Packed up the dogs and a nice lunch and off we went to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
|Dad, dad, daaaad, the sign says "road closed for the winter"......did you see it?|
We made a last minute change of plans and detoured to Zion National Park. Dave and I were there some years ago and had come in from the other direction so this would be new territory for us. They have instituted a shuttle bus system since we were last there, so no dogs allowed. No matter, we were just out to see what we could see and be happy with that. You just can't do everything, there is always next time.
|for obvious reasons|
I was really disappointed with the pictures I took at Zion. I don't know if its the camera, or the dirty windshield and sun angle, but most of the shots I took were discarded. Aren't you glad you don't have to sift through hundreds of rock pictures again!
Once again, the scale of things astonished us. The little camera can't possible capture the enormity of the landscape.
We had been considering using this route from Kanab through St. George to Las Vegas (actually, Boulder City, Nv) Thursday when we leave. It was serendipitous that the Grand Canyon was closed and we decided to drive into Zion instead. If we take Beluga this way, we'll come to a mile long tunnel through the mountains. Today, we drove the jeep through that tunnel and even though they regularly stop traffic and lead big vehicles through, its not something that we are eager to do if it can be avoided. The tunnel was built in 1927 and it contains no artificial illumination. The only light comes from a couple of galleries or "windows" cut into the side wall for natural ventilation and light. Head lights are de rigueur.
|entrance to the big, dark tunnel|
|inside the tunnel|
Signs everywhere say, remove sunglasses, turn on headlights, NO stopping in the tunnel. I have seen pictures of the views looking out from the galleries or "windows" inside the tunnel, but I wonder how the nimble hikers managed to get those shots without stopping in the tunnel?????Did they disobey the rules?
At any rate, I was glad to get through, it was a rather long, dark drive and I couldn't help but think of just how deep into the mountains we actually were.
|the little black hole in the bottom, middle of the picture is one of the galleries cut into the tunnel , seen from below|
|another view of a tunnel gallery or window cut into the mountain...can you see it?|
We stopped to eat our lunch at the visitor's center. Waaay too many people for us. We drove up a road that was marked "do not enter" and parked for a quiet in car picnic. Below are the views from lunch.
|nice lunchtime views eh?|
Time to head home, so back through the big tunnel and another, smaller and less scary one and the views, the fabulous views.
Even after we left the park proper, the views continued to amaze us. We even passed a huge, rolling, green pasture filled with Buffalo!
Driving through a small crossroads, we saw a sign for the Thunderbird Restaurant, boasting "ho made pies", how could we pass that up? How could I pass up such a sign? I bought a beautiful looking Strawberry Rhubarb pie to hold us for the next week or so.
|Ho-made pie anyone?|
We got back to Beluga too late to rustle up a decent dinner, so we voted to try a local restaurant, Rocking V. It is part restaurant, part art gallery and they even serve wine! (this is Utah, so we were happily surprised to find a wine list)
Tomorrow is our last day in Kanab and we will probably use it to get ourselves organized, do laundry and clean up a bit. I spied a camera repair shop in town, maybe they can take a peak at my weary buddy.