Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 4, Day 2

Woke up with the sunrise, bright and beautiful, right outside our tent door. We did a bit more looking around in the park this morning - a scenic drive and some historic ruins. Our favorite part was that the remains of an orchard are on the property, left over from the original owner of the caves in the 1800s, and the park officials don't mind (actually encourage) people picking the fruit! We didn't find any ripe, but we loved the idea.

We set out for Cedar City in the afternoon. The highway going across the desert was the longest, flattest, emptiest road either of us had ever seen, and we enjoyed some outrageous driving in the privacy of the desert.

When we got close to Cedar, I saw a sign for Parowan Gap Petroglyphs. I remember my Grandfather Jones talking about them, and even taking some of the grandkids out to see them, but I had never been and had always wondered. So, because the theme of this trip is doing things on a whim, we turned and drove a few miles out to see these carvings.
They were AMAZING.
And they were beautiful! I get really geeked out about history anyway, but these really were impressive. There was one area that was fenced off, but you could walk a little way down the highway and the up to the canyon walls and see a lot more. The rocks were just covered, and I enjoyed putting my hands on the prehistoric artwork. It made us wonder what about that tiny canyon in the middle of the desert had been so special to those ancient people.
Also, I found a snake. I was just about 2 feet away from stepping on it when I saw it, which gave me an adrenaline rush I can still feel just thinking about it, but then we realized it was dead.

We checked into a Super 8 in Cedar City (our plan is to spend Saturday nights in hotels to be ready for the Sabbath in the morning). Upon entering, we discovered that the man behind the desk was Indian. Not Native American, which you might more reasonably expect in Cedar City, Utah, but INDIA Indian. As Colby served his mission in India, this made his day. It also apparently made the hotel man's day, and they went off, talking about India and making friends. This also had the happy result of getting us a discount BEYOND the AAA discount, and getting us abruptly (and for free) switched to the honeymoon suite. Score.

After dropping our stuff, we headed for Bryce Canyon National Park. The scenic drive (as most scenic drives are) was gorgeous, and the hike advertised as the "World's Best 3-mile Hike" did NOT disappoint. I actually think it WAS the world's best 3-mile hike. It led us down into Bryce Canyon, around some super weird rock formations, and through the most starkly beautiful colored scenery. We agreed it was beautiful, but really WEIRD looking. We loved the foreign tourists and did our part to confuse them by speaking Arabic to each other when we passed people.

We cooked cup'o'noodles on our Coleman stove on a random picnic table after our hike, and that was dinner. We love being so free!!

Loving the historic orchard at Great Basin

The amazing petroglyphs at Parowan Gap

Colby posing on our "world's greatest 3-mile hike"

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