Day 23: Friday, April 15, 2016
We camped on Wednesday night in the little rural village of Glendale UT—about 40 miles south of Bryce Canyon National Park. We left the campground at 9:15 a.m. and drove to the park, arriving around 10 (it was 34° at that hour). The park entrance fee is $30 (as is Zion NP and most others), but I have a National Parks Senior Pass which allows us to enter any national park free of charge. If you are 62—get it—the card is pure gold! We drove through the park, stopping at all the view points along the 17 mile drive. I felt as though I were driving for hours through the world’s largest cathedral. We have visited Bryce Canyon before—but this time, somehow, it seemed even more grand, more sacred than ever before. Thank God for Teddy Roosevelt and others who established our national park system. This year is the 100th anniversary of our National Parks. We enjoyed a late lunch at the Park Lodge. (No bison, thank you very much—I’ve been there and done that!)
It was a short drive down Rt. 89 from Bryce to Kanab UT where we stayed last night. Today we are off again on a 4 hour drive through southern UT and northern AZ, arriving, we hope, at Monument Valley by this evening. Monument Valley provided the great scenes in many of John Ford’s films, especially those starring John Wayne. I have longed to see this place and the Valley of the Gods nearby. Maybe we’ll spend a couple of days. Who knows?
The sky looks ominous this morning. I suspect we’ll be enjoying rain showers as we drive along today. Yes, we will enjoy the showers, because like California, Utah is in great need of water. My plan (yesterday morning) was to drive “Scenic Route 12,” but a Park Ranger informed us that it would be snowing in those higher elevations. That was all it took to get me to change my mind and take the southern route (Rt 89) and the rain!