Bryce Canyon/Capitol Reef National Park

We left Zion NP and headed to Bryce Canyon. Remember, our way is the back roads and scenic byways rather than the straight shot down the interstates.

As we drove through the middle-of-know-where Odinville, Utah, we came across a large newish building that housed a spectacular German restaurant and bakery!! Where we dreaming? No indeed! We had delicious sandwiches and bought too much bread and pastries for our travels. Who knew?

It had gotten a bit chilly the last night at Zion, and knowing we would be going up in elevation, I booked a hotel for two nights. “It’s much bigger than Zion,” said Travel Guide O’Neill, “there will be more stores. “ I girded for a great shopping experience….in addition to great scenery, of course. However, as we arrived—there was nothing except “Ruby’s hotel, campground, rodeo, general store” and a few new hotels. As we checked into the hotel I asked the desk person what they did around here—“we work”, she shrugged. I was certainly glad we had booked the hotel, there was snow everywhere.

We took a short drive to a couple of lookouts then back to the hotel where we crashed for the rest of the day, a nap for Jim, a bath for me. We still get quite tired as late afternoon arrives. As the room had a microwave, I warmed up some wonderful frozen chili a friend had given us in AZ.

The next morning the breakfast room was filled with visitors from many countries. It was cold. But bright and sunny. “We just left this weather,” a woman from Ottawa said with a laugh.

We stopped at the visitor center, observing the giant solar panels outside. I always learn something new—whether an inspiring quote or story. We drove out to the view points and spent several hours looking at the mysterious hoodoo formations of the rocks. The campground was closed and snowed in. We did find a small lodge in the woods open—it appealed to us more than our sterile hotel where we had to turn on the airconditioning to get it to a decent temperature. Have we turned into woods people?

Bryce Canyon and other high parks emphasize the night sky and it is spectacular.

“Starry starry night…..Don Mclane. Downloaded it to play that night when we got ito a campground featuring the night.

We left Bryce driving along Hwy 12. Mostly empty of cars, a few hot spots along the way like an old drive-in movie theatre outside Escalante. The scenery changed and the high natural wall running along the highway looked like it was guarding a castle or it was the Great Wall of China. But there were also broken down houses, empty corrals—what happened, where did they go? So many stories.

Jim and I got into one of our silly moments making up sentences like “Did you-ta what I ta? Ok, we at least were entertained.

We arrived at a national park we had never heard of: Capitol Reef National Park which also highlighted the night sky. Apparently not too many people visit and the rangers get lonely claimed one man. Another “Gem.” It included the former town of Fruita. Mormon pioneers grew nuts and fruits for sale here in this small spot of agriculturally premium land. It could only support 10 families at a time and the one room school house which doubled as a community center, was only about 20 ft/20ft. It was an area subject to flash floods and so it was up and down. Unlike most national parks, during harvest time you can come and pick the fruit. While we could have camped at the mostly empty but very pleasant campground, we decided to drive on. Horses and cows idly looked at us in the park and went back to grazing.

We drove through beautiful cliffs, grazing lands and into flat lands and a straight lonely road. We took a long left turn to find a campground called Goblin State Park and finally came to a sign pointing to the park 8 miles down a flat side road. The camping fee was $35. Not sure where we were headed with no cell service, we drove on.

BRYCE CANYON/CAPITAL REEF NATIONAL PARK

We left Zion NP and headed to Bryce Canyon. Remember, our way is the back roads and scenic byways rather than the straight shot down the interstates.

As we drove through the middle-of-know-where Odinville, Utah, we came across a large newish building that housed a spectacular German restaurant and bakery!! Where we dreaming? No indeed! We had delicious sandwiches and bought too much bread and pastries for our travels. Who knew?

It had gotten a bit chilly the last night at Zion, and knowing we would be going up in elevation, I booked a hotel for two nights. “It’s much bigger than Zion,” said Travel Guide O’Neill, “there will be more stores. “ I girded for a great shopping experience….in addition to great scenery, of course. However, as we arrived—there was nothing except “Ruby’s hotel, campground, rodeo, general store” and a few new hotels. As we checked into the hotel I asked the desk person what they did around here—“we work”, she shrugged. I was certainly glad we had booked the hotel, there was snow everywhere.

We took a short drive to a couple of lookouts then back to the hotel where we crashed for the rest of the day, a nap for Jim, a bath for me. We still get quite tired as late afternoon arrives. As the room had a microwave, I warmed up some wonderful frozen chili a friend had given us in AZ.

The next morning the breakfast room was filled with visitors from many countries. It was cold. But bright and sunny. “We just left this weather,” a woman from Ottawa said with a laugh.

We stopped at the visitor center, observing the giant solar panels outside. I always learn something new—whether an inspiring quote or story. We drove out to the view points and spent several hours looking at the mysterious hoodoo formations of the rocks. The campground was closed and snowed in. We did find a small lodge in the woods open—it appealed to us more than our sterile hotel where we had to turn on the airconditioning to get it to a decent temperature. Have we turned into woods people?

Bryce Canyon and other high parks emphasize the night sky and it is spectacular.

“Starry starry night…..Don Mclane. Downloaded it to play that night when we got ito a campground featuring the night.

We left Bryce driving along Hwy 12. Mostly empty of cars, a few hot spots along the way like an old drive-in movie theatre outside Escalante. The scenery changed and the high natural wall running along the highway looked like it was guarding a castle or it was the Great Wall of China. But there were also broken down houses, empty corrals—what happened, where did they go? So many stories.

Jim and I got into one of our silly moments making up sentences like “Did you-ta what I ta? Ok, we at least were entertained.

We arrived at a national park we had never heard of: Capitol Reef National Park which also highlighted the night sky. Apparently not too many people visit and the rangers get lonely claimed one man. Another “Gem.” It included the former town of Fruita. Mormon pioneers grew nuts and fruits for sale here in this small spot of agriculturally premium land. It could only support 10 families at a time and the one room school house which doubled as a community center, was only about 20 ft/20ft. It was an area subject to flash floods and so it was up and down. Unlike most national parks, during harvest time you can come and pick the fruit. While we could have camped at the mostly empty but very pleasant campground, we decided to drive on. Horses and cows idly looked at us in the park and went back to grazing.

We drove through beautiful cliffs, grazing lands and into flat lands and a straight lonely road. We took a long left turn to find a campground called Goblin State Park and finally came to a sign pointing to the park 8 miles down a flat side road. The camping fee was $35. Not sure where we were headed with no cell service, we drove on.

Bryce Canyon/Capitol Reef National Park

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