We spent one night in Las Vegas at the Duck Creek RV park, located right on noisy Boulder Highway – only venturing out to have dinner at a forgettable Chinese dive. The next day we drove to Cedar City in cental Utah where we spent the next 6 days. And we were busy!

 

We actually stayed in Kanarraville at the Red Ledge RV Park run by Gail Politica, a great little park about 10 miles from Cedar City with great views towards the canyons. From there, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Kolub Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zions were all within easy driving distances.IMG_6833

Day one we ventured up to Brian Head, a great ski resort totally overshadowed by the resorts of Park City and Deer Valley to the north in the Wasatch range. Brian Head receives over 400 inches of snow a year and at 9,600’ it is Utah’s highest base elevation, and serves vertical drops of over 1200 feet. There was still some snow on the ground, and much like Park City of 30 years ago, the town was totally deserted at this time of year because the resort was closed for the season.

Just a little further past Brian Head is Cedar Breaks National Park, the first of the National Parks we visited. It was so named by the Mormon pioneers who mistakenly thought the native juniper trees were cedars and for “breaks” which is a geologic term describing “an uninhabitable area with gullies and ravines. Hah! These weren’t just gullies and ravines, this area has massive cavernous uplifts and seemingly never-ending caverns.IMG_6838

I’ve documented my fear of heights and this one wasn’t any easier to deal with. Surrounding a natural amphitheater that was created by the same forces that generated the formation of the Grand, Bryce and Zions Canyons, the rock formations are over 2000 feet deep and three miles in diameter. You are warned not to venture any further than the fences due to really loose rock bases and they had no problem with this tourist.

These formations are stunning with huge spires standing like statues amid arches, columns and mini canyons. The colors of the rocks are visually stunning as well, painted in vivid reds, purples and yellows due to varying combinations of iron and manganese. This was our introduction to the vast rock and awe inspiring landscapes of Southern Utah.

It was a beautiful drive down from Cedar Breaks though the Dixie National Forest, and the pretty little mountain town of Duck Creek with its lake and visitor cabins nestled in a beautiful meadow and on to US 89 which took us over to Bryce.Duck Creek Village17

A great start to a memorable day.

Ever since I started going to Asia back in the early 80’s I have loved the myriad of spices, herbs and vegetables one can find there. I found myself eating food that I had never dreamed of, and craving more of it and with more variety. One of the spice/herbs I really like is lemongrass and I add the powdered spice to a lot of dishes – this recipe calls for the stalk to be cut into little pieces and then chopped in a food processor along with the other ingredients. Lemongrass is becoming easier to find and for this go at cooking pounded lemongrass chicken I found a small package of it already peeled in the grocery section of the local Fred Meyer. Whaaaat? Fred Meyer???!!! Yep! Enjoy this one.

 

pounded lemongrass chicken

 

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