Catching Up and Getting Ready

Yes­ter­day we came down from North Salt Lake to Pan­quitch, Utah. About 4 hours dri­ve, and puts us in prime posi­tion for our vis­it to Bryce Canyon and Zion Nation­al Parks. We saw some awe­some moun­tains and cliffs — and the wild Sevi­er Riv­er — on the way here, but I was dri­ving and didn’t take pho­tos. I’ll be sure to take quite a few pho­tos today, but in this post I’m pre­sent­ing some of the cool things we’ve seen that I couldn’t give prop­er treat­ment to before, because of time pres­sures and the dif­fi­cul­ty of get­ting net­work con­nec­tiv­i­ty. At this motel I’ve got a fine wifi net­work, so here we go.

First, a few awards from the Acad­e­my:

Worst Stretch of Road: This one goes, hands down, to Green Bay, Wis­con­sin. Dri­ving through that town on I-41 near­ly shook our van to pieces.

Most High­way Con­struc­tion: Salt Lake City and vicin­i­ty. One of every 2.5 peo­ple in Utah is a high­way con­struc­tion work­er, and there are states that have no orange cones at all because Utah is hog­ging them all. Salt Lake City also has the most aggres­sive dri­vers we’ve seen.

Biggest Farms: Min­neso­ta. Huge, amaz­ing, end­less farms as far as the eye could see.

I’ll prob­a­bly think of more lat­er, but here are some shots from ear­li­er in the trip that I didn’t take time to post:

The first two are pho­tos from inside Jew­el Cave Nation­al Mon­u­ment. They had a lot of dif­fer­ent types of for­ma­tions in the cave, not just sta­lag­mites and sta­lac­tites. This one was called ‘rib­bons,’ but they looked a lot like brains to me, and they were very com­mon inside the cave. A lit­tle spooky.

ribbons

Then this one is called “cave bacon”. The pho­to I took doesn’t do it jus­tice, but it sure­ly did look like a 25′ piece of bacon com­ing down from the ceil­ing.

bacon

After we saw Jew­el Cave, we spent the night at Shell Creek Camp­ground in Bighorn Nation­al For­est. Right after we came down from the moun­tains and left the park, we saw this weird for­ma­tion on the side of the road. Not sure what it was, but it looks like some­one spent many years carv­ing it.

carving

All across the West, we’ve seen a bajil­lion acres of scrub and a lot of moun­tains and cliffs. This one is fair­ly typ­i­cal, but it was the rea­son for this whole trip, to let my sons see the West.

cliff

Here’s anoth­er one you won’t find in North Car­oli­na — along the road in Yel­low­stone are steam vents. The whole park is a vol­cano.

smoking

Last but not least, here’s anoth­er one from Craters of the Moon. That place is so wild and cool. It’s hard to catch the whole scene in a sin­gle pho­to.

cotm04

Today we’re going to see Bryce Canyon and Zion, and we’ll spend the night in Kanab, Utah. Then tomor­row we’ll see the Ver­mil­lion Cliffs and Mesa Verde.