Thanksgiving this year was one for the memory books. My amazing friend came to visit me from Seattle (my very 1st visitor since moving to Utah and a super special visitor at that!). Wanting to make sure I got 5 stars on ‘FriendAdvisor’ as a host, I made sure to line up a Thanksgiving that would be memorable and delightful…I think I succeeded!
We stayed at a great little cabin, via AirBnB, between Colorado City and Fredonia. Don and Cindy at the Coral Pink Ranch were amazing hosts! Our cabin was a former one-room school house that had been converted into a cabin, with every detail accounted for. The property was great with views of the red rocks, a hot tub, fire pit (complete with firewood and fire starter) and even a little kitty host (her name is Ocean and she is a darling). The property is off-grid, run by solar power and gas. There is no cell phone service and the wifi is a bit rough – i.e. put the devices away and enjoy being unplugged! The cabin is equipped with a two burner stove and gas grill (no microwave as the wattage is too high) and all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay. There were even farm fresh eggs in the fridge! Our hosts were super knowledgeable and offered some suggestions on getting to Zion National Park – with a highway route or a ‘scenic’ route (that was technically shorter in mileage).
We took the road less traveled, because that is what we do.
(I will painfully admit that the first 3 miles were ROUGH and I mayyyy have considered aborting the mission – but my parents didn’t raise a quitter and I would have NEVER lived that down – so onward explorers!).
100% – ABSOLUTELY – COMPLETELY – MOST AWESOMELY WORTH IT!
By less traveled I mean REALLY less traveled…think beyond gravel roads to “unimproved roads” i.e. the most basic dirt road EVER! The views were STUNNING and absolutely worth the drive.
Note: If you do not have 4-wheel drive or a small SUV this route is not advised. Also, have a co-pilot to take pictures and let you know when to look up and admire the SPECTACULAR views. I wasn’t able to grab pics at the truly spectacular spots, as I was very focused on keeping us on the road without destroying the underside of my vehicle or putting us over a ravine – honestly the latter wasn’t my concern but my co-pilot made some pointed remarks about it (?). He captured some amazing photos that I’ve requested in print form because WOW!
From the cabin – UT 59 towards Colorado City, to Main Street which turns into S. Bench Road which turns into another road, which then leads to 250 S where you can go to Grafton (a super cool ghost town) or to Rockville which leads to Zion National Park.
David really wanted to see a ghost-town, so that was stop 1.
Stop 2 was Zion National Park. I happily got to add another stamp in my NPS passport. We took the bus loop around the park and enjoyed the views.
It wasn’t a particularly great day to hike so we enjoyed a picnic lunch before taking the highway route back to the cabin – where steaks and asparagus were grilled, wine was consumed, and a fire (with our fur-hostess) was enjoyed.
Note: I recommend taking the ‘scenic route’ to Zion as opposed to the opposite, the drive back is mostly uphill and void of the spectacular vistas.
The weekend was perfect. It was another reminder for me of how lucky I am to be in such a great location and how blessed to have friends to explore with. (Also, I’m pretty sure I earned 5 stars on “FriendAdvisor” :->)
As I looked at the door of the cabin in Grafton, it reminded me that I took the opportunity to move to UT on blind faith. Going on an adventure isn’t exactly something new for me. This time though, the Universe has provided me with a most magnificent experience since walking through that door. For that I’m thankful.
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” Paulo Coelho