After Bryce Canyon, we drove down to Zion. Bryce Canyon is around 8000 feet above sea level, and Zion Lodge is at about 4300 feet.
The drive down was awesome. It takes about 45 minutes from the entrance gate to the Lodge. The entrance to the Park is sitting around 7000 feet. And the peaks in this Park jut up to 12000 feet. It is simply incredible.
We drove through a tunnel, then back and forth, back and forth on switchbacks in order to drop our altitude to the canyon floor. The tunnel was built so long ago, prior to large cars and buses. They only allow one direction of traffic in at a time. If we had driven in the right lane, like normal, we would have ripped the entire top off the bus. Our bus drove down the middle of the road.
It was a nice change - staying on the canyon floor as opposed to the rims. Up to this point in our trip, we had been standing at the edge of the canyons looking down. Now we had to look up.
We drove straight from Denny's Wigwam to Bryce Canyon Lodge. It's at about 8,000 ft above sea level. The sun was shining. The wind was blowing. Humidity does not exist. It is stunningly beautiful. I was in absolute heaven.
Ok, so our time lapse video doesn't get us all the way up to the canyon. But it's still pretty cool.
The first order of business was to eat lunch. We ate in the Lodge - it is the only dining option at the Canyon. I ordered the fish tacos - made with fresh Alaskan cod. They were different, different flavors than the tropical ones I am used to in Florida. But they were quite good. My nephew said the fish and chips were amazing.
What can I say? -- I love being near water. Must be the Florida girl in me.
Anyway, after we left Monument Valley, we headed straight to the Lake Powell Resort.
Lake Powell is an incredible place. It's simply enormous. Seriously. I think it stretches for 192 miles. That's a big lake. It winds in and out of different canyon walls, so it's not in a "lake shape" like Lake Okeechobee.
The Lake was created when the Glen Canyon dam was built. The dam stopped up the Colorado River and created what we know today as Lake Powell. Not only is this lake large in length, it's deep. just off the marina at the resort the depth drops to 300 feet. In front of the dam, the depth is deepest at 500 and change.
The Three Sisters
John Ford's Lookout - This is where he would come, on his horse, and visualize his next film.
Look closely. Do you see him?
We had to join in on the picture fun...
The next two might be my favorite photos from the entire trip.
If you're planning a visit - do not underestimate the sand. You will get covered.
Thanks for following along today.
Now that we are back in the bus, we are going to relax and watch a John Wayne classic filmed in Monument Valley on our way to Lake Powell.
We left the Thunderbird Lodge around 8am. It was time for our next adventure, and a very long day.
Our bus took us out through Navajo country toward Monument Valley. But first we made a few interesting stops.
The first rest stop was the Cameron Trading Post. As Greg, our tour guide told us, "it is the Walmart of trading posts." It's quite large, and you can find a vast assortment of stuff there.
On the Road Again
We love to travel. It's actually one of my favorite things to do. It always has been. My fondest memories of my childhood involve and revolve around some of the great trips we went on as a family. I get a bit childishly excited when I get to take my kids to new places, or when I get to pack my suitcase.
Already this year, we have clocked some serious miles in the car. But more miles in the air. We do prefer to fly, but it is not always an option.
In January, we went on our big annual ski trip with my family to the mountains in North Carolina. My mom and I opted to leave a few days early and drive up. We brought my kids along for the adventure. We spaced the drive out over three days - which was way longer than it needed to be. But it all worked.
We love to travel. Although our roaming souls often come back to the same places.