Stubbs Family Western road trip 2012 travel blog

Park in Cedar City, UT

Park in Cedar City, UT

Park in Cedar City, UT

Playing catch at the park in Cedar City, UT

Driving in UT

Nice waterfall

Elevation 10,435 ft.

It was cold in the moutains!

Looking out

Adventuring out to a point

"Hey, where did Josiah and Nathaniel go?"

Victory!

Beautiful colors

Salina, UT parade

Salina, UT parade

Is the car melting? From 61 to 114??

Rodeo celebrity

Getting ready for the show

Mountainside arena

Cowboy at the rodeo

Trying to touch the fireworks right over our heads


We can officially say, we have started our travels homeward bound, as California was the furthest west of our travels. Paul said he wanted to go home today - we can truthfully tell him we are on our way, it will just take a while. Last night when we checked into our hotel, it was 100 degrees outside, and we walked into the hotel room that did not have the air conditioning on and it was hot! We turned it on, and it did work, but it took quiet a while to cool off the room. Sure makes us thankful for 1) a place to stay and 2) that there was any air conditioning at all! We are so spoiled in this country!! The kids enjoyed swimming in the pool this morning before we took off. One of our challenges has been teaching the kids "hotel etiquette." Our rules have been 1) be quiet and considerate to other hotel guests, 2) no running and 3) no picking on the other person (because this often results in a loud noise!). Due to their excitement and long days of travel, these rules are hard to abide by!

Our original plan today was to drive through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, but each had a $25 entrance fee. So we changed our plans and our first stop was at a discovery park in Cedar City, UT only 30 min from our hotel. Here the kids played on a really nice wooden play ground, we had a picnic lunch and Adam and the boys played catch (yes, they brought their gloves and balls!) Then we took a scenic drive through Cedar Breaks, UT. We drove up a mountain to an altitude of 10,000 ft and it was 62 degrees. We saw beautiful wildflowers, a small waterfall, an amazing outlook over a canyon (this was probably a little similar to what we would have seen at Bryce Canyon). At the canyon, it was amazing the number of different colors of sand - I think we counted 7 different colors! Adam and the boys went on another "dangerous" adventure out on a tip - thankfully no one slipped off! The forest had tons of dead birch trees. We asked a ranger why this was and he said that a beetle destroys the trees and many of those trees have been standing their dead for 15 years. Many had fallen over, too.

While driving to Salina, UT Adam was very excited for the strip of road that had an 80 MPH speed limit! Driving has been so entertaining as everything is just so mountainous and beautiful. We continue to be amazed at God's beautiful creation and variety. We have noticed that often a letter formed out of stones is on the side of a mountain. For example, you will see a big "R" on the side of a mountain made out of white rocks near the town of Richfield. Today we also saw the most "green" we have in a long time. It had been mostly desert looking, but today we saw some fields, grass and pine trees. Everything is still really dry though, there have been several times we see an area that there should be a creek, but it's dried up and there is nothing.

We made it into Salina, UT around 5 pm. This town is about the size of Hampshire. As we were heading to the downtown area, we noticed a parade going on right down main street. We found a place to park and jumped right into the crowd. The kids, being Morton Pumpkin Festival experts, knew what to do. Before long, we had a bag of candy that would serve as dinner. Truthfully, though, we didn't have much of a choice for dinner except for the Denny's, so that's what we did before the evening festivities.

Prior to the trip, Adam had scouted out some Utah cities that we projected to be around on July 4th. Salina was a great choice because it offered an evening outdoor Rodeo and fireworks right after. This was as western of a rodeo as you can get, with lots of horses, cows, and cowboys and cowgirls all over. We felt out of place with shorts and regular shoes. The attire was jeans, boots, and of course a cowboy hat. We at least had the hats we got from Texas and we even brought bandanas from home. All the kids really enjoyed this experience. Belle kept asking when she was going to get to ride a horse. The Rodeo was on the side of a mountain, so it was a real natural stadium seating set up. It didn't end until 10:45 and then the fireworks went for 30 minutes. They were set off just beyond the rodeo arena and burst right over our heads. Even Paul was really into them. This was his first experience with fireworks.

We got to our hotel in Salina after 11:30 pm, but we all had to take showers as we were completely filthy from all the dust and dirt at the Rodeo.



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