I rolled into the Bay Area around 11 last night. It took two and a half days to drive from Birmingham – a new record for me.
It was great visiting with Terri, Crystal, Andy, Desmond, and Puck on Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday Andy made a vegan version of his favorite Risotto recipe. The dish was naturally creamy without oils, used porcini mushrooms and spinach, and contained no added salt. It was so good. The picture is from Andy’s recipe book, but our dish looked almost just like it.
Earlier in the day Terri, Puck, and I visited Fort Pickens, built with 21 million bricks in 1834. It is perhaps best known for Geronimo’s imprisonment.
It was getting dark as I approached Zion National Park yesterday, so I found a little side road that dead-ended into an apparent campsite, about 500 yards off highway 9 — about 4 miles from the eastern park entrance. There was virtually no light pollution, and I think I saw more stars than I have ever seen.
Tuesday I hiked the easy Queen’s Garden Trail. I didn’t say the Queen was easy; I said the trail was easy. The trail winds down into the bottom of the canyon, revealing a splendid view around each curve.
I spent Monday hiking the Bryce Canyon rim, from Sunset Point to Inspiration Point, and visiting other areas of the park. Most of the pictures are from the rim of the canyon, and from the Natural Bridge pullover.
This is a really beautiful and unusual place. And to think I almost skipped it to go straight to Zion National Park (which is next).
I took about 360 photos, and culled them to the 80 or so of the better ones. The viewing experience is much better on my smugmug site, so please take a look there.
Sunday I left Capitol Reef National Park, taking Scenic Byway 12 to Bryce Canyon National Park. I’ll have some video on the Byway later, as well photos inside Bryce Canyon National Park.
Before I even got near the entrance to the park, I came across some structures resembling the pictures I had seen of Bryce:
Saturday I said goodbye to Brian in West Jordan and headed out to Torrey, Utah, which is just outside Capitol Reef National Park. The plan was to visit the Park, and then enjoy the infamous Scenic Byway 12 to Bryce Canyon National Park.
I had a salad at Cafe Diablo in Torrey, then spent the night in the Roadtrek in their parking lot, with permission. In the morning I headed out to the least visited of the 5 national parks in Utah, and took a few pictures. I was not disappointed with the awesomeness I found there.
Brian and I visited Antelope Island State Park, just north of Salt Lake City, on a recent sunny Saturday.
I’ll be completing the drive home soon. While I’m hanging out in Jacksonville waiting for the ice and snow to clear in Birmingham, I thought I would write a few notes on this one month road trip. Given the weather in Birmingham, the timing for this trip was truly serendipitous.