Logan Pass, Bear Lake, Mt. Nephi, & Cedar City, Utah

Valley of a Thousand Haystacks, Montana.

Valley of a Thousand Haystacks, Montana.

Logan Pass Utah Logan Pass Utah

Rugged cliffs along the Logan Pass

Logan Pass Utah

Jagged peaks define the views of Logan Pass.

Limber Pine Natural Trail

Limber Pine Natural Trail

Limber Pine Natural Trail

2,560 year old Limber Pine

(or is it 560 years old?)

Limber Pine Natural Trail


Bear Lake UT

Sneak peak at Bear Lake

Bear Lake Utah

The view of Bear Lake opens up before us.

Bear Lake Utah

Shore of Bear Lake, Utah

Boating on Bear Lake Utah

Bear Lake Marina

Cache Valley Utah

Fresh raspberries in the Cache Valley.

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah

Classic Utah rock formations line the road.

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah

The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah Devils Kitchen

Tiny Devil's Kitchen rock formation.

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah Mt Nebo

A motorcycle rally greets us at Mt. Nebo

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah Mt Nebo

It's great to be alive!

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah Mt Nebo

The bikes roar off, and then silence.

Nebo Loop Scenic Drive Nephi Utah Mt Nebo

Nebo Scenic Loop Drive.

Cedar City Utah Balloon Festival

Cedar City Balloon Festival

Cedar City Bike Path

Bike path in Cedar City, UT

Cedar City Utah sunset

Sunset at Cedar City, UT

Logan Pass, Bear Lake, Mt. Nebo, & Cedar City, Utah

Mid-September, 2009 - We left Helmville, Montana and turned south,

with the ultimate destination of Las Vegas in mind.  On our way we

passed many wonderful sights.  First was the surprise of finding

ourselves in the Valley of a Thousand Haystacks.  All across the country

we have seen one farm field after another strewn with hay bales, and at

our friend Carl's ranch in Montana I had sat in a modern hay baler.  This

amazing machine transforms growing grasses into perfectly tied hay

bales, all at the push of a button.  As the driver sits in air conditioned

comfort, the electronic readout keeps him posted on the progress of each

bale as it is tied and wrapped and dropped off in the wake of the vehicle.

So I had forgotten that hay used to be stored in haystacks.  Yet here they

were, for miles, huge haystacks on either side of the road.

North of Salt

Lake City, Utah, we took a detour and packed a picnic for the gorgeous

scenic drive that crosses Logan Pass to Bear Lake.  This winding road

passes between towering, craggy cliffs.

Near the summit we hiked the short Limber Pine Nature Trail.

Following a soft path of pine needles, we came across a very old tree.

The sign at the start of the trail (and in the brochures of the area)

claimed this tree was 2,560 yeras old.  The trunk was thick and gnarled

and inviting, so we climbed up.  But the sign in front of the tree said it

was just 560 years old.  The sign hadn't simply lost a "2."  It was

actually printed that way.

Well, whether it germinated

during the rise of ancient Greece

or some 2,000 years later during the burgeoning the

Renaissance, it was a stately tree.

This hike gave us the first glimpse of Utah's

"Caribbean," the shores of Bear Lake.   Descending

on the road, the view of the lake expanded.

The water was a pretty shade, and there were boats

of all kinds bobbing in the marina.

As we crossed the Cache Valley on our return, we saw many farm

stands selling fresh raspberries.  What fun to stop and sample different

varieties.  One type was softer and sweeter, and another was lighter in color and firmer.

We thought we were being indulgent when we bought a large box, but the lady behind us

bought an entire flat!

Further south, we stopped for a few days in

Nephi, Utah and drove the scenic Mt. Nebo Loop.

This forty mile drive took us on another beautiful

winding road into the mountains.  Back in the land

of red rocks, we walked out into Devil's Kitchen, a

small gathering of bright orange hoodoos that

looks like it was lifted out of Bryce Canyon.

It was a Sunday, and when we pulled into the

large Mt. Nebo lookout area we could barely find

a place to park because it was teeming with

motorcycles.  A local motorcycle club was out on

a Sunday drive and they were taking a breather at this

stunning stop.  We wandered among the bikes and

chatted with the riders.  Riding a bike seemed to be the

best way to do this loop.  We saw a

cyclist too, but getting from 6,000 feet

at one end of this drive to over 9,000

feet in the middle seemed really

challenging, and the descents were

narrow and twisting.

Continuing our trek towards Las

Vegas, we stopped briefly in Cedar

City ("Festival City") as well.  We had

fallen in love with this town the

previous year when we arrived just in

time for the Western Rodeo Days

(see our experiences at What's it

Like?).  We missed that this year but

got to see some of the Balloon

Festival instead.

We took our bikes out on the paved

bike path and descended down into

the expansive farmlands where flat

roads wander between farm fields

seemingly forever.

A pretty sunset over the

strange lighthouse that

marks the southern end of

Cedar City capped off a nice,

though brief, jaunt down I-15

in Utah.  Las Vegas hung

just over the horizon.