First of all, my apologies for not getting my blog out earlier this week like I normally do. We were traveling back home from Southern Utah on Monday, and mom’s computer decided not to work yesterday. I don’t know much about technology, but mom was fuming over a couple of updates that hijacked her laptop, rendering it useless. Poor mom. I’m glad I don’t know how to type so I don’t have to deal with that stuff. I’m just the talent!
Secondly, yowsa! My family took me on an incredible adventure to celebrate Father’s Day and mom and dad’s anniversary (23 years!), and we did more than one blog can cover. I will need to break them up into several. I’ve only been to Utah once before, and our car at the time (Mazda Tribute) broke. We were supposed to see Zion National Park and Moab, but we ended up on the side of the road. If you want to read that story, click HERE.
I was eager to give Utah another try, and I hunkered down for the long haul. It is quite a drive from Phoenix to Panguitch, our destination and hub for the weekend. We did a straight shot up I-17 north to I-40 E in Flagstaff and then took exit 201 for 89 N to Paige, Arizona, where we pulled off to get a look at Lake Powell. Um, what lake? It looked more like a river to me. Mom remembers spending two weeks on a house boat back in the 70s, and she said this was not how it is supposed to look. Only one boat ramp is open, and the ferry has been discontinued. Sad.
From Paige, you stay on 89 N into Utah and into Panguitch, a very small town of only 1,600 people. We chose this location because it is smack dab in between the Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Day’s Inn, and it really needs a lot of TLC. That being said, they allow dogs, had AC and decent beds. The bathroom stunk of mold, and that didn’t make mom happy, and their breakfast was lacking, which disappointed dad. The town has a few more options that you might want to try, but they all look on the older side. This was just a place to lay our heads, and boy did I! All in all, the drive is seven hours, and you lose an hour this time of year going from AZ to UT.
After a good sleep, I was ready to explore. Before we headed west, we stopped by Panguitch Lake, about 20 minutes from our hotel off the 143. You can tell this is a local spot as it was nice and quiet. People were fishing, and we heard some big fish reside in that lake. Others were sitting on the shore taking in the sounds of nature. We walked around a bit before continuing on.
Right away, we were all happy as the temperatures were in the 70s. Oh joy, and we even had some rain drops…ah! Shortly past Panguitch, you enter the Dixie National Forest that stretches two million acres and goes for about 170 miles across southern Utah. All I knew is that I was extremely happy to see pine trees! There are tons of hikes throughout, and I would suggest you go to All Trails to find one that suits your ability and time frame. We found a dirt road and just drove. We found a neat area to walk through wild flowers with views of a huge ranch. This part of Utah has the Virgin River, and it flows throughout, making the grass thick and lush.
I forgot how much I missed the color green! We have been so brown in Phoenix that it almost hurt my eyes seeing so much color. I’m not complaining! Back in the car we went to see the Cedar Breaks National Monument. Funny, there aren’t any Cedar trees – not a one! Apparently, the Juniper were mistaken for Cedar, and that’s how the monument got its name. Anyway, we took the 7.5-mile scenic drive that has pull outs and view areas. Dogs are allowed on the pavement but not on dirt trails. Boo. You’ll need a National Park’s pass to enter.
With chilly temps and some clouds, we were in heaven and enjoyed all the spectacular views. Everyone in Utah seems so very friendly, but we also met people from all over the country. Cedar Breaks National Monument may not be the largest, but it is definitely worth seeing.
This is only part of our first day, so look for next week’s blog where I continue sharing our Utah adventures. Life IS good! By the way, I guess we brought some rain home with us. You can thank me later.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!