Monday, May 24, 2004

God's Country

I don't often use that sort of expression, but if any place I've been deserves that title, then Southern Utah should be it. Here are a few pictures to get your proverbial juices flowing. If you want to see more I've put together a small web gallery (haven't had time to do too much retouching or correction). These were all snapshots taken with the Canon s400. The more serious work has to be processed and scanned, but I will share the best of those at a later date, either here or at futurballa.com.

The wife and I drove from San Jose to Reno to see family on day one and then drove on to Salt Lake City.


Temple Square

Not much to do there on a Sunday, but we had a nice dinner and a pleasant walk around downtown and Temple Square.

From there we drove through Provo and rural Utah to Torrey. A charming town with a couple of restaurants that would be at home in any major city. I'd especially recommend the Diablo Cafe, which I'd categorize as Southwest Fusion. We stayed at a charming lodge overlooking Capitol Reef.


This was our view


Mule Deer abounded

Capitol Reef is named as such because it reminded the early settlers of a reef in the ocean that blocked the way, and the dome of the major feature was reminiscent of the Capitol Dome in Washington.


Early morning


We drove over the Escalante

A stop at Kodachrome National Park. And yes, it did have nice bright colors.


Kodachrome (actually shot with Ektachrome)

Then on to Bryce Canyon. The canyon itself is a breathtaking site. Rugged red rock, awe inspiring vistas, stomach churning ravines, and geological formations called Hoodoos. Sadly, the lodgings in Bryce were not up to snuff.


Hoodoo, you do


More hoodoos at the aptly named Fairyland Canyon

We spent our last two days in the town of Springdale, just outside Zion National Park. The Driftwood Lodge, where we stayed, sports a fine Photographic Gallery, featuring the work of David Pettit, of which I purchased a small print.


View from our porch

Zion and Springdale offer free shuttles through the town and park, which limits traffic and are very efficient, running about every 10 minutes. Springdale has a hip vibe and we found a couple of excellent restaurants. The Bit and Spur offers upscale Mexican and Southwest cuisine, and Pentimento (located at the Driftwood) had a pretty nice rack of lamb that I tried.

I also recommend the River Walk that runs an easy mile along (of all things) the Virgin River and ends at the entrance to the Narrows.


The Narrows

From there we headed home, which was a fairly gruelling day, driving through such garden spots as Barstow and Bakersfield.


Zion National Park

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