Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 137 - Utah Rocks - Holy Moses The Clouds Parted

White Birch

Northern Flicker (type of woodpecker -Regal looking!)
We ate breakfast at Amid Summers Inn the next day and met two honeymooners who were leaving to go back to Salt Lake City.  Ethan and Sarah were their names.  After checking out the house two doors down which had been turned into The Garden House restaurant the previous night, we compared notes. The mahi mahi and steak were great.  Although I love Creme Brulee, I hadn't gotten it but Ethan did.  He said it was awesome.  Ethan offered to show us around SLC when we got back before we left to go to the airport.  We gave him our card and told him to call us and we'd LOVE to take him up on his offer for our own personal tour from a local mocal.

We heard that although it was raining in Cedar City and there would be snow on the mountain, we should have pretty good weather by the time we got to Tropic UT, home of Bryce Canyon.  We had only packed shorts and t-shirts with one pair of pants.  So pants it was for the trek up the mountainside.  The weather started at 47 degrees and varied between 32 and 37 as we climbed to 10,000 feet at the summit which had a sign that said Strawberry Point.  I guarantee you nobody was growing strawberries up there.  It was surreal to leave rain, go up in the mountains and see snow everywhere, driving in the snow and stopping to catch a photo of a groundhog and the white birch trees.  It reminded me of Pennsylvania, not Utah.  We saw the biggest Osprey you have ever seen swoop into the lake at the top of the mountain.  When he flew over me, his wingspan was as wide as mine almost 60 inches!  He was gorgeous.

As we drove to our scheduled ATV resort, the wind gusts were at least 30 miles per hour, the rain cold and we realized we didn't have gloves or the coats needed for our reservations to ride four-wheel ATVs.  The owner, Mark let us use his gloves, helmets and coats and we were very appreciative and very warm.  As we loaded the ATVs into the trailer and drove down Red Canyon to Costo Canyon, our tour guide Dave told us that we were going to be in for a treat that day because Mark, the owner, was the only one who had permits to ride in this particular Canyon called Costo Canyon.  We had chosen the three hour tour (like Gilligans Island!).  The first thing that hit me was the smell of the sage brush.  I broke off a sage twig and put it in my pocket.  It ended up in my suitcase and has made it back to Florida with me.  The smell is intoxicating and pleasant.  The whole canyon and ride smelled like Sage and Cedar from the trees. Fresh.

As Dave gave us the ATV for Dummies lesson, the rain stopped and the clouds moved to let the sunshine in.  We drove and drove and drove mesmerized by the view combined with the heavenly smell of sage.  It was our tour to do what we wanted with it so we stopped and took photos as often as we liked.  I quickly learned how to shift my ATV into fifth gear and away we went.  When we started into the Canyon, the terrain was rough, so we were told to go up the Canyon in second and we would come back in third.  The water was pretty high: about eighteen inches in some parts and if we went through it in second gear, we didn't get wet.

As if symbolizing the whole biblical experience of being one with God in his majestic painting of Costo Canyon, as soon as we reloaded the ATVs, the clouds covered the sun and it started to rain.  God was good to us that day in way of the weather but I still would have praised God if had rained. The smells and scenery we took in were majestic with or without the good weather.  God had parted the clouds for us as we went through the Red Canyon as he had parted the water of the Red Sea for Moses. Moses may have had a similar experience but he didn't have the smell of fresh sage and he wasn't riding a Red ATV. In both experiences, our Lord was present and we knew it was special.

Exodus 14:21-31
       Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind.  It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land.  The water was divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.  

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