Today is our anniversary. It’s our 39th and we are happy and life is good.
We spend today exploring a little of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s a huge expanse of land brought into the national parks system in 2000 by departing President Clinton. It’s caused quite a bit of controversy here in Utah where government is not a welcome party. It’s over a million acres and largely undeveloped. We stop at two visitor centers, one in Cannonville highlighting the native Americans and Mormons and another in Escalante with a concentration on ecology.
Uploading pictures here in Boulder is very slow so I can only put in a few pictures.
We take a dirt road off of scenic UT 12 to do a bit of adventuring. Itâ€™s the Hole-in-the-Wall Road cut through the desert and cliffs to the Colorado River by Mormon settlers. A lot of what is settled around here was done by Mormons. From the church hierarchy in Salt Lake City, the elders would decide upon a place that seemed like it had some arable land and water and then send a contingent of the faithful to go set up a town. It must have been a really difficult life for these new settlers.
Anyway, down this road a ways, the map shows a place called Devilâ€™s Garden and it has a picnic table so we head off. We have a picnic amid a vast array of strange looking large hoodoos and do a little exploring after lunch.
Then itâ€™s back in the car and we take the ride down UT 12, designated an All-American Road. The scenery is amazing! We ride through canyons and switchbacks and along edges of cliffs. Weâ€™ve been through here a couple of times so we know what to expect but it is still spectacular.
We reach our destination, the Boulder Mountain Lodge, mid-afternoon. After cleaning up, we have our anniversary dinner at the Hellâ€™s Backbone Grill. Itâ€™s delicious and a fitting end to our special day.