Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, October 5, 2012

Utah vacation, Slot Canyon Inn

Slot Canyon Inn

We spent a couple of nights at this most wonderful bed and breakfast!

We arrived at dusk - it would have been a little hard to find in the dark, although her directions are really good.  It is in a remote location.  Just off Highway 12 out of Escalante, Joette Marie Rex, the owner of this beautiful place, told us she had to drive 2 1/2 hours to Cedar City to take her cell phone to be worked on!

It is 40 minutes from Bryce and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is in their back yard.  If you ever go visit these places, you have got to stay here!  We had a marvelous time!

 Here was our room.  LOVED it!

We arrived around 7:30 in the evening.  Joetta's son and daughter-in-law have a restaurant there (North Creek Grill) and that is where we had our dinner.  Al had steak on a lava rock and I had chicken/mozarella with quinoa. I wanted to order a slice of birthday cake for Al, but he didn't want to be made a fuss over, and we were pretty full from the dinner.  Soooo good!

Here is Allen, looking at the illustrated edition of "Indescribable" by Louie Giglio and Matt Redman (part of his birthday gift) the next morning on our deck.

In the background, you will see the historic 1890's Isaac Riddle cabin.  It has been restored and you can stay there if you want!

Here is looking down at the restaurant from the deck in the morning.

One of the fun things about staying here was meeting the other people staying at the inn.  We particularly enjoyed meeting a couple from Scotland, a couple ladies from Switzerland (my mother's home country), a couple from Canada and one from San Diego (the wife was British and grew up in Kenya).  We just really, really enjoyed talking, laughing, and also sharing what adventures we were going on, and getting advice on what we should see.

 Do you see the pharmacy mascot, Lortab, on the girl's shoulder?  She got such a kick out of him.

What was funny was that the couple from Scotland were traveling with a "friend" as well - Bertie Bassett.  They got him at a fundraiser.  They told us that in England, Bertie is a mascot for the Bassett's brand of  licorice. He is a man made oftric licorice, his bodyparts all sorts of various colors. Bertie is a jovial, smiling character,somewhat similar to the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  Their Bertie was a crochetted one.  Here he is in a papoose with Lortab (he is hard to see, but he's under Bertie's arm) along with Joetta.

This is a look at the inn from up a hill behind it.

There are some petroglyphs and pictographs on the rock canyon just behind the inn.  A university has done some archeological digging there and plan to continue to do so later in the future.  They think this sign means that the (Escalante) river never runs dry.

Slot Canyon adventures next!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Utah Vacation, Day 3 cont., Bryce

Bryce Cayon

Leaving Zion on Highway 9, we caught Highway 89 and then got onto Highway 12 to Bryce.  All the way the scenery was spectacular.  Bryce is famous for its unique geology of red rock spires (or hoodoos) and horseshoe-shaped amphi-theatres. 

Entrance to Bryce Canyon is $25 per car, same as Zion.  There is a voluntary shuttle that will take you only part of the way.  We chose to drive our car on the easily accessed paved road, a 37 mile round trip.  There were many turn-outs to get out and take photos.

If you look closely, you will see that there is a road on this ridge at the top of this mountain.  Just enough room for 2-way traffic and that is all.  Drop offs on both sides.

Isn't this breath-taking?

 "All of this is the music of waters."  John Wesley Powell, 1895

I would have loved to have hiked down here (see picture below), but we needed to get to our lodging outside of Escalante before dark (so we could find it!).  We realized that on this trip to Utah, we were just skimming the sites.  You could easily spend a week at each location and still not exhaust what is available to see. 
It would have been so fun to take in the night program they have.  "Bryce Canyon is the ultimate place to learn about and enjoy the splendor of the night sky. Far from the light pollution of civilization, and protected by a special force of park rangers and volunteer astronomers known as "The Dark Rangers," Bryce Canyon is the last grand sanctuary of natural darkness. The night sky at Bryce is so dark we can see 7500 stars on a moonless night! Here, Venus will cause you to cast a shadow! No visit to Bryce Canyon is complete without joining the Dark Rangers for one of their educational and entertaining celebrations of natural darkness."

As the sun was quickly making its' decent, we quickly drove on to our next destination - Slot Canyon Inn.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Utah Vacation - Day 3, cont., Zion on

From Zion to Bryce

As we went through the tunnel out of Zion National Park, we continued to be awestruck.  Every turn in the road we would just be in awe of how magnificent the rock formations continued!

When we could, we would park the car and get out to do a little climbing or just to stop and stare.

Some vacations you go on are to man-made places - like Great Wolf Lodge or Silver Dollar City.  But this vacation we listened to worship songs and our hearts were lifted in praise to the One who created all this beauty!

One thought we had was that when God spoke creation into being, that the world really was a perfect place.  I think it was probably a lovely 70 degrees all the time!  Ha! 

"God saw all the He had made, and it was very good."  Genesis 1:31
Then you reach chapter 6:5,6 where it says "every inclination of the thoughts of men's heart was only evil all the time.  God was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain."
Then God sent a flood that flooded the earth for 150 days.  Only Noah, his family and the animals God called were saved.  "On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened."  Gen. 7:11  The whole earth was writhing!  And then it says that God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock so He sent a wind over the earth.  "The springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.  The water receded steadily from the earth." Gen. 8:2,3
Can you imagine the force of all that water receding and creating all those canyons and molding all the rocks. 
But the really neat thought is that although probably all this was formed from the impact of the flood waters and the underground water bursting out, today it is so beautiful and amazing to look at.
God redeemed it.  He brought "beauty from ashes" so to speak.  And He does that in our lives too.  Our lives can be a mess and there are consequences to those things.  Whether it is slander, prostitution, stealing, a bad and critical attitude - whatever - when we let Him work in us, He can redeem it and make beauty from it.  Isaiah 61

"Therefore, if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ, the Messiah, he is (a new creature altogether,) a new creation; the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away.  Behold, the fresh and new has come!  2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Utah Vacation - Day 3, Zion

Cedar City to Zion National Park

A friend suggested I include a map - the 1st days trip from Kansas to Frisco is not included.  The 2nd day is the marked red line on the top.  I-70 until it ends, then Highway 15 to Cedar City, which is circled on the top left.

After a night's rest at Cedar City, we drove to Zion National Park. We were going to turn off at the Toquerville exit, but the 2nd exit (highway 9) wasn't that much out of the way and was marked as scenic.  Well, not so much.  The town of Hurricane is built up all the way, so if anyone wants to take this path, just take the short-cut.

The bottom circle on the left is Zion National Park, which was our destination.

The drive south of Cedar City was pretty.  The photo below is blurry since I took it fast, but we found those tall skinny trees so hilarious.  They looked like pencils!

When we got to Zion, it was pretty easy to navigate.  The entrance fee is $25 and you have to park in the parking lot.  They do not allow any cars into the park past the parking lot.  There just wouldn't be room with the volume of visitors they have.  LOTS!  We heard lots and lots of languages - Chinese, French, German, Spanish, British English, Australian and I don't know what all.  I did not hear any Japanese though.  Quite unusual.

We were a little confused before we parked as to what to do.  But it really was explained well after you walked up to the shuttle parking area.  They show you all the different trails you can take, from easy to difficult.  We picked out 3 different trails we would like to do, picked up a map and boarded the shuttle. 

We got off at the "shuttle stops" that were called out and took off on our trails.  On our first trail, we came across a family of deer.

This trail was easy - infact, there were many families, some with strollers.  Even wheelchairs can be pushed on this trail.

Can you see that speck on the notch in the rock?  This guy is obviously taking a difficult trail!!

 And here is another one.  Nope - not my style!

The pharmacy at Newton Med has a weasel as a mascot.  A long time ago, some nurses called the pharmacists weasels so one of the guys got this weasel and they named him Lortab.  Lortab has his own Facebook page!  Look him up!  Lortab has traveled all around the world.  Anyone from the hospital who is travelling can ask to take him with them.  He has been to the Vatican, to South America, and all over. 
Well, we brought him with us on this trip.  We happened to see a squirrel sunning himself on a rock, so Al placed Lortab beside him.

It didn't take too long, until the squirrel came to investigate.  

 I think he thought Lortab would be a good friend.
 But then, he began to remove ("steal") Lortab's hat so Al had to run in to the rescue!
Lortab was grateful.

By the way, it was Allen's birthday on this day!  57!!  Woot, woot!!

 "Hanging gardens" on the rocks.

We spent about 3 hours here and could have spent more for sure, but we needed to get on.  

We got into our car to leave Zion.

The road was very, very windy!  Much like a roller coaster.  I thought of Staci, Jill and Julie who all get so very car sick.  They would just puke!  Look at the photo!  (I found this on-line since I couldn't take a picture to really show how curvy it was)  It is very scary, but I am sure some find it thrilling!

We weren't sure at first what this hole was, but then we entered a tunnel.

Al said with the tunnel so very long, they probably need these "windows" (there were several) as air vents for the car exhaust.

Here is some information I found:

"On the 4th of July, 1930, in a dedication, the completion of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel was celebrated. This 1.1 mile-long hole through the mountain cost around 2-million dollars and allowed easy access to the east side of Zion. Previously people had to travel a hazardous stretch of mountain road running through the Arizona strip. The new road shortened the distance from Zion to Bryce Canyon by seventy-miles. The tunnel is located between the Canyon Overlook Trailhead and the Switchbacks. It divides the park with the red colored rock on one side and the patterned white slick rock on the other. The other tunnel, located east of the larger, is so short that the opposite end is seen as soon as entering."

Here is a picture of them working on the tunnel.

I'll continue Day 3 about Bryce Canyon next.