Duck Creek, on the way to Kanab
We've been unwinding, getting back up to speed at work, dealing with David's post-vacation depression (thankfully, fairly mild) this week. We keep looking back at last week, wishing we could do that again SOON. The sign of a good vacation.
We drove south through Cedar City to Cedar Breaks national monument; so pretty, but cold with snow on the ground. We eventually made our way down to Kanab in southern Utah and spent the rest of the time exploring the area.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cascade Falls Viewpoint, near Cedar Breaks
On the second night we went down a canyon looking for a camping spot when all of a sudden we saw the set for the old TV western "Gunsmoke!" That brought back tons of memories of watching old westerns when we were kids.
Old set for "Gunsmoke"
The next day we went to Paria Canyon and had fun exploring an old ghost town and abandoned western movie set. Even though the setting was beautiful with leaves changing color, old ghost towns seem forlorn, filled with withered dreams. I thought about the people who once made the area their home.
The Paria River
Remnant of an old ghost town
Remains of an old movie set
At an old western movie set
We decided to go to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument instead of going through Zion's National Park. It was a good decision. We spent most of three days exploring the area, and saw maybe 5 cars go by, and 6 people who were there besides us. We had the area to ourselves, and enjoyed hiking, exploring, camping and spending time talking about where we had been, and making plans for the coming months and years.
Look at the fall colors!
David hiking in a slot canyon in the Grand Staircase Escalante park
We hiked up to the back of Grosvenor Arch for this breathtaking view
We had our dogs, Sunny and Lucy, with us, and they had also had a grand time running and climbing. It turns out that Lucy is an excellent guard dog (she raised the alarm when she smelt coyotes nearby and scared them off), and Sunny is good at pointing out the best trails. He doesn't realize he's just a five-pound toy poodle.
Sunny (our poodle) and Lucy (our 10-month-old lab/pointer mix)
We were less than excited about coming home, but I admit that I was happy for a warm home, running water and a soft bed. We noticed that David's mood was sunny and upbeat while we were down south, and when we arrived in the valley (at rush hour), his mood almost immediately started changing. We realize he does best in sunny, wide-open, slow-paced places, and we are hopeful about spending more time exploring in areas such as southern Utah.
Sunset from our last campsite