Hello from Southern Utah. I am a red rock loving, open spaces, sage brush and sand, Ponderosa pine, small town loving addict. One can hardly imagine what will be found at the end of the long (often boring landscaped drive) from Boise down the main arteries of I-84 then I-15. But I know… red rocks. When we took the exit toward Panquitch my heart started beating faster …
This morning I’m sitting in a fabulous VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) discovered by Greg’s sister & brother-in-law (Paula & Jim) located not too far up the Alton, Utah turn off from Highway 89 … watching the sunrise over the pine topped mountains and the upper reaches of Bryce Canyon in absolute silence. My soul is sucking in the beauty of God’s creations and I am soooo at peace.
We left home a few days ago … breaking up the 9 hour road trip with an overnighter with my beautiful Daughter No. 1 and her fab family … then headed south after a yumm breakfast at One Man Band Diner in Lehi, Utah. We met up with Sweetie’s sister just inside the entrance to Bryce Canyon where they’d been biking all day and decided to take the short drive into Panquitch for dinner at Cowboy’s Smokehouse Cafe. Their smoked meats and country gravy bring us back here time after time. We had plenty of time to enjoy the atmosphere before heading back to ‘Bryce’ to participate in the ‘full moon hike into the canyon’ lottery.
Of course we won the lottery … The full moon light hike down the Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon only fueled my red rock addiction. For a spot in the full moon guided, super secret location until your number is picked, hike show up at the Bryce Canyon Lodge at 4 p.m. with your hiking shoes … they actually check the tread on the soles to ensure you won’t slide off the trail in the dark. We had smiles when our party of 6’s number was drawn.
Yesterday it was SLOT CANYON time!! Taking the 38 mile road trip east of Kanab on Highway 89 to the turn off at White House Rock Road to sloooowwwly drive the 8 miles over a fairly rutted dirt road we finally reached the Wire Pass Trailhead . This is a spectacular and fairly easy slot canyon hike with some petroglyphs low on the right hand side of the canyon wall … just before the open T junction and not too far out of the first slot canyon. Take a right at the T for miles more awe inspiring slots to enjoy.
FYI … About a quarter mile into the first canyon there is a climb over a rock and down about an 8-9 foot drop, that with care is easily maneuvered … the caveat being if you are short it is much harder to leverage yourself back up (says the short girls Karen & Paula).
After a 6 mile hike, and the hour or so drive back into Kanab we were all looking forward to sustenance … Sweetie and I took our Kanab-newbie family to the only place we ever stop to eat in Kanab which is at Houston’s Trails End restaurant for their Chicken Fried Steak dinner (always go for the famous favorite).
Today its off to Moab … Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and a couple of Canyonland’s hikes.