After being surrounded for so many days by rocks and the desert, this afternoon came as a little surprise for us. From the beginning I suspected something is going to happen while we proceeded the US 20 highway southwards. The road made a gentle but steady climb, the temperature dropped by 15ºC, the clouds appeared and it started raining. The landscape dramatically changed: no more rocks, gorges, deserts. First pine then thousands of birch trees appeared. It could be Massachusetts or Vermont - I thought. We entered the Dixie National Forest. I had never suspected such a landscape could exist in Southern Utah, shame on me! The Dixie Forest was enormous: over 250 km long ( like 1/3 of the whole Poland ) and I had no idea it even existed ! That can surely give you the perspective how huge Southern Utah is. Anyway, the Forest was a very pleasant change of landscape. We stopped at the top of the hill at a view point, breathed a clean fresh air. We will be needing that - I thought. We were about to enter the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - one of the less explored, remote areas in US and the last place in the continental United States to be mapped. Maciek.