Friday, February 15

Quick trip to Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks

After leaving Colorado and driving through Utah we ran into not one, but two different snowstorms. The first one was so bad we thought we'd have to turn around. Luckily Utah has white post markers on both sides of the Interstate with reflectors on the tips, those were our only guides to make it through. We knew as long as we stayed in the center of those reflectors we'd be all right. We got a hotel first chance we could, in Salina. The next day we finally got to head in a southernly direction. I convinced Joey to take a scenic route and even make a quick trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. I didn't really know much about the park, other than it's near Zion, but was hoping to get in a quick hike. But, ummmmm, at elevation eight thousand something, combined with the fact that I packed California fall weather clothes, not twenty two degrees Fahrenheit clothes, we were lucky to make it out to the view points. Because of the snow storms the night before we were treated with some gorgeous views.
Bryce Canyon NP
I was really disappointed with my pictures, though. I set the camera in landscape mode and didn't realize until it was too late that they were all washed out.
Bryce Canyon NP
What a slacker Mom those poor kids have, didn't even pack them a coat.
We only got to do the viewpoints around "The Amphitheater" because the storm shut down the road to the south part of the park, but they say the Amphitheater is the best part anyway.

Zion National Park was about an hour away and directly on our route, so we managed two National Parks in one day. I think that's a record for us. Zion, just like Bryce, was absolutely breathtaking. Both parks seemed fake, like someone painted the landscape, they were just too perfect. Below is a picture taken while driving, of a typical wall along the skinny red road. Oh yeah, the road even matched the landscape. Why don't more places do that, I wonder?
Zion Nat Park wall
Our path took us west across the park, and through the famous Zion tunnel. It's almost three miles long, carved into the mountainside, and is very narrow. So narrow busses have to be guided through. Just look at that itty bitty opening:
Zion Nat Park entrance into LONG tunnel
Every once in a while there was a hole on the north side, I assumed for an emergency escape route.
Opening in tunnel @ Zion Nat Park
Let's just say, hope there's never a need to use it.
We missed the turn heading North into the heart of the park, so we just kept on going with hopes of getting to warmer temps at Lake Mead, and setting up the tent and getting our camping trip started.

5 comments:

My name is Stacie. said...

Wow, I have to say I am so totally jealous of all the things you get to see. Most of us live in our own little world not really aware of the diverse beauty in the world. You're kids have seen more in their short lives than I have in my medium life. Good for you, and great for them. What an amazing, real-life education they are getting. Someday I hope to travel.

Mary Ann said...

I love Zion -- we were there in November. Looks like we stood in the same places to take pictures -- except yours have snow!

About warmer temperatures -- it snowed again here in Albuquerque last night... I was checking the map for weather so I checked Lake Mead. Only highs in the mid 60's ahead and in the 40's at night.

Keep warm with your little snuggle bunnies!

Mary Ann FOTR

M said...

That cave would kill me! I'm claustrophobic!

Lara Miller said...

Hey Vicki - the picture just before you enter the tunnel - there is a trail to the right of that which goes out about 1/2 mile to overlook the winding road down from the other side of the tunnel. The picture on the homepage of my website was take right there!!!!

Cool huh? Lara Miller

karrie said...

Washed out? I think the images are absolutely stunning, especially the first shot.

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