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Utah Again, Day 2: Dead Duck

semi-overcast 76 °F

Note: No ducks die nor are any found dead in the course of this entry.
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We went with Catherine's parents, her Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe, and her cousin Justin on a hike at Cedar Breaks National Monument. This was one we didn't do last year, which went to a place called Spectra Point.
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Some pictures along our hike. The contrast between the forest and the amphitheaters is really incredible.
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A historical building, and some more views.
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We got to Spectra Point which was incredibly beautiful. It was amazing for the people who hadn't yet been to Brian Head to see how close this is to our resort.
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After the hike, Joe and Mary hosted a barbecue at the barbecue area at the resort. After dinner we made s'mores, and Ryan and Kristina's son Noah wanted to play "Dead Duck." When we agreed to play Dead Duck, dead duck had a great deal in common with Duck Duck Goose. In fact, it was indistinguishable, except for having fewer and less consistent rules. It quickly devolved into chasing, similar to a game that Daniel's sister Hilary created as a child called "Roll Hot Potato."

We then went to the bar at the resort and talked about going to Zion National Park tomorrow!

Posted by danielcatherine 05:15 Archived in USA Tagged bar duck zion barbecue spectra cedar_breaks historical_house dead_duck roll_hot_potato Comments (0)

Utah Day 3: A Tropical Vacation

sunny 76 °F

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We slept in a bit, and then went on a short hike nearby in Cedar Breaks National Monument. This one was called "Alpine Pond" and involved hiking first to a small pond and then to the Chessmen overlook where we went yesterday.
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There were a lot of fir and spruce trees, as well as pines and a ton of wildflowers.
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There were a lot of fallen trees, mostly due to the bark beetle infestation that seems to have mostly passed by now. We arrived at the pond, which was beautiful but very full of bugs. We saw water bugs walking across the water and bees pollinating the wildflowers nearby.
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Most of the trail felt like we were walking through a forest, and didn't feel at all like we were on the edge of a plateau. But occasionally we would get glimpses through the trees of the majestic canyon/ amphitheater to our right.
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Some beautiful wildflowers that looked like something a fairy would live in.
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A meadow at the turnaround point for our hike.
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Along the way back.
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This yurt at the trail head is used as a kind of ranger station. It has a wood stove and looks kind of cozy inside.
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We then drove to Bryce National Park. There is a town just outside the park called Tropic, apparently because the early settlers were planning to grow "tropical" fruits like peaches and grapes there. In Tropic there is a small restaurant/ food truck called IDK Barbecue. We stopped there for lunch before going into the park.
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Bryce Canyon is really more of an amphitheater than a canyon. It is an amazingly beautiful location, although being there for sunset was a bit less impressive than it probably is at sunrise given that the amphitheater faces east.
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There were a lot of areas where guests could hike down into the amphitheater. Anthony and Daniel decided to climb down into one of them.
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The one we hiked in was called "Wall Street" and was part of the Navajo Trail loop. We didn't do the whole loop, we only walked down into the canyon and got to an area where there were trees growing up through the narrow cracks.
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We drove deeper into the park and stopped at various lookouts, which allowed us to see the sunset over the ridge, which was very impressive and beautiful. It was a wonderful day at Bryce Canyon, which is an incredible place.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:34 Archived in USA Tagged sunset wall_street hike tropic national_park bryce_canyon barbecue alpine_pond Comments (0)

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