As I mentioned, Linda did a great job of scheduling our time between all of the parks thus far. We spent Monday exploring Canyonlands....wow, was that impressive ! We went to the area where the filming of Thelma and Louise's final drive off into the sunset was filmed.....near Dead Horse Point. I do much better looking up at towering rocks than I do staring DOWN into a really deep abyss. Oh my ! Thank goodness there are railings at most of these overlooks cause it makes me pretty nauseous to stare down into some of these canyons. We hiked on two different trails for a total of about 4 miles.
The slick rock is pretty interesting to hike on. As long as you have decent sneakers or hiking boots, it isn't slippery at all. I would say that it's probably just the opposite if the surface gets wet. Trail markers or "cairens" are piles of rocks that show you the way. They are especially helpful when a large area is nothing but slick rock.....you don't see footprints in the dirt so you need the cairens to show the way. Here's a set in this picture on the right. It's important to not disturb these as you're walking.
Here the park ranger is explaining about the geology of the different layers and colors that you can see in the rock. The spires that jut up from the bottom have a cap on them, which protects them from erosion. They are called "hoodoos". She said that when the caps fall off, it doesn't seem to take very long for the hoodoo to collapse. Someone asked her about her background, since she knows so much about the make-up of the rock. She's actually a dance major, with a choreographer background from the Rochester,NY area. She shared some really neat info. It was a good thing we stumbled onto this pull off right as she was leading this activity. It was very informative although it made me super nervous with how close she was standing to the edge.
We finished up at Canyonlands and drove back into town to get something to eat. We stopped at the Moab Brewery and all had veggie burritos. They were huge. As an appetizer, Becky and I had jalapeno cornbread with honey butter....wow, was that delicious ! Becky tried out their micro brews and I sampled the margaritas.....a great time was had by all.
Tuesday was a driving day....we get on the road by 7 and we seem to arrive at our next stop around lunchtime, which is a great day of traveling in my book. Interstate 70 does not have a lot of options for fuel, if you're coming across Utah. There are no travel plazas on the road....you have to exit to get gas. In Richfield there is a Flying J so that worked out great as a place to get gas. We pulled in here at Ruby's Inn Campground at lunchtime, got set up and had our lunch. We spent the afternoon checking out the general store down the road (which is part of Ruby's Inn). They have a large gift shop/grocery store, etc that is connected to the motel. We also purchased tickets for the Bar G Wrangler show that is held at Ebenezer's Barn and Grill. It was a cute show but the ones we've seen in Jackson Hole, WY are better.
Today we took in Bryce National Park, which is only about a mile from our campground. They have a free shuttle from the campground but it doesn't go to all of the stops in the park. The views are amazing. I thought that we'd get tired of looking at red rocks by now but how can you when the views are simply amazing.
We hiked two trails and took in all of the stops and finished up around lunchtime. We then drove a little ways outside the park to the Mossy cave, which depending on the time of year will either have ice in it or green moss. The trek up to that was pretty disappointing because it's more of an alcove that you can stick your head inside of. The more spectacular thing was the waterfall near there. The channel directing water through this area is part of what Ebenezer Bryce established in the 1800's when he first came to the area and set up waterways to be able to irrigate the land. It was like a little secret "find" or added bonus for our hike up to the cave. We drove back into Panguitch and checked out some of the stores and an ice cream shop that made their own ice cream. Yum ! Panguitch is pretty famous for Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall gang. As big a reputation as he had in the old west, he was also known as the gentleman bandit and he never killed anyone during his career of robbing. There was a really cute cowboy shop in town that had anything western....lots of neat things to check out, having to do with the old west.
That's the Hole in the Wall gang on the right and Butch Cassidy on the left. Linda thought about hitting the trail, with her trusty steed to check out where the outlaws used to hang out but her horse was having nothing to do with it. Becky found John Wayne hanging out on the corner, in town, and swapped a few stories with him. Tonight we're relaxing...tomorrow is a driving day. Headed to Zion....hope everyone is having a great week. We are having an amazing time, exploring this beautiful area. More later....Canyonlands, Bryce National Park, Dead Horse Point, Ebenezer Bryce, Zion, Butch Cassidy, Moab,