Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Monday, November 05, 2012


Visiting Bryce Canyon was one of the main reasons Ron and I wanted to travel to Utah. I'd heard for years how beautiful Bryce was, but would I be disappointed? The sights I'd already seen on this trip had taken my breath away. Could Bryce be any better, or as incredible as Zion Canyon?

We left Washington, Utah, early in the morning, checked into Bryce View Lodge that afternoon. We'd wanted to stay at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon, which was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the 1920s and is a National Historic Landmark, but it was all booked months before we planned our trip. Bryce View Lodge was sufficient, and restaurants were near by. We ate both dinner that night and breakfast the next day at Ruby's Inn, a place you will not want to miss if you go to Bryce Canyon. 

There are so many pictures I wanted to include in this blog post, i.e. shots of tenacious trees and wildflowers clinging to rocks and cliffs; steep trails I'd like to explore on horseback if I were guaranteed a sure-footed mount; Pronghorns, the fastest animal in the Western Hemisphere, second in the entire world to the African Cheetah; unique rock formations stretching toward heaven; ever-changing views as the sun moved across the sky; a raven and it's talons inches from the top of my head. There's one photo of a Bristlecone pine that I'll probably put on my facebook page. Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge.

 Entering Bryce Canyon National Park.

 I took this photo through our car's rear-view 
mirror. Click to enlarge, then study it carefully. 
Bailey and Melissa, this one's especially for y'all.

 I rim-walked to shoot this picture and many others.

 How one could look at all this 
splendor and not believe in God 
astounds me.
 Another view of massive Bryce Canyon.

 I snapped this picture of Dare-Devil man and his 
friend. Was he nuts? It's a LONG, 
bumpy, non-survivable drop from his perch.

 Dare-Devil took this picture of Nita, Bob, me 
and Ron in the same spot where they posed 
moments earlier. Note that we aren't as fool-hardy!
 I wonder if most people heed these warning signs. 
Lightning starts many of the forest fires in Bryce 
Canyon; we saw evidence of large burns.

Named "Natural Bridge," according to the tourist literature it 
really isn't. The "bridge" was carved by rushing streams. 
According to what I read, "more subtle forms of  weather 
sculpted the opening." Huh, I don't know about you, but 
that sounds pretty "natural" to me.
 Aqua Canyon. Enlarge to see the details.
These fairy-tale formations of eroded limestone are 
considered by some to be sacred ground and are called
Click to enlarge and you'll see two hikers in the bottom left of the above photo.

While  sight-seeing in Bryce Canyon, we figured being at either Sunrise or Sunset Points at, well, either sunrise or sunset, was a must-do. Which should it be? Because we'd need to leave our motel at 4:00 a.m. in order to be situated at the point by 5:00 a.m., we opted to catch the sunset. The following  are four out of the one or two hundred pictures I took that evening. Remember, click to enlarge.

Below are two pictures taken the next day as we left Bryce.  

I really hated to leave Bryce Canyon, would have stayed longer if I could have, but there were places to go, things to see, people to meet. And we did meet some interesting people while in Utah. Some offered to take pictures of the four of us with my camera so we could have a few group shots. We used what little French we remembered to "converse" with a group of French tourists, spoke to seasoned tourists from California who told us Kolob Canyon, another part of Zion National Park, was their favorite place. We went to Kolob, loved it, and yes, took lots of pictures. But Bryce topped everything.

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