Cedar Breaks & Chuckwagon Dinner

Posted by on September 28, 2016

I woke up to the pitter patter of rain on the roof….love that sound!  It rain lightly on and off for a bit.

We turned the light off at 9:15 pm and I was up at 7:00 am…well rested!  I did a few chores in the kitchen and got our things together for a day of sight-seeing while Michael slept.

Navajo Lake

Navajo Lake

We left about 10:15 am for our 40 mile trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument.  What a beautiful drive!  The colors were bright and vibrant.  We drove through the Dixie National Forest on the way and we stopped at an overlook to Navajo Lake.  The lake was made when the flow of lava dammed up one end of the valley in which the lake now lies.

Cedar Breaks stamps and stickers!

Cedar Breaks stamps and stickers!

When we arrived at the Visitor’s Center for Cedar Breaks we showed our new America the Beautiful pass and were admitted for free and then stamped our Passport book and bought the Cedar Breaks sticker to add to the page.  The view from inside the visitor’s center was stunning and the fire going inside was quite inviting but we ventured out and walked to the overlook to enjoy the views from outside too.

2psnapod

2psnapod

As we were starting down the path to the overlook we happened open Bernie (Judy had gone inside the Visitor’s Center) and chatted with him for quite a while but sent him inside to warm up since he was shivering so badly.  Before we were able to continue on Dave & Mary arrived so we talked to them for a bit before they went inside and we headed down to the overlook.  The contrast in colors (reds, yellows, greens) and the terrain (hilly, rocky, craggy) is so breath-taking its unbelievable!

We headed north on 148 and made stops at each of the overlooks.  At each one you got just a little bit different view of Cedar Breaks.  Cedar Breaks is a natural rock amphitheater shaped like a huge coliseum.  It is 2500 feet deep and more than 3 miles across.

View from Sunset View Overlook

View from Sunset View Overlook

The first overlook was Sunset View Overlook at 10,354 feet.  As we left the overlook we came across a buck standing majestically alongside the road but, of course, as soon as we rolled down the window to take a picture he bounded off.

Can you find the arch??

Can you find the arch??

The next overlook was the Chessman Overlook at 10,460 feet.  Here we were joined by Dave & Mary and Bernie & Judy.  We all had fun pointing out different landmarks that we saw…an arch was the biggest interest and rather hard to see.

Pictures just don't do justice to the views!

Pictures just don’t do justice to the views!

The last overlook was the North View Overlook (10,435 feet) and this is where we parted ways with others.

A very small portion of the sheep

A very small portion of the sheep

We turned east on 143 so that we could loop back to highway 14.  Once again the scenery was beautiful but the highlight for us was coming across a bunch of sheep being herded across the countryside.

Our friendly sheepherder

Our friendly sheepherder

There were a minimum of 5 dogs helping to herd the sheep along.  We came across just one sheep herder on horseback as he sat on his horse alongside the road.  He was Hispanic and didn’t speak the best English but he did tell us that he had 600 sheep!

Volcanic Rock surfin'

Volcanic Rock surfin’

The second highlight was probably all of the volcanic rock piles lining the road.  It’s just amazing!  We even got out and climbed on a couple of different ‘piles’ a bit….probably not a good idea…but heck…it was fun!

Mikey checking out the 'hole'

Mikey checking out the ‘hole’

Michael ventured further out into one of the ‘piles’ as he could see a ‘hole’ in the middle and he thinks that the rock was spewed out of that center ‘hole’.  Whatever the case it’s just plain COOL!

Cheese!

Cheese!

From 143 we turned south on Mammoth Creek Road which took us past a small community of log homes all in beautiful surrounding but most probably vacation homes.  As we were passing by one home we came across 2 deer on the side of the road. They weren’t too skittish and one allowed me to take his picture!

Mammoth Creek Road took us back to highway 14 and we backtracked just a few miles so that we could visit Aspen-Mirror Lake, which Trace had told us about.

Heading down the trail toward the lake

Heading down the trail toward the lake

We had a quick snack in the parking lot before taking a 5 minute walk down a trail that was surrounded by gorgeous Aspen trees…oh…if only you could see that colors…wow!

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

The lake is pretty and peaceful….the only thing missing was a couple of benches or picnic tables to relax on while enjoying the view.

There is a small creek that runs beside the lake that feeds into the lake and is just so gorgeous!

Our cooks for the evening

Our cooks for the evening

We got home just in time for our 5:00 pm Chuckwagon dinner.  The park puts on the chuckwagon dinner for a charge of $18.00 per person and I think that almost every member of the rally participated.  The dinner is behind the office kind of in the middle of an apple orchard.

Carol loving on everyone's new friend

Carol loving on everyone’s new friend

Before dinner many of us enjoyed petting a horse in an adjacent pasture.  There were also several calves but they were too timid to allow anyone to touch them.

Soup's on!

Soup’s on!

Dinner consisted of chicken, potatoes, baked beans, salad and biscuits.  For dessert we had peach cobbler.  Everything was made in large dutch ovens in a big fire pit.

Great setting for dinner!

Great setting for dinner!

Unfortunately, just before dessert was served it started to rain.  We all tried to hold out thinking that it would just be a little sprinkle.  But that was not the case it rained pretty good for a little bit…enough to send us all into the office with our folding chairs.

Michael decided to go home but I went over to the office for a little while and visited.  They had a drawing for three items…none of which we won, of course…our luck is just not the best with that kind of thing.

Back home we watched a couple of TV shows from the DVR and then called it a night.  We’ll have to pull out a bit earlier tomorrow as we have a longer drive to Bryce Canyon.

Something I forgot to mention yesterday…we’ve never really had much of an issue with cell or internet service (except in some remote areas of the oil patch) but here…we have little to no internet service and only 1x cell service.  Thankfully, the park has free wifi….and it actually works!

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