Xmas Trip 2016 Day 2

day-2

Day 2 started by waking up just before sunrise in an alien landscape.

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We had set up our “camp” in the dark the previous evening and really had no idea just how the campsite in the Valley Of Fire State park really looked.  dsc00382-hdr

Quite an amazing site once I got myself awake enough to let me eyes open and focus all the way.

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Of course there was no time to waste.  The sun would be up shortly and if we wanted those sunrise photos we would have to hurry.

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Mission accomplished camp was down and we were back in place at the arch we had snapped the night before just as the sun came up.

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We spent the rest of the morning and a bit into the afternoon exploring the Valley of Fire.

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Plenty of sandstone formations to check out and photograph.

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The other thing in abundance in this area is the Native American Petroglyphs:

Just As predicted the Sun came up!
Just As predicted the Sun came up!

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Shiny Happy People Holding Hands.
Shiny Happy People Holding Hands.

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My best advice for this area is plan some time, and be prepared to do a bit of walking/mild hiking in sand.

Balanced Rock near the visitor center.
Balanced Rock near the visitor center.

 

Most of the best views were only after spending a bit of time getting away from the pavement, and most of the paths are too narrow for vehicle travel even if it was allowed.

More from the Valley Of Fire:

After leaving the Valley of Fire we headed off to grab some lunch and ended up stopping by a Cracker Barrel in St George Utah.

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If you spend a morning on vacation in the desert and don’t think of Aunt Edna when you see a row of rocking chairs, there is something wrong with you.   Unfortunately this was the best part about our lunch stop.  Note to self always be prepared to make meals on Sundays in Utah!

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We left St George and headed up the 15 to hwy 9 and then into Zion National Park.

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Zion left me with mixed feelings, and reminded me a lot of Yosemite.  Regardless of how much time you aren’t spending here it’s going to cost you $30 for a pass to get in.  The other part that reminded me a lot of Yosemite is the amazing views with nowhere to stop to photograph them.

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We did manage to meet a few of the locals even if they were trying to have their afternoon snack.

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and it was lip licking good! Or say they tell me.

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I’m sure Zion is an amazing destination if it is your end goal and you are planning on spending some time here.  Cutting through it as a scenic drive may not be worth the money however.

 

More from Zion:

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Who doesn’t love a good Ho-made pie?

Our final image from day two comes from the hwy 9 and hwy 89 junction.  From here we put the cameras away and turned towards the interstate for some good old fashion boring driving in the dark to make sure we made it into Moab that night.

 

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