Well with the Grand Canyon behind us we headed down the freeway to Cedar City Utah, going to the other side of an 18 mile wide canyon takes a lot longer than you might expect.
After fuelling up Grace decided that she wanted to give driving a try, she had been asking for a few other days as well but with the mountain passes I was a little weary of letting her try her first time. This route seemed to be quite flat for a long while so we thought "why not". She did great there are of course some changes you have to make to your driving habits and one was that she had to brake earlier than she normally would but besides that she did great, for about an hour and then she opted to put me behind the wheel again.
A trip that was said to be about 6 hours turned into more than 8-1/2 because the mountain passes were so high up and steep, long driving and the heat combined with the hills did not make for a quick trip as my transmission kept getting overly warm so we stopped many times to let it cool down.
The views however were spectacular it's amazing to see what nature can and has done over the ages to give us such beauty and awe. We attempted the "egg test" on the steaming hot blacktop but it didn't fry ithe egg like we would have expected, at least the vultures had an egg to fight over for lunch.
We finally arrived at the KOA in Cedar City and were welcomed by the staff, we set up on a nice side by side site and were able to pull the trailer in so that we could face each other with a some what grassy patch between us, mostly dried mud bed though but they were making an effort any way, finally a quick dinner and showers and we were off to bed.
The next morning we awoke to sweltering heat and decided to go to Sand Hollow State park about 45 minutes south of where we were staying, before we left though the park owner/manager came up and explained that he liked to water the grassy areas during the day, which would require us to clean up and pack away our entire site while we were away at the lake.
We noted that we really didn't feel like doing that and felt that if we had been at a hotel and they wanted to paint the room they wouldn't have booked it to a guest (us) during that period, we also commented that the worst time to water is during the heat of the day (42 C) and that most of the water would evaporate and the rest would burn what little grass there was still alive.
The owner/manager got quite confrontational and while we were trying to be accommodating it was obviously stressing him out and he finally said "fine I won't water today but I do not want you guys coming back to this KOA" rather dramatic we thought but his choice not ours. We opted to clean everything up anyway before we left, because we are Canadians and then left for the lake.
Driving into the park we immediately noticed that the lake there was man made with a huge dike around a barren rock scape that resembled something from Mars. I said to Jeff that I could almost see Arnold Schwarzenegger rolling down one of the hills gasping for air (a scene from Total Recall).
The beach to this lake was seriously out of this world, the sand was RED like the martian surface but soft as baby powder to walk on.
Having set up our stuff on the beach with Jeff and Dana's new pop up cover to get some shade from the sun and the beach chairs in the lake we sat back to get some rays from the sun.
I went back to the truck to reload on some wobbly pops and when I came back down to the beach everyone yelled "Roland turn around" when I looked I saw a dust devil tossing around one of the blow up mattresses for the lake, it was quite cool to watch until I realized it was heading straight at me, I turned around to protect the wobbly pops and my eyes from the swirling mini tornado just to get pelted by the sand, even though it seemed very soft to walk on it was quite coarse when you got hit by it.
No sooner had it passed me then it picked up the pop up canopy and tossed it around the beach, suddenly out of nowhere it switched direction and headed straight for Hanna, the poor kid never had a chance, it happened so fast all she could do was to turn away from it but never the less she got battered by it. Although it seemed funny to everyone she was not very pleased and was quite upset and scared.
The pop up was mangled and un repairable so we turned it into a little tent like cover to lay under while we continued our beach day. Thank goodness I convinced Jeff to buy the $50.00 pop up instead of the $150.00 one he was originally going to buy.
After about 4 hours in the desert lake we packed up to go home, Grace drove because the heat and the wobbly pops had gotten the better of me, almost back to the campsite and we felt a tug and a sudden decrease in speed and realized we were out of gas. No surprise right? With everything else that has happened on the vacation this should have been expected.
Jeff and Dana took off to get a Gerri Can of fuel so that we could crawl into the next gas station, imagine if they hadn't been with us on this trip. UGH !
Fuelled up and back at the campsite we had a light dinner and went to bed, ready for the next morning and the drive across the state of Utah south to north towards the Twin Falls / Jerome Idaho KOA.