Well, a day, a change in weather, and 7000’ of elevation!
As predicted, the nice weather at Zion was coming to an end. But for a change in pace, I decided on a drive to the north-west corner of the park to the Kolob Reservoir. The road goes north from Virgin and enters and exits the park a couple of times, while climbing to the high plateau. I had swapped sandals and shorts for long pants and shoes, but I still thought I was seeing things when I met a truck coming down the road with two snowmobiles on a trailer.
Well, the grin was gone from my face when I found these patches of white stuff laying around and this sign with skier and snowmobile symbols on it.
They said the road was not plowed!
And I guess they were right. With better tires I would have broken trail for a while, but mine have over 80,000km on them and were not up to the task.
So I backtracked and checked out a side road to Smith Mesa.
That road was rough, but fine,
though you could see that it quickly becomes impassable when wet.
It reminded me of the bridges I had seen in Australia that have no railings – so they are better able to withstand water washing over them.
Back down in camp at Mosquito Cove, it was still plenty warm, and the sandals and shorts were mandatory wear for happy hour. That ended later that night when the rains came and the river rose, and the lightning lit up the sky.
By morning I decided it was as good a time as any to hit the road. I took the scenic loop south through Arizona, and back up into Utah at Kanab, headed for Bryce Canyon. But look at this; at 6100’ it is snowing! Nothing stuck to the road as I got into Dixie National Forest, but it was breezy and cool and the first Dixie campground was locked up – as if no one would want to camp in this weather!
So, I took blurry photos of tunnels through the windshield, between wiper sweeps.
I followed some online directions, and soon found road #117 as a possible camp spot, but it looked like it could well be blocked by snow at any point.
So I turned into the first pull-off there was and stopped – in a snowbank. Guess there will be no need for those shorts and sandals here?
So I cranked up the heater for the first time in a while, and even though it is only rated to work to about 3500’, I managed to keep it going all night at roughly double that elevation by feeding it little bits of thin fresh air. Actual elevation was 7777’!
The fridge is struggling to light at this elevation as well – tho not sure why it would want to cool things any further?
The snow quit falling at bedtime, and the skies cleared – so that the temperatures could really drop. It was –7C outside in the morning, that must be around 28F? There was some sun in the morning, but still some dark, ugly looking clouds around. Pretty though I suppose.