SW US Trip with Marion C. and Sue Hope

St. George and Mesquite - Stops 9 and 10

Saturday-Sunday, May May 23-24

As we watched the Grand Canyon disappear in the rear view mirror (at least I did - others couldn't see behind us in the rear view mirror - grin), we set our sights on Page Arizona and the slot canyons. On the way however, we crossed the Painted Desert. I neglected to stop on the mountains overlooking the Painted Desert because it was a state road with no overlooks and no places to pull off. On checking at Page, we found that there were no rooms available anywhere in town. It's Memorial Day weekend . . . Duh! Since Page is a tourist target under any conditions, we figured there would be rooms further along the road. So, banishing the slot canyons until another trip, we swung west to see if we could find lodging at Fredonia or Kanab just across the Utah boundry. Along the way, we passed by the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and had a good view of the cliffs.

After checking both Fredonia and Kanab and finding every hotel filled, we decided we'd have to go even further west to St. George. We called ahead using trip guides and located a hotel with vacancies. So we headed for St. George. Got there around 10:00 PM after a gourmet meal from Burger King and tumbled into bed.

Up the next morning and, after a less than satisfactory continental breakfast, decided we'd look for something else. Dot and I had stayed at Mesquite several years earlier so we decided to spend tonight there. Before going west, we thought we'd drive up to an old silver mining town and see what it had to offer. It was Sunday and many places were closed but we decided to try it anyway so we drove up to Silver Reef and poked around. There is a museum but it was closed (Sunday) but we could look around at some of the old equipment and other stuff. There were a number of wild flowers in a vacant lot near the museum so I occupied myself trying to get photos of some of them. There was a substantial breeze so trying to get them to stand still long enough for a decent shot wasn't easy.

I like this one because of the bee feeding on nectar.

Another view of one of the above unidentified flowers.

I think this may be the model for the Navajo squash blossom jewelry.

After looking around Silver Reef for a while, we decided to drive on up to the Kolob Canyon entrance to Zion National Park. There is no direct highway across Zion NP to this part so this is the only access to it. Here are a couple of panoramas stitched from several images I took on the drive into the canyon.

After driving to the end of the drive, we decided to hike up to the Timber Creek Overlook. Dot, Marion Cone and Sue made it but I got caught up photographing the myriad of wild flowers and fauna on the trail up.

First, a Sego Lily.

Below, an unidentified flower. These really pretty little flowers were all along the trail.

These blossoms hang down so to get a decent shot, I had to get on the ground and photograph upward. This was very difficult since the flower stalk was only about twelve inches tall so I had to position the camera without seeing the image it was recording, take the exposure, then look to see if I even got the flower in the photo - let alone get it in focus, properly framed, and caught it when it wasn't blowing about.

Another unidentified flower. There were a lot of these along the trail too.

One of the numerous lizards seen everywhere in the desert.

We spotted this little fellow in the bushes while hiking back from the overlook.

We left Kolob Canyon and headed southwest toward Mesquite. We stopped along the way for dinner at a Chili's. Checked in at Mesquite, walked over to a nearby grocery store to restock our "snacks" supply and turned in for the night.

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