My memory does not tell me why I got side-tracked last summer with presenting my summer vacation, but I did. Now is the time to finish it. (And who is going to complain about some warmer-weather pictures?)

I left you at Red Canyon, outside of Bryce Canyon. From there we went to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

We go to this place every single summer. I have a convention every summer in Salt Lake City which is why we take these family vacations to western National Parks. The very first year we passed through Cedar Breaks, and we always return because it is so beautiful. The wildflower meadows are a place that we must get a picture of our kids each year. The times of year we have gone have varied which means the flowers have varied at lot when we have been there. But it is always a wonderful sight, and perfect for pictures of little girls.

(I must warn you that friends and a fellow blogger have been there as well and have not had the spectacular weather we seem to be blessed with. The elevation is over 10,000 feet, so weather can be unpredictable, but it has always been spectacular for us. There is a big ski resort in the area for winter visits, but leaving toward Salt Lake would scare me to death if the roads were bad.)

This is the big attraction--the "breaks." It reminds me a lot of Bryce Canyon, but not so many hoodoos. This is looking right into the area.

This is looking left in the same area.

Thankfully they had a quick Junior Ranger program here because we are always passing through. The Junior Ranger program is really a good one. It not only teaches children about the area and nature, but about being responsible with nature.

A week earlier or later and one would see completely different colors in a field like this.

I am sure these are not uncommon, but Cedar Breaks is one of the few places I have personally seen white thistle.

The wildflowers alone would be reason enough to detour here every year, but the "breaks" in the background make it absolutely spectacular. This is one of my favorite places I have ever been.

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click photo to enlarge

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Before the canyons and wildflower part, a little bit about the Convention I attended:

My upline with St*mpin’ Up! was at Convention. She is one of my dearest (that’s really not an appropriate word for our relationship, but it helps with what I am trying to say. Neither of us are the “dear” type, but “best” does not convey the appropriate meeting) friends. When I became a demonstrator for stamping, I had never met her; we met over a year later at a stamping convention. We have never lived near one another (which seems to be criteria for my close friends), but keep in touch through e-mail and seeing one another a few times a year at stamping events.

Anyway, I cannot remember if I plugged her blog here yet. I was going to, but think that in the frenzy of getting ready before my trip I did not. She just started blogging recently and has an interesting life living in the sticks of Tennesee. She did a couple of posts about the convention we attended, so I thought I would send you to look there instead of repeating similar information. Check out this post and this one to see what I was up to for part of my vacation. Then if you have a minute, check out the rest of her blog. She has a humorous view of life on the farm.

Between Zion and Salt Lake City we made a small detour to Cedar Breaks National Monument. This is one of our favorite spots ON THE PLANET. (OK, I’ve traveled very little of the planet as a whole, but it is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.) We love it because there is a rocky canyon on one side of the road and alpine-like wildflower meadows on the other. The first time we visited we were breathless. We have been back twice, and try to go every year possible when we have to go to Salt Lake for Convention. I am building a collection of pictures of Chic and Chicklet in the wildflowers.

Every time we have been to Cedar Breaks has been about a week later than the previous time, and the flowers have been different every time. We will be even later next year, so I have no idea what will be there, but hopefully it will still be beautiful.

The last trip to this place (two years ago) is what made me decide I wanted a digital SLR. I had been using a very old 35 mm that I was hooked on from almost childhood (Konica TC), but it was old with a dead battery, and the light meter did not work. (Sue me for needing a light meter.) Many of my pictures from that trip were overexposed. This time most of the canyon shots were overexposed as well. We were there only a few minutes, leaving me no time for experimentation, but there must be something about the lighting and reflections of the place that creates overexposed pictures. Maybe it is just the photographer.

None of these photos are fantastic, but I hope they give you a tiny flavor as to why this is a wonderful place to visit. Again and again.

By Louise Cannon