Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — We said good-bye to sunny Nevada and Route 50 (the Loneliest Road in America), picked up highway 21 (another very lonely road), and drove into southern Utah via Garrison. Driving through the Great Basin region of Nevada provided many amazing views of both mountains and wide open valleys. I’ll always remember driving on the two-lane road with the windows down, singing at the top of my lungs to Madonna’s Immaculate Collection tape (yes, I said tape) with Harry rocking out next to me. Hellllooo Utah!
We were both really excited to be in Utah and couldn’t wait to see what this geographically-diverse state had in store for us. We drove along for a few hours hoping to come across a campground even though our trusty Gazeteer wasn’t showing any campgrounds on the map. Since our trip is all about us following our noses we didn’t have a real plan. We knew that if we hit Cedar City it would be late and we’d need to get a hotel room for the night.
I was kind of excited about the prospect of staying in a hotel. We’d been on the road for five days already and we hadn’t showered once (soaking in the hot springs only counted a little bit). While I really don’t mind not showering for days on end, my hair had the “dirty itches” — you know, when your hair is so greasy the grease throws itself a party. Without stating the obvious, Harry had no idea what I was talking about.
Cheating on Moby
With that said, it was with mixed feelings that we pulled into Cedar City at 8:00 pm (I know, I know, we’re not supposed to drive in the dark) to find a hotel room. We were both hoping that we’d be able to spend at least a week straight sleeping in the van, but truth be told we’d had five great nights with Moby, so what’s wrong with getting a room? Plus, it got down into the low 30s that night, so in the end we were both happy to have been inside a heated room. Additionally, we were able to wash some clothes in the sink and we both took a few long, hot showers so we left Cedar City feeling clean and refreshed – and not a tad bit guilty for the indulgence.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
My friend Kristin (the former National Park ranger) had told us that Cedar Breaks was definitely worth the visit, so we drove up the mountain eager to see something amazing… although we weren’t exactly sure what we’d see. We parked Moby in the near empty parking lot and still couldn’t see anything (no wonder the lot wasn’t full!) Were we wasting our time?
Wow, were we surprised! What an amazing place! Cedar Breaks is a natural rock amphitheater, stretching 3 miles across and a half mile down; a mini Bryce Canyon. The red rocks against the blue sky were stunning! We loved every minute of the two mile hike to Spectra Point lookout. We took our time walking along the narrow path, taking it all in. I will always fondly remember Cedar Breaks as my “first” red rock canyon.