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James R. Stout

Day 12 of My 2019 Big Adventure

            The end of Day 12 of my adventure finds me in a Holiday Inn Express in Farmington, New Mexico. It was a very long day, but oh so worth it. Perhaps the best part was when Sofia ran ahead of me to the top overlook of Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park and I could hear her make a sound like her breath was taken away. And well it should have been. We left Hatch, Utah at 6 a.m. this morning and got into Bryce Canyon NP by about 7 a.m. We started by driving all the way to the top of the park and stopping at several turnouts and scenic points. All of them were incredible. There is no artist that comes within light years of God’s artistry. We drove back down and went to Inspiration Point. This old man played hob at making it up the steep foot trail to the lookout, but I made it. Winded, legs aching, and knees screaming at me while I just said, “Get it done, Johnny Reb.

            The park was far less crowded than Zion NP was yesterday. Frankly, from what I could tell Bryce is far better. Perhaps it’s in the eye of the beholder. We went into the gift shop and spent some more money. Hey, it’s likely to be the only time I’ll ever be there. Although there were likely many other fantastic things to see and do, the fact is we had some time constraints. So, we left about 11 a.m. I will readily admit that I have tried to see too much on this vacation. I even had to cut out some of the stops that I had thought that I would make. These were done because you simply can’t see it all in one trip. My advice to anyone planning a trip like this is to choose less places, places that you must see, and do them. If you’re younger, then you’ll probably have a chance to see the other places later. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I just didn’t have the money or there were other reasons I couldn’t make trips like this. On this trip I had tentatively planned on at least driving through 6 NP’s. I will have made it to three by the end of the trip. That said, I saw some amazing scenery that is not in a NP but is incredible anyway.

            Today we drove from Utah, through a corner of Arizona, and into New Mexico. A long day to be sure. On the whole the whole four corners region is stunning. Heck, a trip just to that area would be a great vacation. We pulled into Farmington about 5 o’clock, tails dragging, but ready for a nice dinner. I splurged and paid a little extra for the hotel room because the hotel has an indoor pool that Sofia enjoyed a lot. Frankly, where she got the energy is still a mystery! Of course, she’s already sawing logs and here I am writing my blog.

            Tomorrow we’ll be driving down to Roswell, NM and we have an appointment with Mr. Spock and Chewbacca. Contrary to the Earthling movies, they are both alive and well. Saturday morning will be Carlsbad Caverns and by that afternoon we’ll be on the road and back in Texas. Boy howdy, am I ready for Texas!

            Well, I’m kind of tired, so I’ll say goodnight. But I’ll leave you with another Sofia joke.

            “Who cleans the oceans?”

            “Mermaids.”

Good night!

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