Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, Oct. 2: On the road to Grand Junction, Colorado

It is 21 degrees and sunny this morning. We are up and in the park at Sunrise Point by 7:45AM. Actual sunrise was at 7:28AM. There aren’t too many people out. We walk along the rim and get some nice pictures. We then stop at the Visitors Center and watch the movie, get a stamp for the book and get a pin for Jack. We see some mule deer on the way back to the rig. Dick gets the rig and car hooked up and we are on the road by 9:30AM. We head east on Hwy 12, one of Utah’s scenic byways. We again field of ice where the farmers have watered to help protect the crops from the freezing temperatures. It passes by several State Parks and goes through Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. It is a very dramatic drive as we wind through canyons and up and over ridge lines in all shades of cream, brown and red with a touch of bright green and yellow in the trees along the few streams. We really like this drive. At one point, high above the Escalante River, we are driving on the top of the ridge on a two lane road (Devil’s backbone),there is no shoulder and it is straight down a 1000 feet to the river on one sideand to Calf Creek on the other.This section of the road was not paved until the 1985.

We can see a line of mountains in the distance and sure enough the land changes from the arid canyon land to high mountains with stands of aspen and spruce.

We cross over the 9,000 plus foot summit and have a grand view toward Capitol Reef National Park.
We get to Capitol Reef, a rugged red line of high cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires, stark monoliths, twisting canyons and graceful arches that were a huge barrier to the early westward movement. We turn northeast. It is a great drive through the park. The formations are grand. We were here in 2003, so we don’t spend too much time, just took a few pictures.

Finally about 5PM we get to I-70 and head straight to Grand Junction, Colorado. We get to the camp ground about 7PM. It has been a long day, but the drive was pretty. The good thing is we now have a short day for tomorrow, about 100 miles as we drive over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton and Durango, CO.

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