Sunday, January 16, 2000

Another overnight in Cedar City, Utah.

As expected, I am in Cedar City.  Chris from the transmission shop said yesterday that I should get the car back between Monday and Thursday depending on what needs to be done.  So I thought I would make the best out of the situation.  What to do?  Go sightseeing!

I was up before the dawn again, and hoping to see sunrise at Zion National Park.  It was a cloudy morning and some rain was in the area, but the glow of the sun was able to break through for a moment.

I first drove to the Kolob Canyons, which is in the northwestern section of the park. There is a five mile scenic drive that has some wonderful views.  After watching some Mule Deer wandering the parking area at the end of the drive, I returned to the highway and drove around to the southern section which is the main entrance to the Zion Canyon.  More outstanding scenery exists in this area along two roads.  On the road that goes into the main canyon, I took a self-guiding trail to an area called Weeping Rock, "a rock alcove with dripping springs."  It was interesting to see such a wet area, as I have been in some very dry settings recently.  The other road goes through the southern section of the park.  More fine views are present.  One of the most impressive parts of this drive is the 1.1 mile tunnel.  The difference between what you see on either end of the tunnel is amazing!

It was early in the afternoon, and while I was at the visitor center in Zion, they had a board posting the availability of the national parks in the area.  I noticed the road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon National Park was still open, to be closed after the next snow storm.  I have wanted to see this side of the canyon, so I headed that direction.  

It was a nice drive to the park.  There was snow in some places along the route, but the road was clear up to the park.  I had been to the south rim and was somewhat disappointed due to the overcrowded conditions and overrun areas.  Today was like being in another world.  There were five cars in the parking lot, and in all the time I was there, I saw six people!  The colors were very dramatic, especially with the white snow accenting the natural shades.  It was magnificent!  I walked around the point stopping at all the overlooks, and spent some time sitting on a rock outcropping to relax, see, and think.  The North Rim was amazing.

It was beginning to get dark, so I started driving out of the park.  Almost immediately, it began to snow, and the wind was picking up.  The further I drove, the stronger the snow was falling.  The road out of the park, Route 67, is not plowed or patrolled after dark, so I was hoping to get to the next junction before it got too bad.  Fortunately, when the snow just began covering the road, I was at the next road.  The snow turned to rain and then it stopped, so the remainder of the drive was uneventful.  

Tomorrow morning I call the shop to learn the status if my current predicament.  I will also find out how long I will be staying here.  Stay tuned for the next installment of  Transmission Blues!

Routes traveled today: 15 - 17 - 9 - 89 - 89A - 67 - 89A - 389 - 59 - 17 - 15 

Thank you for visiting...Until tomorrow...Igor

Hotel: Econo Lodge

Gas: n/a

Click on picture to get enlarged view:

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A muledeer on the side of the road in the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park.

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A view of the Great White Throne along the Kolob Canyon road.

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Roadside panel discussing the "Throne"

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Reminded me of the face of the Old Man of the Mountain in New Hampshire.

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Along the road in Zion Canyon.

 

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The green car is my rental, parked as I prepare to hike to "Weeping Rock."

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Looking upward at the dripping springs of Weeping Rock.

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Looking out through the canyon from Weeping Rock.

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Beautiful rock formations with the water flowing through the rock.

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Opposite of last picture, before leaving Weeping Rock.

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The east entrance to the impressive Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel.

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The east side of the park, with notable differences from the other end of the tunnel.

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Beautiful rock marks and colors.

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Roadside panel explaining checkerboard patterns in rock.

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Actual view showing detailed grooves.

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Sign posted at an overlook along the road to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Looking northwest from the overlook.

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You can see part of the "Grand Staircase" as you look northeast from the overlook.

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Kaibab entrance description panel.

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Bad processing, but incredible view of the Grand Canyon!

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Another processing error, but more incredible views!

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One last problem picture, with wonderful scene.

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Two of the six people I saw while visiting!  It was incredible!

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Another view of the canyon.

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This rock appeared to be a human on his back, with lower torso and legs in view of the picture.

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I sat on the edge of this ledge for some time.  So peaceful!

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I walked along the rim trail and took a few more shots of the canyon.

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Yikes!  Who is that man!  One of the few pictures using auto-focus, which explains why I used manual focus most of the time!

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I really enjoyed my time on the north rim.

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Similar to Bryce Canyon, the snow enhanced the groves in the rock and made the different rock layers very visible.

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