Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cedar City, Utah

We had really fabulous weather today. The sky was impossibly blue and the sun was out. Yes, it was a little cold. But that kept away all the other tourists!

Today we went to Arches National Park, which I think is my favorite national park of all time, as of now. I will post a couple of photos from the ton that we took. It's this relatively small park (about 100 square miles in total) with crazy rock formations, some in the form of arches. It has several very manageable hikes (1 mile or less) where you get to see the best of the arches. The trails are extremely well-maintained. Did I mention how incredible the rock formations are?

Here are a couple of typical photos. First, a photo of Turret Arch:

Here is Jim, on top of one of the smaller rock formations:

View of North Window Arch from Turret Arch:

After Arches, we drove for a long time. We basically drove across Utah. The scenery was out of this world: rock formations in various colors and snow-covered mountains, mainly. Here's a typical view:

The road and the land around it was mostly deserted. One stretch of road went about 100 miles without any exits.

We stopped for lunch in a town called Green River whose claim to fame is that it's the world's watermelon capital. It has a watermelon festival every September. No watermelons this time of year though.

We have stopped for the night in Cedar City, Utah, which is somewhat near Zion National Park. We are going to Zion tomorrow morning before driving into California for some (hopefully) warm weather. We are also near Bryce National Park, but I think we're going to skip Bryce and just do Zion this time.

Cedar City is kind of an unremarkable town. We stopped at a motel that we thought was a Best Western. But when Jim went in to get a room, they told him that they were no longer a Best Western. Jim realized that the receptionist had been scraping the Best Western sign off the door when we pulled up. Then we realized that there were trucks in the parking lot, covering over all the Best Western signs. Kind of weird. But the room is pretty cheap, and it's clean. So it's OK.

We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Don Miguel. We were the only ones there. The town seems somewhat deserted.

Lots of driving tomorrow, but hopefully more amazing sites and continued good weather.

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