• Wendell

Day 10 - Drive to Kanab via G.C. North Rim

Sunday - September 15, 2019

We were up early, as usual, packed, checked out, filled up with gas and on our way at 7:15 AM. We have a 3 1/2 hour drive to the North Rim, provided we don't stop. Allowing for a couple of hours there and the hour we loose when we enter Utah, we should be at our lodging by mid-afternoon. The drive from the North Rim to Kanab is about 1 1/2 hour.

We traveled NW out of Flagstaff on US 81. The first 100 miles was pretty uneventful. It was a delightful surprise when shortly getting on US 81A at Bitter Springs, we saw the sign saying we were entering the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. It hadn't even occurred to me that we would be traveling through here. We enjoyed some beautiful sights but it was disappointing that we were unable to spend a couple of days here. There are some really incredible natural wonders in this area including Paria Canyon and Coyote Buttes.

We did stop long enough to take a few photos.

It's easy to see why it is called the Vermilion Cliffs.

We stopped at the Navajo Bridge , completed in 1929 over the Colorado river.

The Navajo Bridge is actually a pair of bridges. The original bridge and a modern one completed in 1995. Prior to completion of the first Navajo Bridge, the only Colorado River crossings between Arizona and Utah was located about 5 miles upstream from the bridge site, at the mouth of Glen Canyon where Lee's Ferry service had operated since 1873. The ferry site had been chosen as the only relatively easy access to the river for both northbound and southbound travelers. By the 1920's, automobile traffic began using the ferry service though it was not considered a safe and reliable crossing as adverse weather and flooding regularly prevented its operation. The original bridge was closed to vehicular traffic and opened only for pedestrian and equestrian use once the new bridge was opened in 1995. The dual spans of Navajo Bridge are tied at ninth place among the highest bridges in the United States with nearly identical heights of 467 feet for the original span, and 470 feet for the second span.

Kay crossing the Navajo Bridge.

View from the bridge. Like most things out west, looks are deceiving. The river is almost 500 feet below where I was standing to take this photo.

After turning off State route 67 for the 45 mile drive to the rim, it wasn't long before we saw the the results of a lightning caused wildfire in August. The Park Service monitored the fire and created barriers to keep it within prescribed boundaries. The fire was viewed as a natural phenomenon to help control underbrush. Most of the fire which covered several thousand acres was not a severe as the above photo.

We saw a first, but certainly not our last Bison.

Our Senior Park pass has so far saved us about $200.

See, we really are here together...

We arrived at the Comfort Suites in Kanab about 3:30. It will serve us well for the next three nights. After checking-in and freshening up a bit, we decided we would seek some food. Kanab has many great restaurants. Unfortunately almost all of them are closed on Sunday. We finally decided upon Nedra's Too, a "home-style Mexican" which had great reviews. We walked the 3/4 miles to Nedra's which was a pleasant walk. Strange things happened after we arrived and were seated. A young man came by with chips and salsa and a carafe of water with lemon. He asked if we would like anything else to drink. We said we would like a Dos Equis. He said he was sorry, but he was not old enough to serve us alcohol, we were kinda shocked and just said OK. Shortly afterward, a young lady came by the table and we thought she was going to take our drink order, but instead she told us the wait for food would be 30 to 45 minutes and if that was too long she understood. We decided not to wait for the third strike and left. Unable to find a suitable restaurant on the walk back, we got in the car and drove to McDonald's for a burger and ice cream. Oh well, saved some money and the stomach is still full.

Zion National Park tomorrow... I have got to start working on the agenda.

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