Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving in Southern Utah

This year we decided to take a trip for the Thanksgiving holiday. We decided to pack up and head to Southern Utah for some places we haven't been to. We went Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks.

We had both been to Bryce when we were younger, but didn't remember much of it, and neither of us had ever been to Capitol Reef. The original plan was to get a hotel for Thanksgiving night and then camp. After checking the weather and seeing that the nightly lows were supposed to be in the mid-teens, we opted for a hotel every night. It actually work out quite nicely.

We were able to find Thanksgiving dinner at the Ruby's Restaurant, inside the Ruby's Best Western. We were also able to find a nice indoor pool and hot tub as well. The place we stayed had closed theirs for the season.

We spent Friday driving the scenic drive, hitting up the lookouts, and then hiking down through the bottom of Bryce Canyon. I was absolutely amazed by the formations. It definitely ranks highly in my favorite national parks list. The hike through the bottom of the canyon was the best. Even though we passed quite a few people at the start and at the end, we were able to find solitude through the middle section. The perspective from being down in the canyon was amazing.

Saturday we drove "scenic" Highway 12 to Capitol Reef. This was the most amazing section of road I have ever been on in my life. As you're heading north you are on top of a plateau (maybe it's a mesa) and then all of a sudden you drop down into the bottom and your amidst slick rock, canyons, and huge walls. As you climb out the other side you quickly find yourself on top of a spine is wide enough to fit a two-lane highway and a couple feet of dirt on each side before the drop into the canyon, on each side. Unfortunately the camera was packed away in the trunk so we didn't get any pictures. I will make a trip just to drive that section of road again.

By the time we got to Capitol Reef we had just enough time to get in one hike down a side canyon that gave some great views of the main section of the park. The huge sandstone walls (and splitters) were awe inspiring. We saw absolutely no one else on the trail and enjoyed complete solitude the whole time. I have a feeling that a trip will be in the works in the springtime to make it down to climb some of the cracks we saw.

We spent Sunday driving home. The nice part of the drive was we spent most of the time driving on Highways and little time on the freeway. We actually drove on a lot of roads that neither of us had been on and we saw lots of places that neither of us had seen. While on the back roads we were able to pass a guy in his jacked-up truck, with his four-wheeler in the bed, and a sticker that said "Shut up hippy". It made me laugh.

Here's an album of our trip (I went back to Bubbleshare because Flickr is lame.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Safe Toys


Mrs. Olsen said...

I love Bryce Canyon, too, but haven't been since I was a kid. You've got me thinking we need to make a trip before we leave the West.

*MILLY* said...

Penelope looks concerned or mad in your little family photo there...he he