Welcome to my photo journal.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scenic Southern Utah

We are enjoying our nearly two weeks here exploring the area and learning a little about it's history.
We are staying in a nice RV park in Hurricane, UT, we haven't learned how it got it's name but it's close to Zion National Park and just a few miles east of St. George.
We started out visiting the state parks that are near Hurricane looking for birds, we did see a bat out in the day time as well as a lot of coots and a few ducks.
Sand Hollow State Park

We took a drive over to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which was a couple hours drive, we knew the lodge would not be open but the big 23 mile drive closes in Sept. but we did walk out to Bright Angel lookout, or rather Ken did I didn't quite make it.
We did see the Kaibab Squirrel at the North Rim, it's a cute little guy that resides only around the North Rim.
We  visited Bryce Canyon National Park, it was a two plus hour drive too.
We also drove up to the  Cedar Breaks National Monument where the visitor center and restrooms were closed for the winter.
After our visit to Cedar Breaks we stopped at the visitor center in Cedar City and learned about their Heritage and Livestock Festival taking place that weekend.  It sounded interesting so we took in some of the various activities, including the parade where they head sheep down the main street.
We also learned about this machine that was invented in Cedar City to make it easier to bale hay.
It seems hay needs some moisture to stay together in a bale and it is rather dry here and so as not to have to rely on the early morning dew they came up with this steam machine.
It was in the parade along with lots of old tractors, sheep wagons and horses.
We took in the tractor pull, the draft horse pull and sheep dog demonstration.
There are several places that have petroglyphs, but this is the most famous and easiest to find at the Parowan Gap.
Also we learned there are several places that have dinosaur tracks but the easiest to see and learn about them is at St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.
In 2000 Dr. Johnson was excavating for a new housing development and they found dinosaur tracks and to preserve them they built the museum over them and they add new finds to the museum all the time.
Of course there is a lot of Mormon history, Brigham Young sent followers to the area to grow cotton and raise silk worms.  He also spent the winter here in his last years, this was his home.
The St. George's temple.
A few miles east on the way to the North Rim there is Pipe Springs National Monument which was a Mormon dairy ranch also during the polygamy days when the US government was arresting the husbands many wives found it a hiding place, if the government couldn't find the wives the husbands were safe.  I didn't get a good photo of the house but Ken found the Mather sign there (we try to find the Mather signs at all the National Parks we visit).
Pipe Springs is now on the Paiute Indian Reservation.
We also took in a photo exhibit of Dorothea Lange's at the St. George Art Museum, showing was a few of her photos she took for a 1954 article in  Life Magazine, Three Mormon Towns , the towns were Gunlock, St. George, and Toquerville.  We found it interesting with the politics of the time and how Life Magazine edited her story needless to say the folks of Toquerville were not happy with it
A look at Zion National Park as it looked today with rain clouds.
We are heading for Vegas next.

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