Category Archives: Utah

Today’s the Day!

Today’s the Day!

We have to be in Utah by 1:00 to meet the movers that are unloading the U-Haul.  We also have a suburban to pick up from Enterprise in Orem.  We are on the road early.  We had a great stay at the Double Tree, the staff were super friendly and our room was comfortable and Jonas really enjoyed the saline pool.

We greet the sun at a scenic overlook in Utah. Jonas is a rock climber and a lizard finder and is grateful for an Outdoor Learning Center!



The movers were great!  Everything was unloaded, we had a suburban for the week and we got rid of the U-haul! It was time to visit the Great Salt Lake.

Jonas got this close and went yuck!

Something Stinks!

Something Stinks!


There is a layer of flies!

There is a layer of flies!

That’s exactly what he said before he ran back to play in the sand. We found out that they were brine flies and they don’t bother people.

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake

We learned a lot about the lake and enjoyed watching the couple next to us open up their raft to go fishing.

It’s been a long day and we are getting hungry.  We have been hearing a lot about the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City and we are ready for some Mexican Food.  As a general rule we don’t eat a lot of Mexican food outside Texas because we are kind of snobby that way but if Julie is going to live in Utah we need to find some place that has good Mexican food! We beat the crowd and get a great waiter to help us with the menu.  He brings out a plate for us to try all the different Mole they offer.  This is what I have:


Our succulent pork carnitas smothered with our spicy mole Amarillo and melted jack cheese, topped with 2 poached eggs and 2 strips of crisp bacon, garnished in a crown of flour tortilla chips, served with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans.

There was so much of it that I really needed Bob to help eat it! I thought the food was delicious. Check it out if you are in town.

See ya!




The Big Move

The Big Move

greetings-from-utah-usa-vintage-postcard-750x488It’s time.  Tomorrow we are leaving Saginaw and heading to Utah.  Everything’s packed and we are getting ready to load it up in the Uhaul.  Amy, Julie and Katy are driving while Jonas and I read the maps and give directions.  Keep up with us as we journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Arizona!  See you in the morning.


Day 5: Higher Elevations and back down

Day 5: Higher Elevations and back down

Did you know if you are over the age of 62, you can get a lifetime National Park Pass for $10? Did you know that at most National Parks that gets your whole vehicle in for free? If you are not over age 62, you can get a yearly pass for $80.

We are now entering Bryce Canyon. It is hazy because of a wildfire that is burning somewhere in Arizona or Colorado or Utah. They are all having issues with wildfires but Utah’s are mainly caused from target practice. I thought that was interesting.

Bryce Canyon is famous for its hoodoos. What is a hoodoo? Evidently it is a tall, thin rock that comes up from the bottom of a basin. There are a whole lot of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

Gambling fever has hit Wanda, Deniece and Joanne pretty bad and they are ready to head back to Vegas but on our way we climb even higher in elevation to Cedar Breaks National Monument. The canyon-rim visitor center sits at 10,350 feet above sea level. It was beautiful! The road was pretty curvy and I was riding shotgun so needless to say I said slow down on more than one occasion. But the view was worth it. The flowers were beautiful, in looked more like spring than summer in July!

So I decided to ride in the middle of the back seat on the way down but Wanda decides to take a right turn and head up even higher to Brian Head Peak (elevation 11,307 feet). Katy got a little too close to the edge and that Sagitarius aunt of hers got a little worried this time. It was really windy! It was worth it, thanks Wanda for taking the scenic route!

We stop in Cedar City to eat at the Little Brick House, which is not only a sandwich shop but also a gift/oddities/antiques shop. We had the Monday special which was buy one sandwich get another for half price. This was not only the least expensive meal we had but also the best lunch we had on the whole trip! That Chocolate Silk Pie was mmmmmm good! Be sure and stop in at The Little Brick House (50 West 400 South).

We make it to Vegas in record time. I enjoyed the scenery as the landscape changed continuously. I didn’t like our first night in Vegas so I am determined to see some of the things that Vegas is famous for. First stop after we check in at TI is the Bellagio.

It was beautiful! I loved the interior, the decorations and the flowers.

And of course we ate at the famous Bellagio Buffett. I had never seen so much food in my life. As Theresa pointed out “It had more food than Vance Godbey’s”! We stood in line for an hour and then agreed to sample things that we hadn’t had before and some things that we loved eating. The list included: pesto mashed potatoes, Kobe beef, banana’s foster, crème brulee, panna cotta, bread pudding, crab legs, macaroons, beef bourguignon and the list goest on!

We walk out just in time to get a spot to watch the water fountains outside the hotel.

We had back to TI to take a break, change our shoes and head over to Fremont Street to ride the zip line. But weariness caught up with me as I layed my head down for 5 minutes and was out for the night. Tomorrow is a new day!

See you on the road!


Day 4: Music and Mountains

Day 4: Music and Mountains

Sunday Morning up with the Lark, I think I’ll take a walk in the park! It’s a beautiful day!

After rising with the Sun on Friday and Saturday morning, our cabin decided to sleep in or at least we were going to until the rooster started crowing. It was a very loud rooster too, until Theresa hit the snooze button! Wanda and Deniece did go watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. The Lodge on the North Rim provides chairs and a great view of the canyon.

While we were standing in line waiting to purchase some bagels for breakfast I was stopped by an Australian! He was really interested in my tie-dye shirt that my sister Theresa had made. He was with a group of fellow Australians and they had flown to Los Angeles and then on to New York where they made a cross country bus ride across the United States. I thought it was interesting some of the stops they made along the way: Detroit, Chicago, . . . He asked where I was from and of course I said “Can’t you tell, I’m from Texas!” He said that I talked a lot slower than the people he met in New York City. I told him he should have gone to Georgia because I love the way they talk. That’s when the laughter started! He said “I dated a girl from Georgia once. She talked so slow that before she could tell me she wasn’t that kind of girl . . . she was!” His wife got on to him for telling that story again. It was interesting all of the different languages we heard while we were at the Grand Canyon.

As we left the Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, we sang our worship songs: Amazing Grace, Blessed Assurance, I’ll Fly Away and I can Only Imagine. My nose started hurting (which in the Bicknell family means you are about to cry) because I was thinking how much I would have enjoyed visiting the Grand Canyon with my dad. Theresa’s nose started hurting too and then we were both crying. I think we were both thinking about Dad because it was on July 1st, 1949 that mom and dad got married.

I am truly blessed that I was able to share the Grand Canyon with my daughter, Katy, my sister Theresa and my friends, Wanda, Deniece and Joanne.

As we leave Arizona and enter Utah the views begin to change, Utah is ruggedly beautiful and not what I expected. Our first stop is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park not very far from Kanab. This place appears to be a four-wheeler’s paradise.

It was so amazing how the view changed so quickly, something I would later discover happens frequently in southern Utah.

Zion National Park was a stop we almost didn’t make. Thank goodness Wanda and Deniece insisted we go. It was amazing! We went through two totally different kinds of tunnels on our way down into the canyon and the view on the way down was extraordinary. My only regret is that we didn’t take the shuttle and view the entire park. Just like on the south rim of the Grand Canyon certain areas are shut down to regular traffic so if you want to enjoy the beauty you need to ride the shuttle.

Short Tunnel

Zion National Park

See that little hole in the mountain? That is part of the 1.1 mile tunnel that was completed in 1930! And yes we really did drive through it.

This is definitely a place I will return to and explore more. Katy said she was going with someone who could keep up with her. She reminded us frequently that she was just one-quarter of a century to our one-half and three-fourths. Sigh.

Hunger pains strike and we are in rural Utah with no food. We stop at a convenience store and the cashier tells us the next best place to eat is Ruby’s Inn (which happens to be where we are headed). From the time we left Vegas our meal’s have all been on the pricey side and very few were worth the price! My favorite meal so far was the breakfast at the El Tovar Lodge (Grand Canyon South Rim). I had the Steel Cut Oats with seasonal berries and then we shared the El Tovar’s Pancake Trio with Buttermilk, Blue Cornmeal and Buckwheat Pancakes served with Honey Nut Pine Butter and Prickly Pear Syrup. Mmmmm. This was not to be the case at Ruby’s Inn. It makes you wonder if the locals get better food than the tourist.

After we dine, we drive down to Kodachrome Basin State Park which of course makes us all start singing “Kodachrome, You give us those nice bright colors, You give us the greens of summers, Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah! I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph, so mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”. Lol I am trying to remember if any of us had a Nikon camera!

Kodachrome Basin State Park & Wanda!

We thought this looked like a King on his horse!

This state park was an interesting side trip. We would look at the shapes and try to decide what the looked like. We got out and climbed around on big rocks and took a lot of pictures. We were actually headed to find Grosvenor Arch (located within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument) but it wasn’t meant to be! We had a white suburban going down a gravel road with warning signs about high clearance and we get to a low spot with water and decide to head back to Bryce Canyon. On the way back Wanda takes a scenic route and this is what we found:

Wanda was following the for sale signs!

But we also found this:

Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies!

T was tired!

We head back to the inn and discover the pathway to Mossy Creek and decide to take a hike. By Utah Hiker standards (and Katy’s) this was deemed an easy hike. I really need to talk to those people who say things are easy!

Halfway there!

It was beautiful and I am glad we stopped because the sunset was beautiful and if we had gone back any sooner we might have missed the beauty God was sharing with us.

Sunset in Utah

See you on the road!