On my drive home from Arizona, I was able to enjoy the beauty of northern Arizona and southern Utah. I was able to hit just a corner of the gorgeous Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area on my way up to Kodachrome Basin State Park in Southern Utah, for a night of camping.
I arrived in Kodadachrome Basin campground, just outside of Cannonville, UT around 6pm. It was a beautiful spot to spend the night. It was a refreshing 65 degrees, which felt amazing after the heat of southern Arizona.
The campground is at a pretty high elevation (5800 feet), so I expected it to cool off at night. And, cool off it did. We woke to 29 degrees and a dusting of snow.
The good news is that even though I did not bring my 4 season tent, my 15 degree rated sleeping bag keep me nice and toasty. The cold did not interrupt my sleep, but the glorious yipping from the coyotes did. It was a beautiful symphony that to me, defines “the West”. I’m glad I got to experience it here.
But the big bucket list item for this road trip was to spend a day in Bryce Canyon National Park. So early the next morning, Rae and I packed up camp (I did all the work) and headed to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce is at about 8,000 feet and it received quite a bit more snow than we did.
The road was only open for 2 miles into the park, but it was far enough to experience a couple of the over looks and get a “sense” of the park.
All I can say is OMG!!!!! Unbelievable beauty and jaw dropping, stunning views, no seriously, I’m not kidding or exaggerating. Check out a couple of them:
It was cold and windy standing on the overlooks, but I could not get enough of the view.
With the road closed, I could barely scratch the surface of the amazing park. The good news is that I will definitely be heading back here, for a nice long extended trip!!!
What I learned about the Park:
This was my second trip to southern Utah, and it continues to draw me in. The energy and beauty of the red rock just speaks to me. There are a ton of areas to explore in southern Utah, so my next trip will include:
Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and more time in the Grand Staircase.
Once again I was reminded about the challenge of visiting the National Parks with a dog. I mean, dogs are one of the greatest gifts on earth and I love mine, but the National Parks are really no place for pets. I was glad to camp at a State Park, where dog rules are a little more relaxed. I recommend that if you are traveling with pets, try camping in a State Park vs a National one when you can.
What I learned about myself:
This was a great trip, and it was really about spending time with my Mom in Arizona, which was wonderful. I am incredibly lucky that I was able to include this small amount of time in southern Utah, which really only whet my appetite to plan a full on southern Utah adventure.
I also realized that Grandma Rocks the Park 2.0, which will focus on planning trips to meet up with friends and family is the direction I want my adventures to take.
No offense against Rae, she is a remarkable traveling companion, seriously, the best dog in the world, but she is not the greatest conversationalist, although not the worst either (and she doesn’t help set up the tent). I am looking forward to planning more great adventures with people I love.
Some thoughts for you:
I am finding more and more that these adventures would not happen at all unless I actually plan for them. Time seems to be flying by, and if I would “wait” for an adventure to fit into my life, I would always find a reason why I “don’t have time”. So I am encouraging you to identify an adventure and make a deliberate plan. It won’t happen any other way.
Remember — Get out there!!!
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