Mossy Creek, Escalante Petrified Forest StatePark

Trip Start Apr 23, 2009
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Trip End May 02, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, April 27, 2009

Unless you are looking for it, you could drive right by Mossy Creek, which is part of Bryce. It's on Route 12 heading to Escalante. What you are passing on your right is the Bryce's hoodos and other rock formations. The ride in its self is like sitting in an Imax theatre.
 
The waterfall pictured in the Bryce Canyon flyer is here. I've had friends and clients tell me that they looked for that waterfall and just couldn't find it.

A small parking lot which limits the amount of cars and people in this area is on your right.

This is a pleasant, little elevation gain walk-up to the cave on the left, and the waterfall on the right. We keep looking up to the hoodos, close to the trail.

If you want to escape the crowded National Park areas, this is the place to be.  

We're headed thru Tropic. An old farming community settlled in the early 1800's, and named for the warmer weather. But Tropic just doesn't fit the scenery in front of us. 
I'm in awe of the "snow" on the fields and on the irrigation systems. then it hits me...not snow...ICE!  This is just too cool (no pun intended) to pass up. I've got my camera in hand and running across the highway. Gary is shaking his head. BUT, two other tourist cars pull off..and they have their cameras. 

We've passed field after field of the white ice irrigation systems rocky mountain ranges in the background. 
Our first stop is the visitor's center in Cannonville, which is a pleasant suprise, and a mini-museum.


Here, we learnt about the "Water Wizard" and the 'Water Willow People."

The water wizard was a 40 pound barrell water container on skids. It contained 50 gallons. and was pulled by horse from the muddy Paria river.

The Water Willow People or Paiute, have been in this area for over 800 years.

Ok, I'm not whining. I really thought that Kodachrome State Park would knock my socks off, have me using up both camera batteries and 2 photo sticks. It just didn't happen.

First was the ranger. Not to say he was rude, he just didn't care. When I asked what were the best spots to take photos or where should we hike he basically said "anywhere."

Next, was the Park itself. I was expecting a National Geographic moment here. From unbelievable blue skys to a multitude of colors blazing off the rocks, to brilliant shades of sand. I just didn't get it.  And the hiking trails were limited.  

Nature was being kind to me. Just east of Escalante is Head of the Rocks. This is a pull off guaranteed to drop those socks right off your feet.  I took photo after photo.

This road does have scenery. And very limited guard rails where sheer drop offs are numerous. The problem is trying to see the scenery while you are driving. We were fortunate we're traveling in the off season, 'cause we could slow down and look. This would be a traffic jam in season.    

Tonight we are staying in Escalante at the Circle D. REI uses this property for their trips.
 
A fantastic restaurant across the street to the left. Don't think posh...think fajitas and steaks on platters that could feed 4. We were only in town for a few minutes to check in early this morning, but we walked into the restaurant and 5 people came over to talk to us. I really like this little town.

We picked up a map of the historic buildings, but...just didn't get a chance to use it. 



     


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