Monday, September 21, 2009

Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City

After returning from Denver - Jill planned a little 'adventure' for my birthday (a week early). Just the two of us to go to Cedar City to see a few plays as part of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. She arranged a nice little Bed & Breakfast across the street from the theater. This place was quite charming. Called the Garden Cottage Bed and Breakfast - it was for all intents and purposes a British Garden Cottage. Built in the 1920s and where the proprietors raised their children, it has been a B&B for the last 13 years. Quaint, romantic, and quite 'old school' the place was very enjoyable. (far better than any hotel in Cedar City could have been) Here's their web site - check it out if you ever want to go to Cedar City! I can highly recommend it. We first saw the play 'Tuesdays With Morrie'. I had read the book years ago and thought it was full of nice 'platitudes'. But this was a very moving rendition of the story - told by just two actors on stage, with minimal, yet effective, props.For about the first 20 minutes or so, you were watching actors. But then as the play continued you were just watching the characters and the story unfold. It was a tear-jerker for me. (but I'm a wimp and will cry at just about anything) Highly recommended!

Saturday morning after a great breakfast at the B&B we drove up to see 'Cedar Breaks'. A national monument just 20 miles from Cedar City. We've driven past here on I-15 50+ times... and never took the time to check out the National Monument that close.
It wasn't a 'Bryce Canyon' - but close.

The site is above 10,000 feet. From the East you just see high-mountain meadows... then you get to the edge and it drops precipitously carving through the colored layers of soil. Quite impressive.

We then drove toward 'Brianhead' ski resort. But along the way saw the actual Brian Head Peak. Elevation 11,307 - 3,446m. Only about 400 feet lower than the mighty Mount Timpanogos behind our house.

So we drove up there. It was on a gravel road, kind of like driving to Pike's Peak in Colorado. From the top you could see into not only Utah (of course) but Nevada and Arizona as well. There was a man-made little 'hoodoo' out on a little promontory - so I hiked over there and added a couple of rocks to leave my mark.

After passing through the Brianhead ski resort, we took a left turn and traveled back over the mountains via the 'Dry Lakes Byway' a steep, gravel road that winds up and down the mountains cutting due West up and over the mountain range there. More high mountain meadows, dense forests, grand vistas, then dropping down a very steep grade for the final 5 miles to finally join back up with I-15. Good thing we took the 4WD Honda Element on this trip. We saw some amazing country that we'd never seen before.

Brian Head Peak - 11,307' - 3,446m
Here's a 'zoom in' shot of the same Brian Head Peak - Hoodoos on right

Hoodoo out on promontory

Honda Element up at 11,000ft - moonscape

Hoodoo from the side

Trees dying because of Spruce Beetle Infestation

Bristlecone Pine's also hurt by Beetles

Archway in Cedar Breaks

Cedar Breaks from Sunrise View - 10,300ft - dropping off plataeu

Looking South towards Arizona

On 'trail' cutting over mountains looking back at Cedar Breaks

Fall colors starting to show

Then in the afternoon was another play. This one was a comedy - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) - Three actors. Ninety-seven minutes. All thirty-seven of the Bard’s plays—and the sonnets! Including large doses of clowning, street theatre, and vaudeville thrown in for good measure. This irreverent, hilarious, and lightning-paced overview of the greatest plays of all time left us laughing, jumping up and down, and waving our arms in enjoyment. Jill never had such fun! The boys would have really enjoyed it! Then after watching a very disappointing BYU vs Florida State football game (I only got to watch through half time - but that was more than enough - by the way, I don't want to talk about it) we headed back to the theater for our final play.

It was 'The Lady in Black' - well, we got two good plays out of three. Neither Jill or I enjoyed this one. It was way to slow. There was enough material for about a nice 20 mintute ghost story... and they tried to stretch it to 2 hours. I've never wanted to walk out of a play before... I didn't, but the desire was there.

Overall - it was a very nice weekend with my wife. Thanks Jill!


Janet said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing. You made me want to go stay at the B&B and drive out to Brianhead.

Jill Parsons said...

thanks for a great weekend Keith. Love you!

Gramps said...

Great photo's and report on your trip.
I think that area is under rated as far as beauty and elevation. Glad you got to enjoy it and become a Shakespearean!

Gram said...

Loved your recap of the weekend. The photos were beautiful. I never knew what a "hoodoo" was before. I think you were brave to put a rock on top. I'd love to take the same trip but we don't have 4-wheel drive.

We certainly enjoyed our first trip to Cedar Breaks on the first time at the Shakespearean Festival.

thegardencottagebnb said...

Thank you Keith and Jill for staying with us at The Garden Cottage Bed and Breakfast! It was soooo nice to meet you both! I loved reading about your visit to the Festival and our beautiful mountains. Come back soon!
Warmest Regards,

thegardencottagebnb said...

Oh... Great Pictures too!

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