Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cedar Breaks

[click to enlarge] After we left Brok and Heather, we drove up the mountain to see Cedar Breaks National Monument because, well, it was there and so were we. We didn't have any expectations, so we were blown away. It's like a little Bryce Canyon, but framed by a very different landscape.
We decided to hike to Spectra Point which traces a path along the very rim of the redrock basin, and weaves in and out of alpine and meadow and barren rock landscapes. We happened along just in time for the wildflowers to be out in bloom and it was gorgeous. It didn't hurt that it was also nice and cool up so high in the mountains. I was absolutely adamant that everyone beslubber themselves with sunscreen, then promptly forgot to hit up myself while trying to police everyone else. There's certainly a lesson there somewhere . . .
The kids got right to work earning their Junior Ranger badges. This time they didn't need any help from us. Rob was crazy about the WPA-era architecture of the visitors' center.
Sebi my hiking buddy in front of a view of Little Ireland. There was once a group of enterprising dairy farmers who made cheese here to be shipped to San Francisco. And we asked about all the dead trees. It is a cycle caused by a spruce beetle and right now the beetle is winning.
Color me grateful to have a leash for Joss! The views were breathtaking, but the drops were heartstopping!
Joss was a good little hiker and the professor was a good sport to carry him when he wasn't.
If we don't say anything, they might not notice that they're getting along!
So proud of his junior ranger badge. He got quizzed on it later and passed with flying colors!
Taking a "My Side of the Mountain" break in a bristlecone pine 'living room'. We'd definitely come back and do it again. Next time I really want to take the Alpine Pond hike. Beautiful!
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