Jaeger's Blog

To look at things is very different from seeing it – Oscar Wilde

Snow and wildlife

SONY SLT-A99V, f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

Another long and adventurous day lays ahead of us:

In the morning we drive past Panguitch Lake which is still solidly frozen and we see people ice fishing on it. We are lucky we don’t have to get out of the car into the cold (it is around 26 F / -3 C). The plan is to first visit Cedar Breaks at over 10,000 feet (3,000 meter) elevation, but at the intersection of SR143 and SR148 we suddenly stand in front of a 3 foot (1 meter) high wall of snow – the road is closed!
We park the car and walk on top of the frozen snow blanket to a view point from which we can see Cedar Breaks as well, just form a bit a different angle. Back at the car we turn around and continue on SR143 towards HWY15 and take the highway instead of the scenic route to Zion.

The weather meanwhile has cleared up again and the temperatures are in the upper 50s (around 15 Celsius)! Zion National Park is pretty packed with people but we enjoy the drive. Instead of joining the crowd, we turn left into North Fork Road about 2 miles after the park exit.

After passing some very nice vacation homes the pavement ends soon and we find ourselves on a dirt road (again), which, according to our map and the navigation system, goes all the way through to SR14, about 45 miles. The scenery up here is awesome, we are driving through forests and meadows – we see countless deers, some wild turkeys and pheasants. We frequently stop to take short walks and to take pictures. The creek with its clear water is sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right side of the road. The road itself is mostly dry in the beginning but the further up we get the more muddy spots we have to pass. Eventually, the muddy spots become bigger and bigger and Marco has to work hard to keep the car straight and on the road. Probably about 5 miles before we would have hit the paved road again, we have to give in and turn around – mud and snow have won!

It is late afternoon already and we are rewarded with the sight of literally hundreds of deers (we guess at least 300 hundred in total). It is amazing – they are very shy, the closer we get to civilization though the more trusting they are. We have never seen that many deers anywhere!

We arrive at the Chuck-A-Rama in St. George for dinner at around 8pm before we take a room at the Howard Johnson for a good night sleep.

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  • I am still following your trip with great interest. Many years ago I also stopped at St. George after having passed Zion (which I never really liked, because it’s too much similar to Switzerland). In St. George we wanted to visit the Mormon Cathedral, but no way to get inside. Only Mormons are allowed to do so. What is your next destination? Las Vegas I guess. On the way back to the Pacific Coast, you could try to pass the Death Valley, or even staying there overnight (we did it last year, just great). Whatever you do, take care and enjoy your wonderful journey. And keep me/us informed about your itinerary on your daily blog. Stay in warm California as long as you can, as Switzerland came back to cold and snow!
    Kindest regards to everybody

  • I appreciate your daily blog so much. For me it’s like being with you and enjoying the whole trip 1:1. Yes, Cedar Breaks is always closed in winter. Zion was never my favorite, as I had the feeling to enter the “Lauterbrunnen-Tal” in Switzerland. But to visit Zion between Bryce Canyon and St. George/Las Vegas is OK. When I stayed in St. George for the first time, I wanted to visit the Mormon Temple. But as a non-mormon, you are not allowed to do so. However, we were “cought” by a Mormon and his only goal was to bring us to convert to the Mormon religion. Of course, we denied, but it was hard to get released from this person. After St. George, our next stop was in Las Vegas. I guess that will be your coming route too. Try the Tropicana Hotel in LV. We got a great rate there. I assume that a “detour” to Moab would be too long. A good reason to come back to the Southwest again soon. If you want to experience a really excellent and special dinner in LV, try “Roy’s” (620 East Flamingo Road). It’s not cheap, but it’s simply great as it is a so called fusion kitchen of Hawaiian and Asian food. For dessert, don’t miss the famous “Chocolate Soufflé”!!! It’s a dream. But anyway: Enjoy Las Vegas and hopefully you will be lucky with gambling.
    Best regards from snowy Zurich

  • Francine

    Meine Lieben,
    Herzlichen Dank für den täglichen Blog und die vielen schönen Fotos. So können wir euere Reise auch ein stückweit miterleben. Schnee und Kälte kennen wir hier auch, leider!!! Der Himmel ist nicht blau sondern grau.
    Ich wünsche euch weiterhin eine gute Reise.
    Liebe Grüsse
    Euer Mami Francine

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