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NorCal - Prowl’n Zion & Bryce Canyon
2004-04-29
Prowl’n Zion & Bryce Canyon What a marvelous and beautiful trip. This is some of the most awesome scenery around; the colors, pinnacles and cliffs are just fabulous! Steve and Debbie Faint put together this trip through two of Utah’s National Parks. At Bryce Canyon you look down upon miles of exquisitely carved pinnacles and spires, but at Zion you look up at the cliffs. This area is a geological wonder! This great adventure started in Mesquite, NV. Friday morning 8 Prowlers headed up the expressway to Cedar City, UT going through a beautiful canyon just inside Arizona then after a few stops at the scenic overlooks we headed into the quaint town of Duck Creek. The Duck Creek Coffee Company was a great hit. Good foot and lots of jellies, jams and sauces to purchase. Back on the road it was off to Bryce Canyon (we heard that it had snowed there the nigh before) through lunch meadows and forest. On Scenic Byway 12 (also a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road) we entered the Dixie National Forest and then entered Red Canyon just before Bryce. The red rocks in this area are just breathtaking. This is just a preview of what is ahead. Arriving at our destination (right outside of Bryce) Ruby’s Inn, it was cold and windy. Here we met up with our last Prowler. Saturday morning all of the Kats were covered with frost. Yes, it was COLD but clear fresh air and beautiful blue sky only added to the great adventure ahead. Unfortunately, most of the road into Bryce was under “massive” construction so we only got to the first few outlooks. They were well worth it! Bryce Canyon is not a true canyon but a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved in the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Within these amphitheaters rise unimaginable pillars, called “hoodoos”, spires, arches and other monuments intricately carved by erosion and all painted brilliant shades of red, yellow, white and purple by iron and manganese in the rocks. Leaving these spellbound creatures behind we headed off to Zion. In Zion you gaze up at massive sculpted cliffs that rise 3,000 feet into the sky, and you can find yourself sparked with a sense of wonder at the magnificent beauty of Utah’s oldest national park. We enter on the east side of the park and drove through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and along the many switchbacks to the canyon floor. The tunnel is over a mile long and goes right through the mountain. There are several open windows that look off into the canyon. We pulled over to take a look up to see where we had been – you could see little holes in the side of the mountain that were the windows in the tunnel. Really cool!!! The Zion Scenic Drive is closed to cars but they have a wonderful shuttle bus. Just hop on and get off where you want. You could shop in town or head into the park for some hiking or just sit on the bus and enjoy the scenery. The Majestic View Lodge in Springdale afforded everyone stunning vistas of Zion from their patio. Leaving this majestic area the next day was hard. I’m sure many take this area for granted…but it is truly awe-inspiring.
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