Sunday, April 21, 2019

Grandgirl Southern Utah Adventure - Day 2

Day 1 of our Southern Utah adventure is here. The morning of day 2, Sunday, started at our rented log cabin in Tropic. We gathered up our belongings, stashed them in our adventure mobile, and drove to Rustler's Restaurant, all of about 100 yards, for the second time in nine hours, this time for breakfast. {Squirrel: "[W]e want to eat breakfast. So, we went to Ruslers. I got 3 eggs, bacon, 2 toasts, and hashbrowns. And a Hot chocolate."} [Bug: "We left our cabin this morning to go find breakfast. We went to this place called Rustlers. It was good. I got to huge pancakes, 2 peices of bacon, hashbrowns, and two eggs."]
Breakfast at Rustler's.
After breakfast we set out for Bryce Canyon National Park, just a 10 mile drive. We gained elevation and hit snow. The ranger told us that the road was only open for 6 miles and that most of the hiking trails were closed. We drove in only a short distance to Sunrise Point, an elevation of 8015 feet, and looked out over the Bryce amphitheater. Much of it was covered in snow and it was cold, about 31 degrees. {Squirrel: "Now, we are going to Bryce Canyon, and I am pretty sure we are in it right now. It is really beautiful up here! It is 31 degrees and we are at 8150 elevation. I am freezing. We just got a pretty good view."} [Bug: "[W]e saw huge rocks. then we went to bryce canyon city. we went 8,115 feet elivation, and it was only 35 degrees."]

We drove in to the end of the open road, about the six mile mark, and took a quick look into the canyon. Then we started our way back out. 
We saw an large open field covered in snow and stopped to take a walk on it. 
We drove out of Bryce Canyon and turned west on Hwy 12. Near the intersection with Hwy 89 we stopped at a trading post and looked around, then viewed my brother Layne's creation, what used to be Bryce Canyon's Western Town, now a Quality Inn. We turned south on Hwy 89 toward Kanab.

In Orderville, we stopped at Forscher German Bakery and Cafe and learned that it didn't open until tomorrow. Across the street was an outdoor rock shop with all kinds of wonderful geodes, trilobite fossils and shiny rocks. Down the road a mile or so were another bunch of rock shops. One was particularly good and I bought the girls each a rock necklace that they picked out. Squirrel's was made of pink quartz and Bug's was made of purple amethyst.  {Squirrel: "We went to 2 rock stores, and they have a lot of cool rocks...O! I never Shared with you when we went to the rock shop, we both got a necklace. I got a rose quarts necklace, and my sister got a Amythus necklace. I love them! We saw some geose too."} [Bug: "we went to these cool rock places."]

We drove through Kanab and then into Arizona, passing through Fredonia, on our way to Jacob Lake. On our way the terrain opens way up and we can see long distances. Then we start to climb up into the mountains. We stopped at a view point with a little building with signs showing the "Grand Staircase" and views of the varying layers of mountain all the way back to Bryce.

We eventually got to Jacob Lake, named after another early Mormon, Jacob Hamblin. The road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, which goes through there, was closed until May 15. There were lots of pine trees and patchy snow on the ground. We stopped at the Jacob Lake Lodge for lunch. The Lodge had lots of Native American jewelry, pottery and art and most, if not all of the workers, were Native American. It took forever for us to get lunch after we ordered it. We asked about the best place to find Kaibab squirrels, a squirrel with tufted ears found nowhere else in the world. We were disappointed to hear that they are still hibernating. {Squirrel: "We are trying to find some lunch. We found a place, I don't know what it's name is, but it is really good! I got a cheeseburger and and fries!...The one restaurant that i said I didn't know it's name had a intresting lady in it. That place took a long time!" [Bug: "Now we are on our way to Jacob Lake. we are going to find Kaibab squirrels. well try to find some. Squirrel was doing stuff on Google translate on the way to Jacob Lake. we went to lunch at an inn for lunch. I had a cheeseburger for lunch. Then papa suprized me with a delcious cookie."] 
Eating cheese burgers for lunch at Jacob Lake Lodge.
We continued east on Hwy 89A, going downhill, eventually out of the pine trees until a large plain opened up with spectacular red cliffs behind it. Squirrel had previously looked the word "vermillion" on her phone and we learned that it is a brilliant red or scarlet color. The Vermillion Cliffs, now a National Monument, were ahead of us and they were named that way because they are that color. {Squirrel: "We are at Vermillion cliffs, and they are really pretty! Vermillion is a shade of red. For a while, I thought vermillion was a color green, because it had illion in it, like camillion."} [Bug: "then we went on the road to get to vermilian cliffs. we got there eventuly, and we had a beautiful view from where we were."]
The Vermillion Cliffs.

We took a small dirt road off Hwy 89A for several miles until we reached the Condor Release Site, an area where many of the endangered California condors that are raised in captivity are released into the wild. In 1982 there were only 22 surviving California condors. They were all captured and a captive breeding program was established at the San Diego Zoo and it expanded to places like the Los Angeles Zoo. Now, there are nearly 500 of them, more than half of them flying free. In fact, the news just revealed that a pair of California condors has a nesting site in Zion's National Park
The condor viewing area. The release site is up on the cliffs.

When we arrived a young couple were looking at a single condor standing on a knob on top of a cliff. We eventually saw as many as four of them at one time flying high above the cliff. They were just specks, but it was still exciting to see a condor. {Squirrel: "We are seeing a condor on top of the rocks, and he/she is super cool! The area around is super flat."} [Bug: "there was a california condor relise site near bye. we saw a ton of condors there."] 
A condor is standing on that little knob. 
A little closer view.
A condor flies near the knob.
After watching a while, we took our adventure-mobile down some dirt roads a way and nearly got stuck and turned around and went back to the condor release site for a few more minutes before turning back the way we came. 
White areas on the rock show nest and perch sites where the condors poop. 
Three condors in the sky. 

We climbed the hill back up to Jacob Lake and parked the car for a walk out among the pine trees just in case the Kaibab squirrels might be out. They weren't. {Squirrel: "We just went out to find squirrels, but didn't see any. We are in the car, and we just left arizona. Now we are in Utah again! In arzona, there was snow, red rocks, beautiful trees, and so much more! It was so cool!...Anyways, did I ever talk about the kaibab squirrels? We were trying to look for them all over, but they are hibernating, so we didn't see any. their ears are really fluffy, well, I only know that because I looked at a picture. But still, they are fluffy."} [Bug: "today I saw a ton of trees, snow, and red rocks that were beautiful...earlier today we went in the woods to try to find a cybab squirel. but we didn't have any luck. So we went back to the car."]  

We drove back up into Utah, through Kanab and to Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park. There the girls set their sights on the largest distant sand dune and proceeded to climb it and run down the side several times. I watched from a distance. {Squirrel: "We just came back from the coral pink Sand dunes, and the sand there is so pink! We climbed up a huge mountain! It was ginourmous! Ok, right now, it is 6:19 p.m. and we are going to find dinner, then go to a hotel. I feel like this trip is going by too fast!"} [Bug: "then we went to the coral pink Sand doons. we went all the way to this huge mountain of sand."]

When they were finished their shoes were full of sand. So we saw a handle to a water pump and got some water going to wash of the girls' feet. [Bug: "when I got down my shoes were filled with sand. So we went to a water pump and washed our feet off with water.."]
On our way out we saw our first mule deer of the trip. 

When we got out to Hwy 89 we saw a sign for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located up Kanab Canyon. I am somewhat familiar with that organization from a client of mine, so we drove up Kanab Canyon to investigate. What we found was a smorgasbord of wild turkeys and mule deer, some horses an animal grave yard and various buildings belonging to the sanctuary. {Squirrel: "While we were driving we saw about 50 deer. We saw 3 wild turkey, and they were gobbling at us, a lot of horses, and donkeys. Also, a couple of cows. We just saw a animal cemetary called Angels Rest. There was a lot of graves. We just ran into 15 deer on the Street. Wow! We just drove across a place called angels overlook, and angel village. Um...what is with angels here? Dogtown hights, ooh! another deer! Best friends animal Clinic, dogtown headquarters. So many places! We are now turning around and going down that long road again. we just saw 5 new deer on each side of the road. Horse haven, wow. So many animal places. This place is so cool! But, the road is tight, and has turns a lot, so it is a likly place to get in a car crash. We just saw 10 turkeys, and 3 more deer. 5 more turkeys, wait...6 more, quail, more horses, hmmm...Not much people go on this road. In the last 10 miles, we saw no cars. Ooh! 7 more deer, and horses! Lots of cows too! We are next to the vermillion cliffs again! They are so pretty!"} [Bug: "On our way to dinner we drove through a place with lodes of animals. There was also a lot graves from all the animals that died. there was also a ton of wild deer. we also saw three wild awesome turkeys who gobled soooooo, much."] 

It was getting dark by the time we got out of Kanab Canyon, so we drove into Kanab and decided to eat at Wild Thyme Cafe. Squirrel got penne pasta, Bug got chicken and veggies and I got a steak. {Squirrel: "Now we are on a road with three cars. We are going about 40 mph. Now 30 mph. We just went past Hog Canyon. That looked fun! You know, I just realized I spelled canab wrong this whole time. It was Kanab. Well, we are in Kanab, and we are looking for a dinner place! We just found a restaurant called Wild Thyme Cafe! Ok, we have eaten dinner. I got Baked penne, my sester got postatio chicken, and my grandpa got ribeye. That dinner was soo good!"} [Bug: "then we finally got to a dinner place. I had a very good dinner."]

Squirrel and Bug are each wearing their rock necklaces. 

Our hotel for the night was not too far distant, the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Kanab, a high rise. There were lots of Asians in the lobby, it looked like a large tour group. The girls called their parents and we were ready for a good night sleep. {Squirrel: "Now, we arrived at our hotel! It has two beds, and my sister and I are sharing one. The beds are big tho. Thankfully...Anyways, I'm going to Sleep, maybe for 8000 hours, but ya! Good night!"} [Bug: "then we came to a hotel and the beds were so cumfy."]

1 comment:

  1. I love the cataloguing of the various animals. The sand dunes also look like so much fun. I remember being a kid in the sand dunes. Those were good times.