Sunday, June 28, 2009
Larry, Lu, Galen and I drove over Boulder Mountain to Escalante today on one of the most beautiful roads in the USA. Rt. 12 runs from Torrey, Utah to Bryce Canyon National Park and through the amazing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The views alone are enough to call this area amazing but there is much more going on in this wild place. A few examples:
*Twenty species of bees live here that live nowhere else in the world. One species only likes cactus flowers.
*Dinosaurs that have not been discovered anywhere else in the world have been discovered here! Some discoveries are so new and strange that they don't even have names yet.
*The iron in the sandstone cliffs washes out. This not only changes the color of the sandstone, but the iron goes on and forms into little "marbles", little blocks, and even pipes sticking out the rocks.
We had planned to drive the road to the Devil's Backbone but were warned that it could be wet, slippery, and dangerous so went to the Devil's Garden for a picnic and some exploring.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Larry and Lu decided to celebrate their anniversary by renting a 4-wheel drive car to drive Cathedral Valley and invited us along. The road is almost 60 miles long, remote, rough in places, sandy in others, and loaded with washes that become quite dangerous in rain. Rain renders roads with any bentonite in them impassable. (Bentonite is a clay that gets gooey and very slippery.) We could see rain at the edges of the valley, but it never rained on us in the six hours it took us to get back to Utah Rt. 24. We took many photos.
Galen and I drove Cathedral Valley in 2006 in our 1 ton Dodge and couldn't make this hairpin on the first try. We pulled up to the edge of the cliff, backed up, and made it on the second try.
This photo shows the switchback we drove down into the valley. It is not hard to figure out where that sharp hairpin turn is.
From left to right: Temple of the Moon, Temple of the Sun, and Glass Mountain. Glass mountain isn't made of glass, it is made of gypsum, and isn't more than 10'-15' high but is interesting to see.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
At the far end of the Scenic Drive is a narrow, gravel road that takes you two miles down to the Capitol Gorge trail head. We read that one inch of rain on a nearby mountain can cause raging waters through this gorge so got an okay at the Visitor Center even though the sky was a clear, deep blue.
Larry up in the rocks again. He's just found our last cache of the day. The cache is in a beautiful area near Teasdale we never would have known about if there hadn't been a cache there.
Larry, Lu, and I found seven geocaches in the area around Torrey today.
The guy in the red shirt who just happened to walk by when I was taking this photo shows just how big this tree is.
This seems to be a favorite spot for family photos.
We watched this little guy while we ate our picnic lunch.
If you are only in Capitol Reef for a day or two, hike the Hickman Bridge Trail and drive the Scenic Drive. This is a photo of the Hickman Bridge. I made part of the photo black and white so the bridge will stand out.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Today is Larry and Lu's anniversary and we drove out to Panorama Point and the Goosenecks. This is a photo of the area that I took in 2006 from way up high on the Chimney Rock trail.
We went to Rim Rock pizza for lunch and were entertained by hummingbirds while waiting for our pizza.
At 9:00 pm we were entertained by bats swooping around us during a program about night life at the Capitol Reef Amphitheater. We learned that if you shine a light in the grass at night the eyes of wolf spiders will shine back at you! EEEK!