shelter, clothing and the likes for my daughter and I during my self-employment years. It was always fun meeting people and seeing what others were doing so I jumped at the chance especially knowing I could see some great red rocks in the mix!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt1

Tuacahn Market sits at the foot of the Amphitheater.

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt5

Flowing Water divides the walkway. Nice toucht!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt2

Mother Nature’s version of Mount Rushmore!

2017-11-11 TuacahnMkt4

Mother Nature’s own carvings.

The layout was very nicely done, not crowded and had some boring stuff and some interesting things as well. Yeah. There were a couple of those venders who said, “My family makes these” but stopped short of “in China.” But, all-in-all, it was so worth the views, meanderings and entertainment!

And, as I was about to turn back toward the car, a Southern accent over the microphone stopped me dead in my tracks. I’d heard the young man singing and thought he was good but it was his story about how he was inspired to write his next song when he was invited to try some homemade peach moonshine! And, seein’ as how I happen to be familiar with that southern nectar, I had to turn back to hear more.

Turns out Tom Bennett hails from Conyers, Georgia, and is a young man who writes and sings a sweet southern blues! If you look closely at the picture of him below, you’ll see he plays a suitcase drum with his left foot, tambourines with his right, has a harmonica around his neck and Lord only knows what else he does up there that I hadn’t witnessed yet. He and his wife travel around doing gigs. He also writes a travel blog. I bought his album, “Tom Bennett One Man Band,” produced by Sweet Salt Records. Check him out at http://www.tombennettonemanband.com!

2017-11-11 TuacahnTom1

Tom Bennett One Man Band!

2017-11-11 TuacahnTom2

If you like the blues, you gotta buy this album!

Still hungry for a decent hamburger, I dug around on my cell Chrome and found a place called “Painted Pony” in historic St. George, Utah. And after driving around and a’ hollerin’ out at folks next to me at redlights about its whereabouts, I finally parked and started walking in the general direction they was a’ pointin’ to. Even that wasn’t easy because the reflections on the glass doors kept me from being able to read their sign but I barged right on through…tired, hungry and fed up. I done the right thang! It was all worth it.

2017-11-11 St.GeoPaintPny1

Painted Pony Menus

2017-11-11 St.GeoPaintPny2

Their Grilled Tenderloin Burger hit the spot and so did their ambiance.

Back to writing again. Had enough of that getting lost stuff for awhile. Now it’s time I got  lost in this book!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

Advertisements

Got a little stir crazy from sitting too long trying to ignore screaming of electric tools from the guy next to me build the next Taj Mahal or totally refurbish his travel trailer so I hit the road. Why oh why are they allowing this? Guess I’ll have to ask but, in the meantime, I took the road less travelled to Zion, Kanab and Jacob’s Lake to revisit some memories.

Plus, I’d had an unrelenting desire to revisit a bit of my last camping trip with Ava from  June, 2011 this past weekend. We’d left Vegas and headed straight for Zion where she spent a couple of days hiking some marvelous trails while Montana and I explored the few paths which allow pets. Our next stop was the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where Ava was determined to hike down the North Rim, spend the night at Phantom Ranch and hike back up the next day to the South Rim. Let’s just say it was one of our most eventful camping experiences. We spent that night in a cabin at Jacob’s Lake taking a much needed respite. Ava had hiked most of the way down the North Rim when her knees failed. They were going to helicopter her out of the canyon but she had other plans. She hiked back out escorted by Rangers.

I had just closed up the popup to head toward the South Rim when a stranger called me first saying Ava was fine and wanted him to tell me to stay at the North Rim. She was coming back up because of knee issues. Montana and I paced frantically for hours at the top of the trail asking anyone coming toward us if they’d seen her. Too scary to say what I was thinking that whole time but when I saw her, there wasn’t a happier mother around! We got the last available cabin at Jacob’s Lake and regrouped.

I felt compelled to go back. I think it was because we’d left part of us there and I needed to put it back into my soul before I could write again.

So, it was only natural for me to focus on rocks first. They help me get outta my own head. Plus, they’re strong but vulnerable and, I sure love me some rocks and how the Mothers create and scar them!

The force of the Mothers (Nature and Earth) are never more apparent than at Zion.  These mountains show signs of Mother Nature’s etchings on their surfaces as the winds carve their way through the sandstone mountains. She drops water into their crevices, then quickly freezes it over and over again to weaken that link to its parent in order to loosen huge boulders enough to cause them to crash below creating thunder throughout the canyon and land atop of the eroded soil at her feet.

2017-11-6 Zion1

Approaching Zion from Hurricane

2017-11-6 Zion2

Etchings from the Mother

2017-11-6 Zion3

Amphitheater created by Mother’s determination to break free pieces of the mountain.

2017-11-6 Zion4

Erosion at the base waiting for more from above

Mother Nature blows her seeds in the wind and sprinkles them like a condiment  into those same crevices. Some germinate and grip for the rest of their lives to the precipices of the rock fighting forever the changing wind, rain, snow, freezing and warming temperatures the Mother sends their way. The larger they grow, the larger the crevice becomes and encourages the huge boulder upon which they cling, along with the Mother’s help, to join the other large boulders below.

The light changes here as rapidly as the temperature and weather. I take a picture one minute and in the next, different hues appear. It’s this marvelous discovery by those artists of yesteryear who fell in love with that very dynamic…the effects sunlight which…Vermeer and Impressionists captured in their paintings and focused on by painting the same scene over and over again in varying light (i.e, Monet’s many paintings of Notre Dame). At some point, the word spread far and wide that Carmel, California held some magic light there. I believe that “magic” light is in the desert here in Utah.

See what you think about my drive to and from Jacob’s Lake.

2017-11-6 Jacob1

Trying to capture the Vermillion Cliffs and the White ones too

2017-11-6 Jacob2

Light changes rapidly especially on cloudy days like yesterday

2017-11-6 Jacob3

These three were literally taken only minutes minutes apart while sitting still.

2017-11-6 Jacob4

Money shot!

The other two parts of this adventure were to visit a place Ava and I had always wanted to visit but never found the time to do so…Best Friends Sanctuary (a non-profit) facility in Kanab, Utah of National Geographic’s “Dogtown” TV show notoriety (https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/visit-our-utah-sanctuary/places-stay).

For those of you who knew Ava, she rescued cats…and dogs…but mostly cats. Ava rescued   a paraplegic cat, Murmur, from a Vet who was moving and who would no longer keep. Ava took Murmur and lovingly nurtured her until the little animal passed away. Ava  would have loved to have lived and worked at this place (if they could have incorporated opera), so I it was only fitting for me to take their tour while I was in the neighborhood and donate to their wonderful cause in her memory.

Yup. It was hard but it was what Ava wanted me to do yesterday so I did it.

2017-11-6 BestFriend1

Best Friends Welcome Center

2017-11-6 BestFriend2

Where “Dogtown” was filmed for National Geographic (https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/explore-sanctuary/dogtown/series)

2017-11-6 BestFriend3

New Veterinarian facilities

2017-11-6 BestFriend4

Cat  World HQ

2017-11-6 BestFriend5

One of many outdoor fun for their Sanctuary Cats looking for their fur-ever homes! 

Then, just for me, I had to go back to Rocking V Cafe (http://www.rockingvcafe.com)  for one of their amazing pork chops. I’d had one of their pork chops this past summer and couldn’t stop thinking about it…so I did what a girl had to do…go back and order it again!

Pork chop

YEAH, BABY! Pork chop at Rocking V Cafe! Way to end the day!

2017-11-6 Kanab1

Rocking V Cafe, Kanab, Utah

2017-11-6 Kanab2

Cozy Inside with nice art for sale on the walls!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

A dear friend of Ava’s (my daughter) came up to visit me in Hurricane this weekend and it was perfect…but that’s as it always is when we get together! Yesterday, we just couldn’t find that sweet spot about how to spend our day. Somehow, we couldn’t quite settle on whether to hike Zion (which we’d both already done) or revisit Snow Canyon. As neither of those “felt” right, we headed for the one book store we did want to visit which  happened to be in meander the historic part of Hurricane, Utah! We found lovely items from yesteryear lovely shops and great people, too!

Our first visit was in “Mercantile Gifts and Consignments” on State Street near Main Street. It’s a plethora of wonderful items to try, view, explore and purchase! Their “sister” entity is just around the corner called “Gypsy Emporium.” We just had to go in there! I’m so glad we did because I met a young kindred spirit who works there, Sarah Jane! Don’t forget our pinky swear!

IMG_20171104_124211812.jpg

Mercantile Gifts & Consignments on State Street. It’ a great place to explore!

IMG_20171104_124546442_HDR.jpg

GYPSY EMPORIUM just around the corner from Mercantile!

 

And found the Hurricane Pioneer Museum where we met this lovely man who had been the voice of some interesting early cartoon characters! His ancestors were part of this towns beginnings and is well versed in its history.

IMG_20171104_134738758_HDR.jpg

HURRICANE PIONEER MUSEUM

Our new friend from Gypsy Emporium recommended Main Street Cafe for our lunch and I’m so happy she did! Thanks, Sarah Jane!

IMG_20171104_150850261_HDR.jpg

MAIN STREET CAFE on Main Street! Go Figure! Great food!

And along the way, who would have thought we would come across such a magnificent display of roses trailing along the sidewalk of one of the first houses built in Hurricane in 1906? We stuck our noses in every single one of those beautiful roses! I think we were responsible for cross-pollinating some of them!

IMG_20171104_151459950.jpg

Roses in the desert? Yup!

Our new friend at the Pioneer Museum had told us to go see where the canal was built to bring the water to the newly formed town of Hurricane. We decided it might be fun to drive down that main road a little farther and look what we found…and, yes, it did involve a u-turn!

IMG_20171104_161714766_HDR.jpg

Convergence Overlook! Several Creeks come together here. It looks like a great hike but not on this day!

IMG_20171104_161725048_HDR.jpg

Beautiful canyon and mountain views!

IMG_20171104_162010140_HDR.jpg

And, look at those rocks!

We had such a great time making u-turns to find those “right” spots to explore whether it was a shop, canyon or food! I highly recommend finding this historic area and playing there for the day!

Happy Trails…until we meet again.

It’s the wonderment of Mother Earth and her ability to expand and contract in all sorts of ways which takes my breath away. And, last night when I decided I needed to get out and hike to get a fresh perspective and to also get out of this 16-foot trailer for the whole day, the only place I wanted to see was the place I picked to stay…my favorite volcanic site, Snow Canyon State Park. Even though it’s a small park, I never get bored seeing its geologic fabulousness.

I really can’t add to the adventure much but will explain a little under each photo, but, other than that, words still escape me. I’m breathless. Swept away by its beauty and power. Enjoy.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-1a

If you’re interested in the volcanic history of this place (from 27,000 years ago), then read this.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-1b

Lava rocks are sprinkled like peppercorns all over this landscape.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-2

Views are too majestic and regal to reduce to words. It’s so very quiet here.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-3

Layers of Petrified Sand Dunes of all colors!

2017-10-29 SnowCany-4

Petrified Sand Dunes

2017-10-29 SnowCany-5

Lava rock capped petrified sand dunes.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-6

Closer look of Lava rock capped petrified dunes.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-7

Layers of petrified dunes eroded away by wind and rain.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-8

Hiked up to see the Pioneer Names Trail.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-9

Pioneer Names Trail takes you to see where pioneers wrote their names & date in axle grease dating back to 1881!

2017-10-29 SnowCany-10

Hiked next to Jenny’s Canyon.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-11

Jenny’s Canyon

2017-10-29 SnowCany-12

Had to go back, of course, to the Snow Canyon Overlook. This was to the left of where I was standing.

2017-10-29 SnowCany-13

Yep. Had to take another pic of it. I couldn’t delete one!

2017-10-29 SnowCany-14

Got a decent selfie of my back overlooking the overlook without getting vertigo. It only took about 7 tries!

Now, back to work.

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

WOW! I left Green River, Utah at 9:30 AM today headed West on I-70 to drive 237 miles which, under normal driving, would have taken just a little over three (3) hours with the speed limits generally ranging from 75-80 MPH past the major inclines.

I did decide as I took off from Green River that I’d take the time to turn off on “Scenic Views” if and when I saw something interesting. The name “Black Dragon Canyon” pulled me right in. I didn’t have the time or inclination to hike the trail to see the drawing but if you Google the name, you’ll see an interesting pictograph painted on the walls of the canyon by ancient ones of what looks to be a flying dragon, which, by the way, isn’t black! The view, however, was marvelous!

2017-10-20 UT1

Now, go back in time a couple of days to recall that horrific 40-60 MPH wind gusts I faced going through Denver toward Boulder? Well, I guess somebody upstairs wanted to prepare me for today because it took me 6 hours to drive that 3 hour distance because of that same situation except include 8000′-foot elevation mountains (up and down), dust flying from undeveloped prairies and NO gas stations for a hundred miles on a tank that’s only gave me 7-8 MPG today! The good news is that the only cows I saw were in holding pins and not in front of me in cattle trailers!

After driving almost a hundred miles without the whiff of a gas station, I broke my normal rule of easy on/off gas stations at the exits and decided to exit at Emery, Utah  as the next town was 35 miles away. It was one of those gut instinct moments because only after exiting the expressway was there a sign that read “Next Gas 35 Miles.” Needless to say, I gladly drove the 24 miles roundtrip to get to the sleepy little one-gas-pump (literally) town to fill up.  I would have been so screwed if I hadn’t!  All these years of driving the back roads (and especially this summer’s adventures in Canada) reinforced my instincts to fill up at every chance.

The few times the winds weren’t beating me up, I was able to catch a few shots that were so magnificent that I just had to try and capture some of the wonderment of this region. It feels like “home” to me except for all the winds!

2017-10-20 UT2

2017-10-20 Ut3

2017-10-20 Ut4

2017-10-20 Ut5

I finally made it to my next stop for the night glad I booked in advance because all these RV parks fill up quickly! I need the rest from those blowin’ winds. I got this baby anchored down for the night which is something I don’t normally do on hit-and-run stays. I don’t normally mind being rocked to sleep but I’ve had enough of that bucking bronco rodeo for today! I need a trophy that reads, “Buckin’ Bronco Road Warrior Rodeo Champion!”

So, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

This past week has been a whirlwind of seeing family with whom I really haven’t been able to have a direct connect with since after Ava’s death in 2012. Yes, I have “seen” them but haven’t had “quality” time to spend with them for a myriad of reasons and this visit has been wonderful!

Gosh, I’m so in love with ALL my Chirrens of blood and by adoption! And, now after this trip to Boulder, I have two more! One of whom I met at the Cork Restaurant in Boulder! Hey there, “G”!

2017-10-18 Bldr Cork

The Cork Restaurant in Boulder, CO.

I guess I should start by saying that although Boulder isn’t a city I’d visit if it weren’t for my loved ones living there because it’s just too busy, too residential, too many bicycles EVERYWHERE, it is very clean and perfect for raising children in a safe environment. It’s just not my cup o’ jo. I like dirt and lots of it.

However, I do love those snow capped mountains once you escape suburbia and a  little town not terribly dissimilar from my own called Nederland, Colorado. It’s tucked in the Rocky mountains. Like my town, Nederland has a very small residential population but have several festivals every year which can bring tens of thousands of visitors. I had a hard time visualizing where all those people would go…or even stay, for that matter…and still do!

2017-10-17 Neder-1

Yup. Small town, Nederland, CO

But for the festivals, I could, for a moment, see myself living in this little town because of the wonderful people I met there! Here’s a shout out to Winston, Chris and all the other people we met while we were there. It’s worth a trip there but check out their  it’s festival schedules first!

2017-10-17 Neder-RenWoman

Of course I had to go into the Renaissance Woman store in Nederland, CO. I told the owner all about our Atlanta Little Five Points area and their annual Halloween Parade!

2017-10-17 Neder-Wings

When my sister and I were traveling the turquoise trail, we ran into a similar shop like this so it was only fitting for her eldest daughter and I to go into Wings of Lace Boutique, Nederland, CO and do some shopping! Hey, Chris!

2017-10-17 Neder-Solta-Mark?

Remember what I said about bicycles being EVERYWHERE! Here’s proof! This is Solta Restaurant, Nederland, CO and the young man behind the counter looks like a young man Mark’s twin. Mark was like a son to me and chose to leave us way too soon and has been on my mind a great deal this month.  Both were from Austin and moved to Colorado! I almost fell out! 

After seeing all the mountainous terrain of I-70 West of Boulder, CO to Green River, UT via I-70 from studying Google, I was quite apprehensive if not anxious about driving it. However, my niece’s husband, who is extremely familiar with this highway, talked me down out of the tree with some good info. And I’m so very glad! The trip West was marvelous! My favorite park was driving through the river gorge, but that is always my favorite part of any drive!

See what you think!

2017-10-19 I-70-1

I-70 West – First snow capped view!

2017-10-19 I-70-2

Mountains galore!

2017-10-19 I-70-3

River Gorge driving just shivers me timbers!

2017-10-19 I-70-4

Golden trees everywhere!

2017-10-19 I-70-5

I be comin’ ’round the bend!

2017-10-19 I-70-6

This just doesn’t do it justice but…

Well, this travelin’ woman is just about done in for today so, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I hope these wet your whistle enough to get you out on our country’s backroads to find me some more treasures to discover!

Here’s one of my top two…Flaming Gorge, Utah. The turn off to Flaming Gorge overlook is at the Red Canyon Lodge marker. This is where Montana and I stayed in one of their cabins last year with the “not much snow” (by their measurements) of six inches! It was cozy and I’ll come back  for sure!

2017-6-18 FG1

RED CANYON LODGE

2017-6-18 FG2

VIEW BEHIND RED CANYON LODGE

This is what awaits you when you drive past the Lodge and boy is it worth it! Majestic!

2017-6-18 FG3

FLAMING GORGE (GREEN RIVER) TO LEFT

2017-6-18 FG4

SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS PEEPING OVER THE GORGE

2017-6-18 FG5Me

ME HOLDING ON FOR DEAR LIFE!

2017-6-18 FG6

FLAMING GORGE UPSTREAM (TO RIGHT)

2017-6-18 FG7

PERSPECTIVE: GORGE IS 4000′ WIDE & 1700′ DEEP. THESE TREES WERE ON A LEDGE JUST ABOUT 2O’ DOWN FROM ME. (STRAIGHT DOWN)

2017-6-18 FG8

GOING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN 

2017-6-18 FG9

SHEEP CREEK GEOLOGICAL TURNOUT IS A MUST!

2017-6-18 FG10

SHEEP CREEK

2017-6-18 FG11

SHEEP CREEK

2017-6-18 FG12

SHEEP CREEK

2017-6-18 FG13

SHEEP CREEK

2017-6-18 FG14

SHEEP CREEK

2017-6-18 FG15

AND MORE SHEEP CREEK

We took our time through the park driving the Sheep Creek Geological turn out (you must look closely for the sign) because I just gotta have my rock fix! Awesomeness!

We grabbed a late lunch in Green River, Utah and headed for Idaho for the night. Of course we took the back roads to Pocatello, Idaho and it’s a road worth taking again. Who knew Idaho was that lush with green pastures, cattle, horses, goats, sheep and huge ranches? Too dark for any of my pictures to turn out but it was magnificent.

Tomorrow? Virginia City, Ovando and, finally,Missoula where my husband lives…COSTCO! We gotta get more water and healthy snacks for hiking Glacier National for three days!

HAPPY TAILS, TAILS OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

Montana with me last year at Flaming Gorge with her happy tail! Dang, I sure miss that crazy lil mutt!

2016-5-16UTFlameRed1Mont

 

There’s no greater thrill to me than to have someone as special as my daughter’s dearest friend with me on this healing journey. She has been with me on this adventure of pain, sorrow, grief, recovery and healing now for 5+ years. I love her dearly and our bond of friendship, understanding and trust grows as we help each other find peace with Ava’s decision to leave this planet. Thank you, Ava, for giving Jenni and I each other to share these most intimate of grief moments with each other and to help pull each other out of the mire.

For me, I always felt traveling was an important part of my retirement years; however, after Ava’s passing, I couldn’t even leave my house to get groceries until last year when I forced myself to go West to visit my favorite people and places again. I’d promised Jenni I’d take her on a trip to see the redwood forest where God lives and we did that very thing last year. This year, I’d promised to take her to all my favorite National Parks with the best for last…Flaming Gorge, WY and Glacier National Park, MT. and that’s exactly what we’re doing and loving every second of the backroads drive!

Today, we started at Bryce Canyon (not one of my favorites) because it’s not far from where Jenni lives and she needed to see what beauty was in her own back yard.

2017-6-17 UTBry1

Rainbow Overlook (last stop)

2017-6-17 UTBry2

Great geologic anomalies unique to Bryce

2017-6-17 UTBry3

2017-6-17 UTBry4

Caves?

2017-6-17 UTBry5

Depth of the view is breathtaking

Then came the heart pounding part for me. I was most excited to share this with her just knowing she was going to feel the presence of a higher power and glory in these backroads headed for Flaming Gorge through Ashley National Forest and beyond where the roads continuously seem to disappear and reappear magically with every turn; where terrain, vegetation and geologic wonderment are around every bend in the road.

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam1

Roads appear to disappear

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam2

And come back with a BANG!

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam3

Then leave again

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam4

Wonderful little towns with surprises like this family rending a caboose for a vacation in the middle of nowhere!

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam5

Then changes

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam7

Jenni & I were so excited to find this view around the bend!

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam8

Pretty magnificent!

2017-6-17 UTtoFlam9

Then back again!

Tomorrow? Flaming Gorge, of course, and I can’t wait! It’s in my top two! I’m saving the best for last!

HAPPY TAILS (Montana is certainly with us on this trip), TALES OR TRAILS!

 

IMG_2804MontDaisy

Montana sure enjoyed being in the mountains! 

Zion is one of my favorite national parks but I think that this time, after seeing it no less than 6 times, I’ve had my fix. It’s majestic, entertaining, whirlwind of rock-ology to satisfy any amateur or professional geologist with the whittled and whirled carvings wind and  water have done to the different sandstones in both checkerboard and dancing swirls across the sides of mountains. There’s also the Virgin River which flows through Zion with it’s flash flooding impact on vulnerable boulders, trees, river banks and visitors, adding different elements such as erosion, landslides and chaos.

Do’s & Don’ts: I highly recommend not coming in the heat of the summer. It was hotter than hot (107 may not sound so bad but add altitude and dehydration and you won’t like it). Don’t wear flip flops or open toed shoes if walking in the sand in this heat is what you plan to do because your feet will be burned like fire. Don’t forget food and water. Don’t bring children under 25. I saw way too many miserable babies with equally miserable parents with condo’s attached to their backs to carry the little ones. Don’t rely on cellphone service for communication with family members if you aren’t at a lodge, Visitors Center or a neighboring town.

Do bring comfortable walking clothes and shoes. Do take the Zion Shuttle from the Visiter’s Center. Get to the park early to get a parking space for under $20.00. Do take your time driving through and read up before going because this is really a cool place to visit but knowledge about the park will help you enjoy it even more.

2017-6-16 Zion1

Driving into Zion from St. George, Utah

2017-6-16 Zion2

The topography is constantly changing.

2017-6-16 Zion32017-6-16 Zion42017-6-16 Zion5

When Jenni and I took the Shuttle, she decided to jump off to take on the mighty Angel Falls hike up (and I mean UP) a switchback trail to see what she could see. I, however, took the low road and opted for a casual stroll by the river, aptly named “Riverwalk.” Neither was easy in 107 degree heat with 6000 foot elevations. We came back exhausted, dirty and thirsty but very happy!

2017-6-16 Zion6Rvr

Riverwalk by Virgin River

2017-6-16 Zion7Rvr

Riverwalk trail has much to see and it’s easy hiking with right clothes and shoes…which I did not have on!

2017-6-16 Zion8Rvr

more Riverwalk trail

2017-6-16 Zion9Rvr

and more Riverwalk trail

2017-6-16 Zion11Rvr

and more Riverwalk trail

2017-6-16 Zion12

HUH? A herd of Mountain Goats? Really?

2017-6-16 Zion13

Leaving Zion going toward Kanab, Utah

2017-6-16 Zion14

And there it is! The money shot!

As we left Zion, we felt we must be in the middle of nowhere because cell service wasn’t great and neither was the internet but some people who live here think it’s in the middle of everywhere! I kinda think they might be right because Kanab, Utah is East of Zion, South of Bryce and North of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and I’d swear that when Ava and I came through here in 2011, it wasn’t this hot nor was it this as developed!

Kanab is a quaint town bursting at the seams. Big chain hotels are popping up everywhere here, but the coolest place to stay is The Parry Lodge (“where all the movie stars stay”). It’s clean, reasonable, comfortable and includes a breakfast buffet! Can’t beat that, now can ya’!

The other charming element of this town is “The Rocking V Cafe” owned, operated by a most engaging and entertaining proprietor by the name of Victor Cooper. He goes around from table-to-table making sure everybody is happy and full. Looks like he enjoys his work! (rockingvcafe.com)

2017-6-16 KanabRckV

Tomorrow? Bryce Canyon drive-thru and haul a$$ to Vernal, Utah to see Dinosaur National Park and hit my very favorite Flaming Gorge, Wyoming the next day. Cowboy country coming up, y’all! Yeehaw!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

I had the best of times meeting so many wonderful people on my journey thus far. I think Ava is directing me in their direction. I don’t go into a shop unless I’m “pulled” into it. I don’t talk to strangers unless I’m drawn to them. Most of them, so far, I have to admit have been other southerners. I seem to have radar for that. But, tonight, as I walked up to the Hostess desk at the local Cracker Barrel in St. George, Utah, for seating, a young woman ran up behind me and said, “Excuse me but we were first!” I laughed and said to please go ahead! I thought she was a southerner! She was from Arizona and I told her that was okay and I wouldn’t hold it against her for not being southern! We kept talking as I waited and she was guided to her table with her party. She now has my card and, I hope, she’s going to follow me on my 2017 Great Adventure and create some of her own!

Yes, I digress, but it’s all good. As for the wonderful people? They range in age from three months to my age; vary culturally from Taiwan to Native American; but all with the resounding common thread of being amazing communicators who actually connect with their eyes when in a conversation! They turn off the ringers on their phones; they don’t stay connected to the news or the TV; they are independent thinkers; very well educated (even if self-taught) and appear to know exactly who they are and where they are going! This gives me great joy. I’ve been worried. Now I’m not so much…on this level, anyway.

Okay. Now for Utah! We made it to St. George Utah because my daughter-by-another-mother, Jenni, just had to see it, Zion, Bryce, Flaming Gorge, western Wyoming and Montana (mostly Glacier National Park). It was a must for me to show her my other most favorite places to go. Plus, I needed to check out how the cowboys are doing in that area since last year. I think there might be a round-up in Montana! Yeehaw!

If you didn’t know this about me before, you’ll know it about me after this trip with Jenni. I LOVE ROCKS! Being out West is like a fix I can’t get enough of! There are so many rock formations out here which photos just pale in comparison to the real experience. It’s like I’ve always said, telepathic communication is the whole package and verbal is archaic and leaves out so much. Kinda like the difference between the old silent movies and the new 3-D ones of today…or those crazy multi-dimensional game thingies kids are hooked on. Night and day, baby, but this is where the blood either starts pumping to get more or I lose you. It’s all good and really all about timing.

2017-6-15 NV3

This is what it looks like leaving Las Vegas going North on I-15 headed for St. George, Utah.

2017-6-15 NV5

Pretty exciting rock formations, huh? But wait for it! 

2017-6-15 NV6

Especially when you think about this whole area of our country was under the ocean millions of years ago!

Just as you enter Utah, you drive through the Virgin River Gorge. I always want to be in a convertible with the top down and let my head spin around like an owl’s! It’s mind-blowing. The driving is so precarious, there’s no way to get photos, so you’ll just have to drive it yourself to see what I’m talking about!

2017-6-15 UT1

Then comes Snow Canyon State Park! WOW! It consists of 183 million years of wind and water influences to shape what is called Navajo sandstone and what is the remains of the ancient desert sand sea which created petrified sand dunes. Cinder Cones erupted causing lava to flow down into these canyons filling them with basalt which redirected ancient waterways which carved the canyons. As we drove through, you can see the black lava rock “walls” sitting on top of the ridges which were once canyon bottoms. (paraphrased from the Snow Canyon State Park brochure)

Upon entering the park, you’ll first see some of the most realistic cast sculptures you’ll probably ever see in the “wild” on the round-about. Take your time and go around several times to get a good picture. Everyone is supposed to drive slowly (operative word is “slowly”) throughout the park.

2017-6-15 UT5a

2017-6-15 UT5b

Then comes the good stuff. Lava flows (black rock), Navajo Sandstone (red rock), petrified sand dunes (both red and whitish), look outs and more!

For a quick trip, I highly recommend driving north on the park access road (ask for a map of the park at booth when you pay your $6.00) absorbing its magnificence. At the end of the park road, turn right onto Hwy. 18. Don’t go speeding off because you’ll totally miss the best part! Watch closely for a fairly quick turn to the right onto a poorly marked “overlook” sign which takes you down a narrow dirt road. Pull off to the left, park, turn off the engine and take a deep breath!

2017-6-15 UT2

Snow Canyon…see that black rock?

2017-6-15 UT3

That’s ancient lava flow!

 

2017-6-15 UT62017-6-15 UT72017-6-15 UT8

2017-6-15 UT10

Wind carvings in sandstone

2017-6-15 UT11

The overlook! Can’t tell that this is a serious drop down from where Jenni is sitting at the edge, can you? See that pick up truck on the Park Road directly in from of Jenni?

2017-6-15 UT12

I had dreams of being an eagle soaring over this exact terrain up until I was in my early thirties when my life went kerfluey! I stood from this perspective, spread my arms and felt like I was soaring, once again, as the “Warrior Eagle Donna Mama” that Jenni calls me! I still am.

2017-6-15 UT13

Still standing at a guarded distance from the edge, but amazing nonetheless.

Please turn left out of the overlook back onto Hwy. 18 and drive back down the same Park Road. I love, love, love driving the same road back as the way I came to see it from a totally different perspective. It’s why I keep coming back from different directions to the same places and at different times to grasp the light changes on the surfaces of these magnificent reminders that we don’t even have a clue about all that we think we know…and that’s really okay. But what we should have a clue about is how precious this beautiful country of ours is and fragile Mother Nature, even with all her terror and forces, is really a delicate little flower which we have pilfered and damaged.

2017-6-15 UT14

Please reuse, recycle and reclaim! This planet might just be one of a kind!

Tomorrow? Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and giddy-up time toward Flaming Gorge, Wyoming! YEAH, baby! Yeehaw!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!