Vacation: Day 3 (Pt. I: Exploring)

The third day of our vacation began with us leaving the Bryce Canyon area, headed for St. George, Utah for the rest of our vacation. We took our time getting back, with lots of detours and exploring along the way.

This is the general store in Tropic, Utah, where we stayed.

We began by exploring the area east of Bryce Canyon, near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park. However, we couldn’t find a passable route through that area to the south, so we eventually turned around and headed back the way we came. Along the way we saw a number of other landscapes we’d missed in our late-night drive, including Red Canyon, Navajo Lake, Cascade Falls, and plenty of other beautiful landscapes along the way.

An abandoned cabin we saw along the way, not far from Bryce Canyon.

The highway through Red Canyon passes through two arches carved from the red rock several decades ago.

We hiked along the edge of a cliff to Cascade Falls, which empties from Navajo Lake on the plateau several hundred feet above. The lake was significantly down, so the falls were also pretty small.

The panoramic view from the trail to Cascade Falls was incredible!

After driving and hiking for most of the afternoon we finally reached Cedar City. The first thing we did upon getting out of the mountains was stop by the local Wal-Mart. Few things signal that you’re back to civilization quite like it. 🙂

One of the experiences we’ve been wanting to have is to visit a western ghost town. According to a local map we bought, there was one just south of Cedar City. Unfortunately we ended up spending a couple of hours driving around the area unsuccessfully searching for it. We hope to still find one, and have gotten a couple of good leads from friends here in St. George. Hopefully sometime over the next couple of days we’ll have pictures to show.

We finally drove from Cedar City south to St. George, arriving around 5:30 in the afternoon. By the time we arrived in the city the temperature outside had risen to 107°F–almost 40 degrees warmer than the weather earlier in the afternoon high in the mountains. Needless to say, this weather has taken some getting used-to for us Hoosiers.

Elisabeth wants to write about our time visiting with friends in the evening, so I’ll leave Part II of this day’s entry for her to write.

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