After a couple of days at Zion National Park, where a drive through the park can be absolutely breathtaking with the rock walls towering 2,000 to 3,000 feet above a car, we made our way to the unusual Bryce Canyon National Park.
From our first view I knew it was one of the most scenically diverse places I had ever seen. Bryce is famous for its unique red rock spires that are often called “Hoodoos.” They are different, often grotesque, and with an imagination eerie. Surprising to me was the horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters here on the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah.
I made two trips to the canyon just to see the ancient trees and scenic views from the rim. There were Ponderosa pines and high elevation meadows with fir-spruce forests around the rim of the plateau that abound with wildlife. This part of Utah also boasts some of the world's best air quality, offering panoramic views of three states and approaching 200 miles of visibility.
Bryce Canyon is a small national park in southwestern Utah but rich in beauty and history. It was named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce and the Canyon became a national park in 1924. In fact it was on March 13, 1919 that the Utah Joint Memorial passed legislation urging the Congress of the United States set aside for the use and enjoyment of the people a suitable area embracing "Bryce's Canyon" as a national monument under the name: "Temple of the Gods National Monument."
After eating in the National Park lodge we headed to the log cabin and made ready for bed. My wife opened a bag of some candy fudge eating a piece or two leaving it open on the table.
The prayer of thanks for the day was barely said when we both were in slumberland.
Our restful sleep was interrupted by the rattling of paper in our room. I rolled out of bed, turned on the light, but didn’t see anything.
Being in the middle of nowhere it was so quiet and at that time of night only a few lights were on as I viewed the grounds through the windows. So I turned off the lights again and was back in bed, but this time with a flashlight we had.
In less than an hour I heard the rattle of paper again and this time I slowly clicked on the button of the flashlight and saw a squirrel with a good size piece of my wife’s fudge which he dropped as he headed in desperation to and up the fireplace.
The next day we headed on up to Salt Lake City, but there are many spectacular Utah destinations around Zion and Bryce. Namely; Capitol Reef National Park, Lake Powell, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Anasazi Indian Village State Park, Petrified Forest State Park. A little farther are the Arches and Canyonland National Parks.
The face of Utah's population is changing. Within a generation, the state's 60-and-older crowd will be larger than the school-age population, part of a nationwide demographic shift, according to a University of Utah study.
This shows that retirees are finding the scenic of the western states inviting.
My wife and I have always enjoyed Utah, but if you travel on Sunday you will find very few places open if they are locally owned. It would probably do all of our states good to go back to the days when the Lord’s Day was a day of rest and worship.
“Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.”-- Isaiah 56:2