White Mountain Trading Post in Mount Carmel, Utah May 14 – 21, 2024 (Part Four)

You can read Part One here, Part Two here and Part Three here.

After we left Bryce Canyon National Park around 11:30 am Saturday morning, we headed back to our campsite. On the way, we stopped at a rock shop so Cindy could see if there were any crystals she would like. I waited in Voyager while she went inside, but then got out to take a few photos of the outside of their store, especially the dinosaur. If you look closely at the photo, it seems like the old prospector cut-out is holding a nugget of gold and looking at the dinosaur’s butt. Or maybe that’s just the way I saw it, lol!

The Belly Of The Dragon

We got back to Nomad and had lunch and a short nap, then drove about a mile from Mount Carmel toward Kanab to check out The Belly of the Dragon. The entrance to The Belly of the Dragon is a little over a quarter mile off of the west side of Highway 89 and you’ll drive a bumpy sand and gravel road to get to it. There is no designated parking but you’ll see where other vehicles have parked or are parked when you arrive. We even saw someone boondocking a short distance away.

After you park you’ve got to hike a short distance to the entrance. Then you have to navigate down through a very narrow set of deep steps to get to the actual entrance. I wasn’t sure Cindy could succcessfully make her way down the almost treacherous steps, but she came through like the champ she is and made it down to the opening.

The Belly of the Dragon was originally dug out under Highway 89 for water drainage. Over the years, water flowing through the sandstone has carved out the undulating look of the floor, walls and ceiling. As you can see from the photos we took, it looks like you’re a walking colonoscopy tool. I like to say we hiked through the Alimentary Canal of The Beast. The tunnel is about 300 feet in length and opens up on the opposite (eastern) side of the highway to mountains towering above you and a short trail that dead ends. Unless you’re in the mood to hike UP the mountains and we weren’t.

You’ll also notice lots and lots of graffiti carved into the soft sandstone walls, especially around the entrance and exit. It IS against the law to deface the tunnel and there are stiff fines for doing so, but as you can see that hasn’t been a deterrent. It’s also advised NOT to try to hike through the tunnel when it is raining due to the dangers of being caught inside during a flash flood. Fortunately for us it was bone dry.

Ho-Made Pies

On the way back we stopped at the Thunderbird Restaurant for some dessert. Specifically their Ho-Made Pies. Remember, they said it, not me! I had a piece of Apple Caramel a la mode and Cindy had the Thunderberry Pie (strawberry, raspberry and blackberry) a la mode. Man, they were both delicious. We liked it so much that Cindy ordered another piece of Thunderberry to go and I got a piece of Chocolate Cream so we could have pie another night during our stay. It was REALLY good pie. They must have been made with crack.

Sunday we were up early again to just take a drive through Zion National Park and use our dashcam to record the drive. We did the same thing when we drove through Bryce Canyon National Park on Saturday and if I have time I’ll edit those videos and post them on our YouTube channel. We got back from the Zion National Park drive around 8:30 am and had breakfast then relaxed the rest of the day.

Monday was a day of errands and tasks. I gassed up Voyager, topped off our propane tanks, and washed the front of Nomad to get as much of the road grime and bug guts off that I could. Since we’re heading to stops of 14 days with no hookups I filled up our fresh water tank and moved the generator closer to the tailgate of Voyager for easier access. And, because we had full hookups here, I dumped the black, gray and galley tanks and flushed the black tank until you could drink out of it.

When we were planning this year’s trip last year we looked forward very much to these stops in Utah where we could visit 4 of the 5 national parks in the state. This stop we enjoyed Zion and Bryce Canyon. Next up is Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park. We hope you’ll join us for those visits.

Thanks for following The Wandering Wetheringtons.

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