As a student of weather, I loved seeing the red rocks of Zion highlighted by dark grey storm clouds and frosted with snowflakes. The blizzard-like conditions, however, were not so delightful for driving. After a serene drive up Zion Canyon under red cliffs with names like The Great White Throne and The Temple of Sinawava, I headed east via the Zion Mount Carmel Highway (through a mile long tunnel) to catch 89 north to begin heading to Salt Lake City.
About an hour later, the rain turned to snow and the snow turned into a full-fledged blizzard with white out conditions. When the unplowed snow reached the level of my bumper, I deemed it wise to turn around. I headed south back through Zion and picked up 15 north. Soon the highway became a white vortex and I passed many accidents. Even though the new Subaru handled the conditions admirably, I decided a night at the next exit, in the big metropolis of Cedar City (pop. 27,000), seemed appropriate.
After checking into the hotel right off the highway, I pondered whether or not to risk the mile drive to the Chili's across the overpass. I decided not to risk my life for an order of enchiladas and hit the hotel vending machine. I am now cozy in my motel room watching movies on TBS. Steel Magnolias just started.
Footnote: Being stranded by a blizzard was worth it--I just got to see Viggo Mortensen and Dennis Kucinich debate Sean Hannity on Fox News.