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Trip Report National parks trip report

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We took a trip West. When you live on the East Coast of Florida just about any trip is West.

We rented a car in Phoenix, where we landed and proceeded from there. Seeing the red rock formations in and around Sedona for the first time was awe-inspiring. Most had names, which really personalized them. We stayed at the Desert Quail Inn in the Oak Creek section of lower Sedona. The four poster bed, gas fireplace, sitting area, refrigerator, microwave and hot tub made us feel right at home. We had booked a Pink Jeep Scenic Rim tour in advance, which left us breathless, not to mention shaken by the rocky road up to and from the top.

From Sedona we went to the Grand Canyon. Our memory of a previous trip was filled with visions of vibrant color and mind blowing sunsets. Unfortunately, this time around the wind blown dust and dirt particles made every sight appear muted. We had anticipated low temperatures in the mornings and evenings, but not the cold windy days which forced us to wear all the cold weather clothing we had brought with us. We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge within the park. Although our reservation was made seven months in advance, our room was right next to a utility room, in a section not very close to the main office, stores, cafeteria, etc. My crystal ball must not have been working. The highly touted Bright Angel restaurant was a letdown and 24 hours was insufficient for reservations at the exclusive El Trevor. We used the shuttle buses to take us to all of the major viewing points on the South rim. The North rim does not open until May.

5 1/2 Hours from the Grand Canyon Is Zion National Park in Utah. There’s an old saying that in Zion you look up and in Bryce Canyon National Park you look down. How true, how true. The mountainous formations are appropriately named to give you the feeling that Moses must be around somewhere. The road into the park allows many opportunities for picture taking. Zion Lodge, within the park has cabins and rooms comfortably appointed. The Shuttles run frequently within the park and stop at all the major viewing points. Just outside of the park is the little town of Springdale, where we were able to use a laundromat. The moderately priced food and its presentation at the Pioneer Lodging restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The restaurant at the Lodge was very good, though, as you might expect a bit pricier.

On to Bryce Canyon national Park, also in Utah. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn in the town. Very "Western", with much memorabilia of the old west and John Wayne. Though it warmed up during the day, the ice hanging from the eaves and snow lying on the ground let us knows what to expect at night and in the morning. The buffet at the restaurant was a good value. Inasmuch as the shuttle was not yet running, we drove to the various points in the park. At each one there was a sign reminding tourists of the steep ridges near the rim of the canyon.

Next stop Moab, Utah and the Arches National Park. While the name of the town was foreign to us, there were several "events" scheduled. In fact, the Arches And Canyonlands Of Utah Bike Tour was taking place while we were there. The park itself is not very large, so it is easily toured. The majestic view of the snow capped La Sal Mountains is breathtaking. Our main disappointment was that we couldn't get too close to the noted "Delicate Arch". The walkway to get near the arch is not too easily traversed, though many did manage to make the trek. Our comfortable hotel was the Roadway Inn and Suites in town, which was quite pleasant, indeed.

We elected to leave from Durango, Colorado as it had the closest airport to Moab, where we could return the car rental. Durango is a nice little town and we enjoyed our stay at the Comfort Inn. The flight from Durango to our connection in Denver was delayed due to its being deiced in Denver, where it was 20 degrees with 5" of snow on the ground. The prop plane was small and just about all the carry-ons had to be stored in the hold, from which they were deposited onto the tarmac. Nevertheless our slightly empty flight left on time.

12 nights, seven beds, six hotels, 1300 miles and a very adventurous trip.

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