July 6, 2011

Shyla woke up much worse today and so we have called around and located a veterinarian that can see her this afternoon.  We will have to drive into Cedar City, which is about 2 hour drive from here.  The clinic is called Cedar Veterinary Clinic.  We arrive just a few minutes before our schedule time.  Luckily I added an extra 45 minutes of buffer time as we underestimated how long it would take to drive here.  In the parking lot we find a poor little mouse that obviously had been injured in some way running round and round in circles dragging it’s back leg.  We felt so sorry for it and I know that they would not be inclined to nurse it back to health but it seemed ironic to find a hurt creature just outside the doors of a building that takes care of sick animals.  We were very impressed with the doctor.  He spent almost an hour with us asking questions and taking questions too.  Shyla has been seeing a specialist for a couple of years now for her Pemphigus.  Besides the lesions that form on her skin she has other complications due to infections that come and go.  Currently we are battling some sort of digestive disorder.  The doctor appears very knowledgeable on the Pemphigus and even discussed a couple of cases he personally worked on.  We were very impressed with the knowledge and time he spent with us.  I really wish we had a vet in our area like the two we have been to on this trip.  He gave Shyla a few things to help with her digestive issues and told us that the most important thing was to change her diet.  Stocked with meds and new food we are off again.

We have decided to grab a bit of Chinese food to take and eat up in the mountains on the way home.  Since we so close we have decided to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument by traveling up Hwy 143 past the ski mountain of Brian Head.

Map of the area showing our adventure destination today

Hwy 143 is a beautiful drive.  We would have chosen Hwy 14 which is designated as a scenic byway but did not actually decide on a detour until after we had begun our drive back.  That leaves it for another trip then.  Hwy 14 winds it way through the mountains up to a height topping more than 9700 ft. It is absolutely beautiful country.  The road ascends steeply at times and though not incredibly narrow seems more so at times as it hugs the curves.

At the top of this wondrous drive is a ski lodge.  Rides up the mountain on the lifts are available in the summer but unfortunately not until tomorrow.  I would have liked to have seen the view from the lifts.  Funny.  I have such deathly fears of heights but for some reason I am okay with this.  Same for fair rides.  I love the swings that lift you off the ground enabling you to view the entire fair from the view of a bird.  But don’t put me on a rock, which is on solid ground, to overlook a canyon….Go Figure?  As you can see from the photo snow still caps shaded parts of the mountain top, even though it is the middle of the summer.  Our temperature gauge reads a balmy 66F which is perfect to me for a summer day, especially when you remember we currently have over 100F right now in Texas.  Too bad we could not get a lift up otherwise we might have had a nice little snow ball fight.  A Christmas in July you could say.

Brian Head Ski resort with patches of snow still lingering from the previous season

Chair lift to top of ski run. These are open for use even in summer months but only certain days.

Continuing on ahead we find a view straight out of “The Sound Of Music” setting.  It almost felt like we were in another country.  The road leads to a fabulous outlook.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is short distance down the road.  At this altitude (over 10,000 ft) both the air and the views are breathtaking.  Bryce National Park is very similar to the view before us I have read but the scaled down version we have before us is in its own right a treasure to be visited.  The very fact that we are up at such high altitudes means that blistering heat is not as much as an issue.  Though the intensity of the sun needs to be factored in and wearing protective head-gear is definitely a must.  This canyon is much smaller than Bryce is meant to be and from the spot we are now standing it provides a panoramic view of the entire area.  There are a few trails that I had wanted to try out but with Shyla as she is right now that will have to go down on the “To Do” list for another time.  I would love to visit this area again in the winter months as it stays open, though camping is not an option at time, and provides for a different type of experience with snowshoe walks.

Continuing on we head towards Panguitch Lake.  As we begin our descend back down the mountain into Dixie National Forest we stop to admire the sun setting in the horizon behind us.

East of Cedar Breaks Natl Monument on Hwy 143

The town of Panguitch is nestled in at around 8400 ft.  Panguitch lake lies directly next to the main road and others those visiting it clean, clear cool waters.  Off in the horizon a few fishing boats are scattered here and there.  This would be a perfect place to make camp during the winter months.

Fishing boats setting for the evening on Lake Panguitch

View across the lake as seen from Hwy 143

Past Panguitch the drive winds through gorgeous meadows and towering Aspens before descending Hwy 12 below.  Today was a wonderful drive and we have some fantastic images to remember the day with.

By the time we arrive back the sun has not only set but retired for the night as we do too after a quick bite to eat.

  1. Bev Sykes says:

    What magnificent scenery. Looks so crisp and fresh with such beautiful colours ….and the last photo of you two is great. Would love a copy please! love Mum x

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