Friday, October 10, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The Bentonite Hills in Capitol Reef National Park can in the right light be very colorful and are sometimes called Rainbow Bentonite. They are a remnant of volcanic ash and look like colorful styrofoam packing material. Beneath this is clay which can absorb large amounts of water and was used by the pioneers to seal roofs and also to lubricate wagon wheels. This also make the trails impassable in the rain.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
|Start of the Switchbacks|
|Paved Section at West end of Burr Trail|
From highway 24 we took the Notom-Bullfrog Road which was in good condition except for a few places were washes were still running but passable. About 32 miles in the Burr Trail heads west with some spectacular rocky switchbacks. The Burr Trail ends in Boulder and the last part is paved.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
This truck about ten miles off the highway was a well drilling rig that had been here for some time. It still had the wooden superstructure with lots large metal gears. It even had a dead rattlesnake on the seat. Next to if was a large cattle tank with a pipe from an artesian well filling it with water and running out into the desert forming a wetlands full of cattails.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
|Temple of the Sun and Moon as Dawn|
We did get to the temples in Cathedral valley at dawn About the same time the rain we were driving into hit. Remembering all the washes we crossed we left the same way we came just staying on the edge of the rain. Normally in Arizona and even Colorado you can drive 4WD roads in the rain as long as they are not washed out but in this area of Utah there is a lot of clay and even a little rain can make it very slippery. Impossibly slippery.
Glass Mountain, really just a small mound, consists of selenite crystals making an interesting geological feature.
The planed trip to Cathedral Valley is a 59 mile loop drive on a dirt road that starts at Caineville and ends with fording the Fremont River to get back to Highway 24. In order to get to the Temple of the Sun and Moon by sunrise we must leave at 4:30 AM. As there had been rain in the area we decided to ford the river just to make sure that at the end of the 59 miles we could make it back to town.
Friday, October 3, 2014
|Cottonwoods on Escalante River|
|Aspens in Dixie Forest|
Utah Highway 12 from Bryce Canyon to Torrey is one of the most scenic drives you can take. In addition there are so many great side trips it would take months to see it all. Hole in the Rock Road is a dirt road that goes over 50 miles ending at a cliff above Lake Powell. In 1879 a Mormon wagon train cut a primitive route in the cliff to get down to and cross the Colorado River.
Many great hiking trails start from Hole in the Rock Road and it gives access to numerous slot canyons such as Peek-a-Boo, Spooky, Zebra, and Tunnel. We went as far as Devils Garden and then headed to Boulder. One stretch takes you on a narrow ridge with a ribbon of green cottenwoods along the river. In another month they will all be colored yellow. The trailhead to Lower and Upper Calf Creek is also in the area and Lower Calf Creek falls is certainly one of the most spectacular places in this area.
From Boulder you climb the plateau into the Dixie National Forest where the Aspen are now at their peak fall colors. Boulder is also the start of the Burr Trail which joins Notom-Bullfrog Road, a dirt road going from Highway 24 to the Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. Later, if it is not flooded out we plan to take both of these.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Kodachrome Basin is on a paved road just north on the trail to Grosvenor Arch. It is known for its spectacular rock columns. Today our paper reported that a couple on the paved road going back to their camp in the park were washed 500 yards down the Paria River when a flash flood washed the road out. They were able to kick out the back window of their upside down car and were rescued. When traveling in these remote areas we carried lots of food and water and are careful crossing washes but know we may be stuck there for several days. We did avoid being stuck but were unable to get into a lot of places we wanted to go.