It is Memorial Day in the USA, we are calling it Laundry Day. A day to catch up. I have been holding my breath since we drove into Utah. The rugged beauty is overwhelming. The drive has been crazy. Hairpin turns, overhanging cliffs and vistas that reach the far horizon have had me squealing with delight.
The drive has taken us from the highest height of the cliffs to the bottom of the deepest gorge and back again. We are climbing the ridges one minute and upon reaching a summit of around 9000 feet, we descend again. This is repeated for the length of the state. Cliffsides at the edge of the road, without a guard rail for protection, have left me gasping for breath and screaming with terror. John takes it in stride and simply laughs at my foolishness.
We pulled over and hiked to a ridge, it has become a favorite pastime. I love the fresh clean smell of the countryside and feel the need to investigate.
We passed through The Ashley National Forest and they told us that 25,000 Acres of forest burned in 2002. The hillsides are still bare with the charred remnants of the trees stark against the sky.
As darkness descended, we were greeted by flashing lights and a large sign cautioning that the road ahead was broken. We had to slow down quickly on the descent down the mountain and actually came to a stop, along with a few other vehicles. Across the road was a ridge that dropped us a foot and a half. What a shock. We had to approach it on an angle. I think that the money spent on the huge flashing sign should have been used towards fixing the road right away.
Our next stop was the Gooseneck canyons.. A short hike with the gale force winds rushing up the canyon. The wind was so hard that pebbles were striking our face.
The longest and most strenuous hike was well worth the effort. It took us up and over the ridge into the next canyon. It is Hickman’s Bridge. A natural Stone arch. The trail itself was amazing. We met a couple from France and enjoyed walking with them part way.
Finally we made it to the Natural rock arch called Hickman’s Bridge.
We continued driving south through the amazing scenery. We decided to pass by Bryce’s Canyon and many others and headed towards Zion National Park. We had enough for the day, It was so much it is hard to take in all the beauty. Our brains are exhausted.