Friday, May 19, 2017

Visiting Southern Utah - Part 3

May 7:

Sunday we decided to hike the Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon. This trail is located away from the main portion of the park with a small parking area on Utah Hwy 12. We left early in the morning to beat the crowds and were able to get a spot in the parking lot. The trail is about a 1 mile up to the cave and then another mile back to the parking area. There were a few people on the trail but we were early enough it was not crowded. At the end of the trail is the Mossy Cave. There is also a small waterfall on a canal that was built during the 19th century to transfer water from the Sevier River to the Paria River. Mormon farmers diverted water from the East Fork of the Sevier River near Tropic Reservoir to irrigate fields around Tropic City. These early pioneers labored feverishly with primitive tools for 15 miles over three years to construct the Tropic Ditch. There are a number of HooDoo's along the trail that you view from below rather than above like we had from the rim trail.

At the base of the trail.

Mossy Cave at the end of the trail.

"Windows" in the rock formation.

More fins and HooDoo's along the trail.

Small waterfall on Tropic Ditch.

After finishing up our hike we drove over to the Kodachrome Basin State Park. The park has some interesting rock formations with different colors in the rocks. We were told that the state got permission from the Kodak company to use the Kodachrome name. We arrived at the park and paid our $8 fee for admission. From the ranger station we drove to end of the park road and got out to view the rock formations there.

Rock formation at top of the park.

Once we came back to the Jeep we realized that we had locked our keys in the vehicle. They had fallen out of Connie's pant's pocket as she was getting out of the Jeep. We tried to figure out how we were going to get into the vehicle without having to break a window. A family from Maine that were camping in the park with her parents gave us a ride back to the ranger station were we tried to get a cell phone signal unsuccessfully and their internet service was down. The rangers gave us a stiff wire clothes hanger that we tried to use but were never able to get inside the Jeep. Steve, the husband and father of the camping couple, offered to give us a ride back the nearest town which was 20 miles away. We accepted his offer and drove back towards Bryce Canyon thinking we would get a cellphone signal and call our Good Sam Roadside Assistance. We drove all the way back to the main entrance of Bryce Canyon never getting a signal. I went into the Ruby Inn located in Bryce City and found out that the fiber optic line going in that part of Utah had been cut and there was no cellphone service and no internet service. They had been told that it would be several hours before the line could be repaired. Steve drove us back towards the park and we decided to stop in Tropic to see if anyone knew of a locksmith in town (not much hope it being Sunday). We went into the local grocery store/gas station and asked them. No locksmiths in town but one of the customers in the store offered to go home and call the local Deputy Sheriff to see if he could help us. She went home and found out that the landlines were also down. Coming back to the grocery store she told us she knew the Deputy Sheriff and would drive to his house to see if he was home. Luckily he was and met us at the grocery store. While we were waiting we filled up Steve's vehicle with gas and found out that he was a physician, general internist, that worked at a small hospital in Maine. Clint, the Deputy Sheriff, followed us back out to the park and was able to use the tools in his truck to open our Jeep. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. We thanked Steve for his help in driving us around until we found someone who could help us. We had a nice long visit with Clint after he had opened up the Jeep. He is with the K-9 Unit of the sheriff's department and had one of his dogs with him. He actually has two dogs now although he only brought one of them with him today. One dog is in training and the other one is about to "retire". The new dog was from Texas so we had a connection. We also found out that he was the nephew of April who was the guide/driver on the Rainbow Shuttle Tour Bus we had taken a couple of days ago in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Clint with one of his tools.

Mike, Clint and Steve
 At this point we were tired and hungry. We stopped in the picnic area of the park and quickly ate our packed lunch. We took a short drive around the park, took a few pictures, stopped by to thank Steve and his family once again for all of their help and then headed home for the day.