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  1. #21

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    This proved to be a very tiring day for us as after dinner we had to get back on the road for our next leg of the journey which was another 300 miles to Vernal. Looking back we should have left Jackson much earlier but it was almost 6pm by the time we got back to the car and then we met some heavy duty traffic leaving town. The drive was scenic enough until dark and then it became a bit of a labour of love keeping ourselves entertained for those long hours in the car with nothing to see except other cars rear lights away in the distance.

    Unfortunately for us this meant that we drove through the Flaming Gorge area in the pitch dark and whilst we could sense there were stunning views around us as we climbed numourous winding roads we couldnít see them. I was driving and Suzy kept me amused recounting stories of the people we had met so far and recalling some of the wonderful sights we had already. Plus we had a great selection of
    Road Trips songs on our playlist which had been made back in the uk on one of our many evenings planning the trip.

    We didnít arrive in Vernal until 11.30 pm and we were both exhausted and very grateful for our welcoming room and huge beds at the holiday inn express and suites which we had prebooked.

  2. #22

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    Tues 12th Sept

    Waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the road again we were tempted to backtrack the 40 or 50 miles in order to view Flaming Gorge in the daylight, but we also wanted to get to Bryce Canyon before nightfall so we had a decent breakfast at the hotel (it was free with the booking) and left Vernal. Stopping only to grab a few pics with Pink Dinosaur at the edge of town.

    We took the US-191 and stopped in Price for a coke float and a bit of a leg stretch.


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    We arrived at Bryce Canyon just before dark and as we approached Ruby’s At Bryce where we were staying we we lucky enough to see a magnificent sunset although we didn’t stop for pictures. The pics attached above were taken from the road somewhere around Sevier. That evening after check in and having enjoyed a grill cheese and coleslaw at the diner we bundled up our washing and took advantage of the laundry that was onsite and within walking distance of our lodge. It was good to have this chance to reorganise our bags and once everything was clean and repacked we both felt tired after two long driving days so we retired early and went to bed by 10pm. I was up again at 3am as there was a tremendous storm which sounded as though the sky was falling in. I went out onto our balcony and sat there for about an hour just watching the fire in the sky and enjoying the wonders of Mother Nature. Suzy slept through the whole thing and was surprised when I told her about it next morning.

  3. #23

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    Weds 13th Sept

    Bryce Canyon really does not need any descriptions other than stunning. Itís very hard to capture the depth of colour, the vast beauty and the immense scale with our snapshots but we certainly tried. Taking 100ís of photos each at every single pullover on the scenic drive.

    We had begun the day with a good breakfast at Rubyís steak house before heading out to sightsee in the park. Following the previous nights storm we had beautiful blue skies and nothing but sunshine. It was Hot Hot Hot and being city girls unused to extreme heat it didnít take long for us to both feel that we were wilting. We walked the Rim Trail which is only about a mile and provides some beautiful views before deciding that we would return to the air conditioning of our car and spend the remainder of the day in comfort.

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    As the evening approached we went back to the lodge at Rubyís and whiled away an hour or two in the huge gift shop / grocery store. By. Ow I had bought so many tee shirts and magnets that I was beginning to think I would need a larger suitcase to get home - so I had to reign myself in a little. We had a small evening meal at the diner on-site, that breakfast really had kept us going all Day so we didnít need much.

    Later we got coffee from the grocery store and spent an hour or more sitting outside the lodge just people watching and relaxing. It was a lovely evening and we met some great people - mostly older couples who having retired were finally in the position of having the time and the money to see their beautiful country.
    Last edited by Scruffygirl; 10-08-2017 at 05:35 AM.

  4. #24

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    Thurs 14th Sept

    Next morning we skipped breakfast - bought some supplies for eating on the go and hit the road towards Zion. The route was so scenic we took our time making the relatively short journey and arrived at the gates of Zion just as the skies opened and the rain began to pour. The ranger at the entrance to the park advised us there was a flash flood warning in effect. This did not spoil our enjoyment of the drive through the tunnel and into the park. We were booked for a 2 night stay at the Pioneer Lodge in Springdale so we headed right there and arrived a little too early for the 3pm check in. Our room was not ready so we left the car parked at the lodge and took a walk down to Blondies Diner where we indulged ourselves with our favourites grill cheese and coke floats.

    The diner is pretty interesting, having once been a family home which retains a lot of the original features, and full of quirky little Knick knacks and unusual decor. After lunch we strolled back up the main Springdale high street (rain had calmed down from torrential to drizzle) and we found lots to admire in the various galleries and stores most of which had one off items that were pretty different from the usual gift store items we had become used to. I fell in love with the huge wind sculptures we saw but sadly they were way way outside my tee shirt budget so they have remained in Springdale and not made it back to my little garden in the Uk.

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    We wandered back to the Pioneer Lodge and were allowed to check in. The room was very welcoming and having taken some time to settle in we were impressed with the view from our pool which was pretty impressive. Once the rain ceased we got back into the car and drove back up through the park as far as the tunnel before retracing our steps and getting some lovely pics of this gorgeous park.

  5. #25

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    Fri 15th Sept

    Next morning after a so so (but free) buffet breakfast at the lodge we caught the shuttle bus back into the most beautiful park I’ve ever seen. I think I spent the entire day with my jaw dropping at how gorgeous everything was. I’d like to say we hiked Angels Landing but not being as young (or fit) as I’d like to be we settled for walking Emerald Pools and the start point of the narrows. This place has everything a nature lover / thrill seeker / weekend wanderer could wish for.

    There were no real crowds so getting a seat on the regular shuttles was never a problem and no queues which is always a plus. We had blue skies and a perfect day. I loved this entire trip but Zion is really very special and will always remain a highlight for me.

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    After a long day hiking and sightseeing we were ravenous so taking the bus back to our lodge we then walked back down the town to a nice Thai restaurant close to the park entrance. We had a huge meal with a glass or three of Red and retired to our room weary but elated.

  6. #26

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    Sat 16th Sept

    We woke feeling a bit reluctant to leave. We knew we had only scratched the surface of Zion and really wanted more time but it was already the start of our third (and last) week in the states and we had so much more to do. We packed up the car grabbed a coffee to go from the lobby of the Pioneer and hit the road. Our next destination was Lake Powell Arizona and we were both looking forward to seeing horseshoe bend which we hoped to reach for sunset.

    What we hadn’t taken into account was just how scenic the route was and as per usual it took far longer to reach our lodging at Lake Powell resort and marinas than we had planned for. Route 89 approx 150 miles but so many many reasons to stop and take pictures along the way. It was lovely and we once again marvelled at the quietness of the roads, the space and the freedom compared to driving a long journey in England.

    We stopped in Kanab and took a wander around Hollywoodland which is where a lot of the old country and western movies had been made. It was again a little cheesy with a huge gift shop and a lot of French tourists dressed as red indians and whopping and hollering around the set but we enjoyed the break from driving and as always the photo opportunities.

    It didn’t cost anything to walk around the set but the staff in the gift shop were trying a little too hard to make sales which we found a little off putting. I wouldn’t say this is a must do but it’s not a bad stop if you happen to be passing. You certainly can imagine John Wayne walking through one of the cabins and telling you to get off your horse and drink your milk. Suzy took 40winks in a huge porch chair on set but I kept my eyes open watching the hi jinks going on with the French tourists.

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  7. #27

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    We arrived at Lake Powell Resorts around 3pm and we were pleasantly surprised to be given a huge lake view room.

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    After getting all the paperwork sorted we took a stroll around the complex, had a late lunch in one of the two restaurants on site and then headed back out to find Horseshoe Bend. For both of us this was one of the most anticipated sights on our trip and we couldnít stop grinning at one another as we parked the car and began the short trail towards our goal.

    Arriving at the rim ( they say itís a mile hike but it didnít feel that long at all) we were initially a little dismayed to see hundreds of other tourists milling around and perched on the key spots with their tripods and expensive camera equipment. We were pleased that soon after the crowds seem to wander away and we found a quiet spot for ourselves where we were able to simply sit and wallow in the absolute peace and tranquility of the early evening. Sunset was breathtaking and we were delighted with our perfect timing and semi solitude to enjoy the moment.

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  8. #28

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    We stayed on at Horseshoe Bend long past sunset, leaving only when it became too dark to see much further than a few feet ahead. This was probably a good thing as we couldn’t really worry about the somewhat steeper walk back to the car as we couldn’t see the gradient. It certainly was more of an effort than it had been gettting there but the intense heat had lessened so that made it easier. I didn’t want the day to end, my mind had begun the countdown to holiday finishing which was ever closer with each sunset. Back at the lodge we decided to have a blow out and treat ourselves to a nicer meal than usual and we made a big of an effort showering and dressing, even getting the make up out and remembering how to apply mascara and a bit of lippy we we really hadn’t been bothering with.

    Who knows if it made a difference but as we finished our meal we were approached by two men who wanted to join us for a drink. Turns out they were a couple who were on their honeymoon and headed towards Vegas at the end of their own 3 week trip. They had recognised our accents as brits (being Irish themselves) and we enjoyed a few hours with them chatting and sharing our stories of being on the road. Like us they kept finding themselves slipping into fake American accents (we tried not to do it but it kept happening) and they had some really amusing stories to share. It was a good evening and we headed for bed feeling excited about the next days plans to visit both upper and lower antelope canyon plus the Glen Canyon Dam.

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  9. #29

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    Sun 17th Sept

    We had a lazy morning taking advantage of our lovely room and the scenic view of the lake before making our way to the Navajo ticket office for the Upper Antelope Canyon. We hadn’t pre booked and so had to wait a couple of hours to get on the first available tour at 12.15. It cost $48 each for the escorted shuttle to the actual canyon and we felt a little like cattle being herded through with few photo opportunities thanks to the large volume of people doing the same tour as us.

    We known it would be busy but hadn’t really expected such a production line and the guides are pretty strict about keeping you within your allocated time frame and moving you on as a group. Our guide Leo tried to provide a running commentary about the history of the Canyon and how it was formed, Plus he gave us hints and tips for how to get the best pictures avoiding the sun etc,but it was difficult to hear him over the chatter of the other tourists.

    Although we loved the Canyon ( it felt like we were on another world) the sheer volume of people left us a little disappointed in the experience and we questioned whether or not we really wanted to repeat it again at the lower canyon. I’m so glad that we didn’t let our doubts get the better of us. We decided to take the last tour of the day at 4.10 and after lunching in Powell we returned to the ticket office for our tour of the lower canyon. This was only $28 each and amazingly we were the only 2 people to show up. This meant we had the guide all to ourselves and received a brilliant tour and lesson in the history and formation of this incredible place.

    Another plus was the sense of adventure is much better at the lower Canyon. There are steep ladders leading down into the ground and there are area’s where it’s a bit of a squeeze to get through, all of which helped give us that “Indianna Jones” feeling which had been missing from the mornings tour.

    If you are there and only have time to visit one of the Canyons then provided you are reasonably mobile you won’t regret taking the lower tour.

    Ultimately it’s a beautiful part of the world, feels unreal to be standing on millions of yrs of history
    and well worth the price of the ticket. We gave our guide a $20 tip which he seemed happy with and for us it was another highlight of what was becoming an unforgettable holiday.

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  10. #30

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    Later that same day we went to see the Glen Canyon Dam and enjoyed a fabulous sunset whilst admiring the views and the marvel of engineering excellence.

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    We returned to our room at the resort and had a night cap beside the pool before retiring for the night and looking forward to our next days adventures

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