We entered a tunnel (a big one) and emerged into the most amazing canyons. The views were absolutely breathtaking.
The mountains made for some very slow driving and navigating an RV through construction in the mountains is a special challenge. I held my breath a lot. Like I said, breathtaking. We soon made our way into Utah which was equally impressive.
We stopped for a quick break at this gorgeous rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Honest. There was nothing else to be found for miles. There was an older Navajo woman there selling handmade ornaments and jewelry from blankets on the sidewalk and we bought the cutest little ornaments for Christmas so we can remember this vacation every time we decorate the tree. We asked her where we were and she replied "in the middle of nowhere." I absolutely trusted her opinion and all of our smart phone apps concurred. Nowhere sure was pretty.
So, let me tell you a little story about traveling to high altitude with pump bottles. My liter bottle of DevaCurl conditioner and a large bottle of Dove soap poured themselves all over the shower floor in the RV. Several times. Washing a cupful of good conditioner and liquid moisturizing soap down the drain with limited gray water storage in an RV, with a little hose, while trying to stand up in a slippery shower the size of a small bath mat is a special level of hell and I shared that hell with my children, quite loudly. I didn't yet understand that bringing a bottle with a pump into high altitude would cause it to explode or leak. I was sure my dear children were pumping it out for fun when they visited the potty. We all endured this ritual several times- me slip-sliding and cursing in the shower and them taking the blame- before we found that all of our chip bags had exploded and then the little light bulb went off in my head. I left the lids partially open the remainder of the trip and though I had one ugly little incident with the mustard bottle, most of our mountain driving proceeded with very little mess.
Utah seemed to change colors with every turn. It was late in the day when we got close to Bryce Canyon, but I don't think we could have timed it any better if we'd tried. We rolled through Red Canyon just as the sun set on the brilliant red rocks.
Our cameras couldn't do it justice at all. It was as if the rocks were on fire. It lasted only about twenty minutes, but I'll never forget the sight. We were driving along in amazement all "oohs" and "ahhhs" and then we came upon a little sign that read "tunnel ahead-13 feet" and we said not-so-pretty things because we, in our class A motorhome, were 13' 6". Suddenly we were all "what? Tunnel? They didn't mention anything about a stinkin' tunnel!" There were a few minutes of this-is-not-so-fun-anymore tension and then we rounded a curve and there it was.
We told the kids that this trip was going to bring us all out of our comfort zone a little and by golly we weren't kidding. We waited for the oncoming cars to pass, I held my breath (because that helps), and the Big Guy drove us straight on through, right down the center line. No problem. (Deep deflating exhale.) We soon arrived at Ruby's Inn, a day later than planned, in the dark. It was all good though. A day of mountain driving had been good for the soul and this adventure was really taking shape. We were a long way from home and we were headed for the beach with lots of fun to come. In the morning, we would wake up and venture out to find a giant hole in the earth.