Day 6 - Friday, July 12 - Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef, 159 gorgeous miles
We set out this morning, packed up and checked out, heading first back into Bryce Canyon. We first went out to Sunset Point and looked, photos, etc., then out to Fairyland Canyon. Hubby took an impromptu hike down into the Canyon a little ways. I wasn't really prepared to go hiking (I had my purse) so I didn't go out as far as he did.
Click here for this RTA Library Map
Then we headed out, fueled up (diesel, $3.19/gal), and drove up to UT-12. It is listed as an All-American Scenic By Way and for very, very good reason. It is absolutely beautiful! The road is very winding in places, and at one point, you are actually driving on a ridge where there is very little shoulder and it's a long way down! There are two passes between Tropic and Torrey. One was up about 7500 ft in elevation and the other was 9600 ft. The highway builders put in a few scenic pullouts that we took advantage of. (Some of these next photos will be "windshield photos", as there wasn't always a good place to pull over in our long pick-up truck.)
Looking down toward the road where we're going:
It was nearing noon when we got up to Capitol Reef NP, which is on UT-24. We took our time in CRNP, as we knew we had loads of time before we could check into our motel. The Visitor Center was a must, as was the Gift Shop. We are now covered for 2020 calendars, as we bought the NP calendar as well as one from the Colorado Plateau which will remind one of our summer trip all next year.
Then we drove out on the scenic drive, stopping at the Blacksmith Shop and the Gifford House in the Fruita Historic Area first.
IMG_1289 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
It got HOT while we were out on that winding narrow scenic drive. Had to turn on the AC. We stopped a few times, then turned around at the spot where the road turns into dirt road. (I remembered later that I've been out on that dirt road, years and years ago.)
If you have the national park wallpaper slideshow for Windows 10, this peak may be familiar. This is a day shot; Windows photo is a night shot with a very starry sky:
If you'd like to see more photos, please click on one of the IMG_XXXX links. It will take you to my Flickr account where there are a LOT more.
Driving back up the scenic road and hitting a few scenic spots that were now on our side of the road, the picnic area beckoned. There, we rested our eyes, ate a snack and drank some fluids, then went out for a walk along the Fremont River. There were orchards out there that you could walk through, with apple trees and apricot trees.
When we thought we'd had enough, we drove over to the old Fruita Schoolhouse which was rather disappointing since it was locked and you couldn't go inside. I'm sure it was locked because they were short on rangers and volunteers to be there to keep an eye out for it. Otherwise it might be destroyed.
The motel we'd chosen was in Torrey, 11 miles back on UT-24. It's Broken Spur Inn and Restaurant. They allowed us to check in before the 4 pm check-in time, and we unloaded before enjoying the pool. Then relaxed before going to dinner at their steakhouse. The food was delicious, especially the prime rib which was done perfectly. Yum. We even took back leftovers, knowing that we had a motel or two coming up that had a microwave in the room for us. (We always carry eating utensils.)