Thursday, January 19, 2012

Route 12

The guidebooks highly recommend Route 12 from Green River to Bryce, as one of the most scenic routes in the US, especially between the town of Boulder, Utah and Escalante. They weren't kidding! The road meanders up to the summit which in Jan, is covered in snow, the aspens are leafless but grey lacy branched and intermixed with pines. It descends into the canyons high above the Fremont River. Off in the distance are mesas and plains. There are photo ops at every turn and we make multiple stops. The mountains in the distance are snow capped and we know that the scene is unique to this time of year.

We end up in the town of Tropic late in the afternoon, which exists only to provide lodging and food for visitors of Bryce Canyon We get to the canyon at sunset and as I walk up to the canyon overlook, it takes my breath away. I had seen many photos of Bryce but seeing it up close is magnificent. The scale and depth of the canyon is something that cannot be conveyed in a photo. We watch the sun dip behind the clouds and as the evening falls, we drive to Tropic for dinner.

To our surprise, the only restaurant is closed for the winter and the only option is Ruby's Restaurant which has only 1 stars on yelp. I have never read such bad reviews for any restaurant before and people suggest eating anything except going there. We decide to purchase frozen food at the general store and microwave it in the motel room. I choose lasagna, a chicken tv dinner and frozen veggies. The motel next door is "fully booked" which when I questioned incredulously, learned that only a few rooms are open. We go to the Best Western Ruby's Inn, rated well, unlike it's restaurant. The lasagna is actually quite good, we discover. Obviously, winter is not a time when one has lots of options!

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