June 17, 2010

Travels: Moab, UT to Bryce Canyon, UT – 291 miles (5238 total miles)
Accommodations: Bryce Canyon, North Campground – no services

Went to bed early last night, fell asleep reading Omnivore’s Dilemma – got to love that! Woke up around 7 – always the kids acting as our alarm these days. I do miss my early, quiet mornings reading my Bible and getting the day started sans kids. Another day…

After bacon and eggs, we packed up the trailer and headed towards {destination unknown}. It took us awhile to pack up and get going. When Dave was about to hook up the trailer, he realized that an important “pin” and lock that attaches the hitch to the truck was missing. It must have been left on the bumper and ended up somewhere between our campsite and one of the views in Arches. We headed to the local RV supply and picked up another one. Thankfully it was open and there was one!

Now, we were ready to go. We pulled out of town, PB&J in hand ready to see something. We took the 70 to the 24 to the 12. Our drive started out very dry – we are in the desert, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. We drove through Captiol Reef National Park which was very pretty – it is so interesting to see the different layers of rock and the current status of these ever changing rock formations. Sometimes there is a long red stripe through a large light colored mountain or you will see black streaks on deep red rock where water has left its mark. Fascinating – and I obviously have NO CLUE what the reasons behind these fascinating rocks are.

Everything up to this point was expected and your typical southern Utah fare. But from this point on things changed over and over again. We continued on through desert and then hit Dixie National Forest and began climbing in altitude and running into pines, and then aspens, and then hillsides of only aspens and grass at the 9600 foot summit. Temperatures cooled from the 90s down to 72. Both of us could not believe the number of aspens in this area; we have never seen this many before. Dixie National Forest has some great, cheap camping that is very California mountainesque. {Note: No cell service all day}

As we drove down in elevation, we were reacquainted with the pines, and then the red rock and dry high desert terrain. More cool red rock and canyons to drive through. It is amazing that the road builders have just blasted their way through these mountains to make way for these immaculately kept roads. Good bye pines and cool temps! Or so we thought again – we are beginning to realize that we should make no predictions about what is around the next turn.

As we left the Escalante area and began climbing in elevation again, we were back in pine trees and a 7600 foot summit. At this point, we had decided to drive into Bryce and take a look around and then see if we could find camping close-by. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Bryce Canyon National Park is at a higher elevation, covered with pines, and gorgeous. We were also pleasantly surprised to get the last campsite at Bryce National Park at 7pm. It wasn’t a great spot – a bit too slanted. BUT, it was a great campground, cheap, and a beautiful area. We figured we would try to move spots tomorrow.

We quickly set up camp, made some sandwiches, looked around, and got the kids in bed by a whopping 9:30pm. (This is very late for our kids; they usually go to bed at 7.) I went on a little walk to unwind and talked to my mom for a few, barely getting reception, and then hit the sack!

*Note: We hadn’t had plans of camping here figuring that it would be too hot to camp without hook-ups, but it was in the 70s during the day.

Mackenzie: “1, 2, 3”
Marin: “Booting.
{Mackenzie told Marin to say this. I don’t get it, but they think it is hilarious!}
Mason: “1, 2, 3, 4 horse tank.”
{more laughter}

Dave: “This is my kind of camping – pine trees and dirt. Oh, and thank God for diesel. We’ve crossed way more passes than I thought existed.”

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