Before I continue on with our trip to Bryce Canyon, I need to rewind just a bit because I forgot to include another stop we made while we were in Cedar City. As I have lived there before I knew about a place called the Parowan Gap which has a lot of ancient history including petroglyphs that are the work of prehistoric Fremont and southern Paiute tribes. It is also a place that has history of the first Mormon settlers to that area. Since DH had never been there I decided this would be another great stop. You can read about the history here.
Listed on the national register of Historic Places
I think this is an amazing place. So much writing on the rocks! I wish I could understand the meaning of all the pictures.
We saw these cool lizards... the one closest is pretty fat and may be pregnant?
They stayed right where they were the whole time and watched our every move.
Anyway... it is a pretty cool place so if you ever get down that way you should stop by and check it out.
The morning of Day 8 we left for Bryce Canyon National Park by way of Utah's Scenic Byway 143 called Utah's Patchwork Parkway. Very nice drive! It was a very windy day when we left Cedar City and it was very windy the whole day, even when we reached Bryce Canyon. We arrived fairly early in the day with the intention of seeing as much as we could that day before our evening dinner show plans that I will tell you about in a little bit.
We checked into our hotel and began our trek to see and experience all we could. Here are a few photos of our day.
Before you get there you go through a couple tunnels like this one. This is how they opened the road (many years ago) to make it easier to get there.
This is my 2nd favorite National Park next to Yellowstone
The landscape is so beautiful!
This is one of many bristle-cone pine trees that can survive the harshest terrain. Look where the roots are. Pretty cool tree if you ask me!
Look at all those "hoodoos"
The ones in white look like people to me
And this one looks like a church or a temple
I still can't get over the amazing scenery.
These look like castles on the hillside
This looks like a the backside of a group of people with their arms around one another
Mountain Blue Bird
Remember when I told you that it was really windy? Well it was SO windy that we were getting hit with rocks as we were walking from point to point. It Hurt! I won't even tell you about my hair... what a mess! It must have been blowing between 50 and 70 mph. It was crazy!
We decided to head back to our hotel around 4pm to rest and get ready for our evening plans. Being in the wind all day really takes a lot of a person! We were both feeling wind whipped and exhausted. We decided we would see the rest of the park in the morning before we left to begin our trip towards home.
To make our trip to Bryce a little more memorable we added a western dinner show to our evening plans as part of our experience. It was located at Ebenezer's Barn & Grill and was put on by the Bar G Wranglers. Let me tell you... this was the highlight of our trip. We had such a great time! We were seated by one of the wrangler's, Jay Evans, who I learned happens to be married to the daughter of long time family friends of my Grandma in Delta (for my mom - the Lowder family). It is always fun to run into people you know in the least likely places. After we were seated, two other couples were seated at our table with us. One was from Georgia, but the husband was originally born in Jordan. The other couple was originally from Houston, Texas but were living in Saratoga Springs, UT. They brought their 4 year old daughter with them. Cute! We had such a great time talking and getting to know one another. At other tables, there were people from all over the world.
We had a very yummy cowboy dinner and the entertainment by the Bar G Wrangler's was so much fun! They are really talented performers with their instruments and their voices. It was such a memorable night. We bought a few CD's and have a picture which they all autographed for us. So fun!
I highly recommend you including this into your Bryce Canyon experience when you go next. It will be a memory that I will always look back on fondly.
The next morning we went to grab breakfast and as we were leaving with our shorts and t-shirts on we noticed it was still windy, but now it was really cold with a rain/snow mix coming down. Crap! When we were done with breakfast and after packing up our stuff, we just decided to leave Bryce Canyon and begin making our way home. We had plans to stop by Alton, UT on our way out of Utah. This town is a very special place for my family. It is where my grandma was born and raised and where the roots of my family is from. I will tell you about it in Part 5 coming very soon.
See you then!