July 17, 2011 Happy Anniversary to us! Tropic, UT to Boulder, UT

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.

The huge Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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. It’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 Devil’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.

Mary rocks

John rocks too!

Then it’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. We’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 Hell’s Backbone Grill. It’s delicious and a fitting end to our special day.

Happy Anniversary to us!

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