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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default Day 6 - Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef along UT-12 & 24

    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

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    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.)

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    Looking down toward the road where we're going:
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    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.

    IMG_7628

    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

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    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:
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    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.

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    Orchard:
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    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.

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    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.)



    Donna
    Last edited by Tom_H007; 07-27-2019 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Added map

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef.

    Margaret and i wanted to do that run across from Bryce through the Reef and onto Moab last year but we got confused. Maybe i should say I got confused by the sign leaving Bryce and went straight across the intersection instead of turning right. We even have a photo of the sign. To a dummy like me, i misunderstood they layout of sign. We ended up in Salina for the night.
    Looks like we missed out on some great scenery. Maybe we will have to come back again and have a look. Meantime, we are loving the photo's.

    Keithg

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,112

    Default

    You should have taken that dirt road down into the gorge. When it's dry, it's an easy drive. There's a parking lot down at the end at the trailhead.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default

    We didn't do the dirt road for several reasons. First and foremost, it was HOT (in the upper 90s) and we were baking. The AC was working hard. Second, it was dry but we saw a lot of dust kicking up from other vehicles and all I thought was, "OH! My allergies!" Third, hubby wasn't interested in driving a dirt road after what happened to one of our tires two years ago. Though we have a spare, we didn't want to have to replace a tire down the line in the middle of nowheresville. I'd already been down there, albeit 40+ years before.

    The trail down there goes to "The Tanks".....did that, 40+ years ago, too. The idea of a soak got my dad to hike. And by golly, we found water in several of them!


    Donna

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default Day 7 - Torrey to Monticello via UT-24, UT-95 and US-191

    Day 7 - Torrey to Monticello, 213 miles

    We had a leisurely morning today, knowing that we only had 200 or 250 miles to drive and one major sightseeing stop. Got up early to wash our clothes because we were running out of socks, and besides, it's Saturday! Had the complimentary breakfast at the motel, which was a hot breakfast, packed up, went down to the convenience store to buy ice, and headed out.

    It was some mighty scenic driving we did, east on UT-24 then south on UT-95, before heading north on US-191 at Blanding. After so much red rock, though, I think we were burned out on it.


    Click here for this RTA Library Map

    The Behunin Cabin, part of Capitol Reef National Park. This was a tiny cabin that at one time, held a family with 13 children.

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    IMG_1327 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr

    Exiting Capitol Reef area, heading toward Hanksville on UT-24:
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    We crossed Lake Powell, or the north end of it which looks more like a wider river at this point, on the Hite Bridge. Travelers should know that the ferry that crosses the Lake at Bullfrog Marina is broken and not anticipated to be repaired any time soon. It didn't concern us, but if someone wanted to ride a ferry, you're out of luck right now.

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    A windshield photo:
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    The Hite Bridge wasn't all that fancy. I guess I expected too much.
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    Turning into Natural Bridges National Monument, we saw “bridges” (which we call arches, but we're not sure what the difference is) and one hike took us to a viewpoint of some ancient Anasazi cliff dwelling ruins.

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    Be careful where you step:

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    Love the way the rocks seem to "swirl".
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    Horsecollar Ruin Overlook. You'll have to look carefully, those ruins are in the shadows. They did that for protection.
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    We got into our motel just after 3, unpacked, and went for a swim. This trip, we have had indoor pools at every motel except at the Grand Canyon. I looked for pools, not really caring if they were indoor or outdoor because this is “winter country”.

    Dinner was across the street from our motel (Inn at the Canyons, Monticello) in a place called Doug's. I had a “BBQ salad” which was basically a chef salad using pinto beans instead of eggs, and BBQ chicken instead of regular chicken. Hubby had ribs which he said were delicious. The BBQ salad was great! For a small town, there were a number of dinner offerings, from this place to a "healthy" place next door, or go around the corner to R & F. There's also an ice cream place, called "Shake Shack". We didn't indulge, but the cones coming out looked yummy.

    We spent the rest of the evening reading.

    Donna
    Last edited by Tom_H007; 08-18-2019 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Replaced map

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default

    I couldn't have helped myself Donna. I would have to go to the Shake Shack. hehe.

    Keith

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default Day 8 - Canyonlands National Park

    Day 8 - Sunday, July 14 - Canyonlands National Park

    This morning we got up at a decent hour because the alarm clock in the room went off precisely at 6 am! It must have been set either by a previous tenant in the room, or by Housekeeping, because we didn't set it. We readied ourselves for the day, grabbed a quick breakfast in the Breakfast Room at the motel, then headed out. Got fuel, had to come back to the room for a forgotten item, then drove north.


    Click here for this RTA Library Map


    It was further than I thought to Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky unit, by far the most popular unit. It was over 80 miles from Monticello! Did that up really well, took the hike to Mesa Arch, did some other walking, then headed back for Moab in time for lunch.

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    Green River Overlook:
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    We found the McDonald's and grabbed sandwiches. We began to wonder why we hadn't stayed in Moab. I know hubby really didn't want to stay there again, but I don't think we realized just how far Monticello was from Island in the Sky. Then too, I'm not sure we really planned on doing Island in the Sky because we'd seen Dead Horse Point State Park about 7 years ago or so.

    Then headed south for the Needles District of Canyonlands. Took forever to get out there and then we were a bit disappointed with it. Couldn't get close enough to the Needles for decent photos!

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    Telephoto shot of Wooden Shoe Arch:
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    Regular shot of Wooden Shoe Arch:
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    Leaving the Needles District:
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    It was after 4 when we finally got back to the room, well over 9 hours after we'd left. I'd guessed we would put 200 or 250 miles on the truck, but it was closer to 300. In retrospect, I wish we'd stayed in Moab, though this motel is nice enough!

    Dinner was "eat in". We had a microwave, and some leftovers from Friday evening's dinner. So we cooked in, enjoyed their pool, and relaxed, because we only had driving days ahead of us.

    Donna
    Last edited by Tom_H007; 07-28-2019 at 04:37 AM. Reason: Added map

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default Day 9 - Monticello UT to Flagstaff AZ

    Day 9 - Monday, July 15 - Monticello UT to Flagstaff, AZ - 268 miles

    Today was mostly a driving day, though it was scenic in places. But we started out late because we knew we only had about 250 miles to drive plus an hour of gained time. (Utah is on Mountain Daylight Time, but Arizona stays on Mountain Standard Time. Except for the Navajo Nation, whose territory we were in until just before Kayenta.) We drove down US-191 to US-163, then US-160 to US-89.


    Click here for this RTA Library Map

    After Mexican Hat and Huachita, we got lovely views of Monument Valley. We made a number of stops because one view in particular has two names. First, in the household I grew up in, it was, “Road Road, Where Does It Go?” which my mom coined back in 1973, the first and only other time I'd seen Monument Valley. Then, this is the part of “Forrest Gump” movie where Forrest stops his three years of running across the country. So it's also known as Forrest Gump Hill.

    View coming into Mexican Hat:
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    Crossing the Little Colorado again:
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    Forrest Gump Hill:
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    More Monument Valley:
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    Elephants Feet:
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    The views were mostly desert scrub once we passed through Monument Valley. At Kayenta we made a pit stop. It was also hot. Shortly after Tuba City, we closed our Lollipop Loop when US-160, which we had joined at Kayenta, junctioned with US-89. We took the 89 down to Flagstaff.

    Closing our Lollipop Loop:
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    Bridge at Cameron (I think):
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    Flagstaff traffic was a bit heavy. We just rode Historic 66 through town and then out to the Maverik Station. After fueling up for the morning, we headed to the motel, where we checked in, unloaded, enjoyed the pool, and eventually went out to dinner.

    Things noted about this trip: We were in the boondocks a LOT. Cell service went from good to bad to non-existent. When cell service WAS available, we might have been on 1X or 3G data service, which basically meant I could not send a text message with a photo attached. Most of the national parks we were at had NO cell *or* WiFi, though you could get it occasionally at Bryce Canyon. The motels we stayed at, with the exception of the Grand Canyon Lodge, supposedly had wifi, but I could not rely on it for much beyond email. That's why this trip report was significantly delayed in comparison to earlier trips of ours.


    Day 10 - Home Again! Flagstaff to Home in San Diego County, 486 miles

    Hubby got me out of bed early, at 4 am, as he'd woken up and decided that it might be cooler to drive the desert in the earlier part of the day. Can't say I disagreed, so we readied ourselves, packed up the truck (in the dark) and were on the road before 5 am. The trip went quickly. We had breakfast in a Cracker Barrel at exit 117 from I-10 in Buckeye. (We took I-17 to Loop 303, to I-10, to AZ-85, to I-8. Then home.) We fueled up in Yuma. Other than a few stops at rest areas, we headed straight home.


    Click here for this RTA Library Map

    Home was looking good when we got there, but it was well over 90 and the house itself was stuffy. Time for the A/C while we unloaded, unpacked, and relaxed a little.

    We love to travel, but we love to get home, too!

    No pics from the final day. It's too familiar to us, after so many years (almost 40) of transiting between San Diego and Phoenix to see family.


    Donna
    Last edited by Tom_H007; 07-28-2019 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Added second map

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,672

    Default Thanks for sharing.

    I enjoyed your Red rock tour and photos Donna, thanks for sharing. We have twice been to Capitol Reef and not been able to drive the scenic road, once we arrived just after dark but had to continue on to Hanksville for the night and the second time it had washed out after heavy rain and was closed. Third time lucky perhaps !

    Love the view of Washerwoman rock looking through Mesa Arch.

    Dave.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default

    Love the view of Washerwoman rock looking through Mesa Arch.
    That view was one of three views that we were able to take in, that are featured on the Windows 10 US National Park desktop wallpaper slideshow. The first was Bryce Canyon's Amphitheater at Inspiration Point, then the Eph Hanks Tower at Capitol Reef, and finally, the view through Mesa Arch. I have to admit that the Eph Hanks Tower did not jump out at me while in Capitol Reef. It wasn't until I uploaded the photos that we'd taken (and thankfully, one of them with the label) that I realized the connection!


    Donna

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