Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Road Trip: Day 38

    Posted on October 5th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    As planned, I woke-up at some crazy time in order to get to Bryce Canyon before the sun even thought about coming-up. How early was I? I was the FIRST car in the parking lot at Bryce Point!

    Without all the city lights, the sky around Bryce was very dark… and the stars were extremely clear. Not having a tripod I was planning on just watching the sunrise, but with the whole place to myself I propped-up my camera on pack of gum and took a few photos lit only by star/moon light.

    While I was taking photos people started to arrive, and by the time I made my way out to the overlook there was already a crowd forming against the railings. I found a place to stand and waited for the sun to rise, then did my best to capture something usable. It was actually a little funny… everyone standing around waiting, then a “mad dash” to get photos once the sun cleared the horizon.

    I stuck around for a while after the sun rose, while most of the crowd dispersed. Looking at where the light was shining I just couldn’t figure out how any other lookouts would produce good photo. It would have been great to hike down into the canyons, but I had many hours of driving ahead of me. Fortunately it was still early enough to get a good breakfast at my hotel!

    After some eggs, sausage, french toast, and a mocha latte (really roughin’ it aren’t I?) I packed-up the G8 and got back out on the road. Just outside of Bryce I found a great place in Red Canyon to take my daily photo of the G8.

    I had originally planned a crazy drive (even for me), but waking-up at 5am was making me dread a 9 hour drive. I had an alternate route, which spent more time on the interstate, and decided to drive that one instead.

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    The stretches of interstate were a bit more exciting than most, as they were part of 80mph test zone. In no time at all I was approaching the town of Nephi and the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.

    View Larger Map

    The road was nice and twisty, the scenery was full of color (yellow, orange, red, and green leaves), and there were only 3 slow cars on the road (and they all pulled-over fairly quickly). While much of the road did not have a center line, it was all two lanes wide and well paved. The cow patties were a good reminder of the “open range”, along with the three cowboys on horses driving cattle down the road!

    My favorite part of the drive was dropping-down into 3rd gear and just letting things rip. Climbing up to the 9,345 foot summit was a blast, and listening to my exhaust screaming through the trees made it even better. I’m sure everyone in the area could hear me, and so what if I was “disturbing the peace and quiet”, I was using my engine to reduce speed while descending (rather than riding my brakes like everyone else). The descent came with tight hairpin turns and was a little sketchy without clearly defined lanes, but with no center line I didn’t feel guilty driving a proper late-apexing line!

    Far too soon I rejoined the interstate and found myself driving towards Provo, where I was planning on spending the night. I wanted to stop and rest, but it was only 2pm and I knew I could make it the extra hour to Salt Lake. With all the traffic and construction on Interstate 15 going into Salt Lake, I’m really glad I drove it today… tomorrow morning rush hour traffic will suck (oh, crap, I just realized tomorrow is Saturday!).

    Tomorrow I’m starting the last leg of my road trip. I still have a couple days to go, and at least one more National Park, but I need to get home eventually.

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