Last Friday Stef and I headed out to visit her brother and mother in St George Utah. We got on the road and took our traditional picture. 5:44 AM and 44 degrees. Most of the trip would have temperatures in the 40's or lower. A cold front was passing through the desert as we traveled.
Our first stop for gas was in Tahachapi Pass. In all we'd go through about two dozen mountain passes on our trip and almost all of them had snow. On the way to the Central Valley we saw Tule Elk along the road. Interstate 15 had the worst drivers I've ever seen. Friday afternoon from Los Angeles to Las Vegas brings out a terrible group of drivers. There were always 15 cars in the fast lane for every car in the slow lane, which meant the slow lane moved faster. Still no one would get right.
We made it through Vegas with just a slight traffic delay and passed through the Virgin River Gorge. We rested that night and the next morning went out visiting and then on a hike to Snow Canyon in the Red Rock Mountains. The storm was breaking up and it stayed cool with high clouds all trip.
One of the trails on the trip was called 'Butterfly', so I kept my eyes open for caterpillars and spotted this little blue colored one almost right away. I was thwarted in all attempts to figure out what this little guy is because 'blue caterpillar' is a character from Alice in Wonderland and every Google image was either from the movie or scores of mommy blogs featuring their little precious dressed for Halloween.
The desert was in full green bloom. A pretty rare thing from my trips through and this little cactus I particularly liked.
We hiked out to an overlook of the main valley and across a series of lava flows.
Stef and I took turns taking pictures of each other.
I spotted this little tunnel and climbed up the rocks to get a better view.
This was the view from the top after the tiny bit of rock climbing.
And these little red flowers had just bloomed in a crack in the rock.
The activity was full justification for Stef's brother to BBQ up a huge plate of ribs for dinner that night!
And he opened one of my favorite wines a 2001 Cline Mourvedre Small Berry Vineyard.
Saturday afternoon we visited a few art galleries in St. George after the hike. Sunday we packed up and had brunch with Stef's mom then headed out across the desert, deciding to avoid the Interstate's. More pictures tomorrow.