Another day of changing scenery. We set off with the Dyke Prices at 8.00am. Rick and Robin like to travel at about the same speed and none of us is generally in a hurry to be first away so we have spent a few days with them lately. We drove through sand dunes and desert rocks for some time so we resorted to the IPOD listening to podcasts from Radios 3 and 4. The indifferent scenery didn’t last for long. We saw cliffs with red and grey stripes and then that Robin variously christened raspberry ripple, vanilla, caramel etc. The vegetation became more plentiful and greener and there were farmsteads. We drove through meadows with flowers and there were many silver birch trees. Lunch was in a cabin beside the road and was homemade soup and salad. Utah certainly is scenic!
The rocky outcrops remained with us. We were following route 12 heading west. The road climbed and turned as we crossed Boulder Mountain and saw snow, not just in the distance but next to the road. A fabulous drive that culminated in the road following the very ridge of the mountain for a mile or two. We had been joined by Chris and Jill in the Corvette and Roger and Julian in the DB mk3 Aston and we all enjoyed that stretch so much that we turned around and drove those few miles again to take photos – Paul and Nikki were behind and got some good video too.
At 3.00pm we arrived at Bryce Canyon. We decided not to opt for the bus and drove the Aston to the southern end where we had a panoramic view back to the plain where we had visited the grand canyon a few days ago. After that we stopped at a number of viewpoints on the way back, marvelling at the points of pink rock. The highlight, however, was a walk to the bottom of the canyon and back up again. The path went between the massive pillars of red stone and zig zagged down the hill and then up. The climb was called ‘Wall Street’ because the columns were so tall and straight. We saw a mother and baby chipmunk and various birds. The flowers were beautiful – they are later here because of the altitude and lower temperatures.
We stayed in a motel called ‘Ruby’s Inn’ – a huge affair of cabins. Basic but more than adequate. The only problem was that it took until 4.00am to locate the source of the persistent beep disturbing our sleep – the telephone was not quite on the hook!