Today was mostly meant to be a driving day – but as always – we had some great opportunities to stop and do some cool and unplanned sightseeing.
As we ventured north from Tucson, the dramatic high mountain desert got even higher (I think we peaked around 7000 feet a couple hours north of Phoenix) and as we left the land of Saguaro Cactus, we entered the land of ponderosa pine and canyons as far as the eye could see.
A particular highlight of my day was our unexpected stop at Horseshoe Bend in northern Arizona near Lake Powell. We paid our $10 to park, hiked in the half mile (approx.) and were greeted with such an amazing view that we just sat there in awe for a LONG time.
The perspective is so hard to relate in these pictures – and I was trying to relay this to Char – finally, at the base of the bend on the far left, she spotted a stone house structure and realized just how deep Horseshoe Bend canyon really was (about 1000 feet). The scale is so immense that it is hard to reason it in your mind – words cannot describe how stunning this was to see in person and up close!
Shortly after we left Horseshoe Bend, we crossed the border into Utah (Char is getting sassy in her pictures:) and the landscaped changed once again – not so much the canyon-type features, but the land itself. We went from the adobe rust colored soil/sand in northern Arizona to a pasty white granular blend in Utah. I wish I knew more about geology and the WHY behind this color change, but I sure did appreciate it!
As the sun was fading, we finally made it to the east entrance to Zion National Park. I got a few great pictures on our way to our hotel for the evening – and again, any words I choose would be doing this landscape a disservice. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Total Miles = 504
States = Arizona and Utah
Hours on the road = 10 (including an hour at Horseshoe Bend and countless minutes for me to stop and take pictures of the amazing landscape)
Average Temperature = 46
Coffees = 3
Playlist = My Book (Dawn on a Distant Shore) since Char did school for most of the day on line and then Hamilton when she was done.
Major Landmarks = Phoenix, Flagstaff, Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Zion National Park
Speed Traps passed = 4 – Arizona is really stepping up their game.
Gas bought = $50.00
Extras = $8.00 – postcards and a sticker for Char’s water bottle
Hotel = $96.00 – Holiday Inn Zion – Springdale, UT – GORGEOUS setting just outside the South Entrance to Zion National Park. The hotel is very nicely appointed with craggy mountain peaks as the backdrop. They also sport three large fire pits for outdoor evening enjoyment! It was a GREAT stop over!