Various: Blanding to the Colorado River

I originally titled this post Blanding to Joseph but there are so many good pictures I’m splitting it into two groups.  I’ll post the others tomorrow.

These were some of the things I saw while driving from Colorado to Utah yesterday.

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This bridge took me over the Colorado River.

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I’ll post more pictures from the river to where I’m currently staying in Joseph, Utah tomorrow night.

Oh Deer!

A cautionary tale…

As I drove east-to-west towards Joseph, Utah yesterday evening I traversed a 20 mile or so stretch of road where there were numerous signs warning about deer and elk crossing the road.  Even though it was dusk, I didn’t see any.  This driver wasn’t so lucky.

Cause:

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Effect:

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This car wasn’t here when I drove through last night (although the deer was apparently lurking nearby).  I stopped to make sure it hadn’t just happened.  There was no one in the vehicle, and only the driver’s side airbag had deployed.  The deer was about 50 yards back from the direction of travel.  I left a note saying I hoped the driver was OK and was on my way.  I saw two more dead deer, both still in the middle of my travel lane, within two miles of where this had happened.

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Since we’re in cautionary tale mode, let’s talk again about hydration.

The first rule of hydration is, you don’t talk about hydration.  No…. wait…. that’s Fight Club.  The first rule of hydration is, I don’t care if you talk about it, just do it.  This is the High Desert.  That means it’s a double whammy.  High (meaning altitude) and Desert (meaning dry and hot).  I don’t think I was anywhere today where I was below 5,280 feet  (1 mile) of elevation.  You can’t drink too much water.  And you must stay ahead of it.  If your throat gets parched or if you show signs of dehydration, you may be in trouble.

I carry twelve bottles of water in my cooler, and since arriving in Utah I don’t even wait until they are all empty before refilling them, I do it when only half of them are empty.  I also carry several big bottles of water at all times (hence the trip to Dollar Tree).

Yesterday I stopped where a vehicle full of young people had pulled off the road with their hood up.  Their car had overheated and they had already used what little water they had with them.  I gave them two of my big bottles.  I had also come across a guy in a Jeep which was overheated back when I was in Washington state and he had used up all of his.  When you travel in this environment you have to be prepared.

Going back to Capitol Reef

I had driven east-to-west through Capitol Reef National Park on my way to Joseph yesterday.  By the time I reached the Park I had stopped taking pictures as I was on the clock to get to my Airbnb before dark (I barely made it).  I went back to the Park today, albeit for only a brief time.  These are some of the photos I took between 1000am when I left the little town of Richfield where I had made several stops (gas, Walmart, Dollar Tree and the post office), and the Park entrance, which I reached at 1230.

Shop at Howie’s for all your worm and propane needs.

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And keep in mind, I haven’t even reached the Park yet!

 

 

Capitol Reef National Park

Once I reached Capitol Reef I had about 2 1/2 hours before my self-imposed “turn around” time of 300pm (to get back to Joseph before dark) to take pictures.  I took lots of photos but don’t want to overwhelm you all at one time.  I’ll post many more at a future time but here are some of the highlights.

First, I’ll cut right to the chase and show you why this Park is called Capitol Reef.  This is the Capitol Dome formation which looks somewhat like the US Capitol building in Washington DC, our nations capital.

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I walked around a bit from where I was parked and noticed one small area on a large rock formation next to the road which had some unusual colors.

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As I walked in towards it for a closer look I had to be careful not to step on this patch of cactus.

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When I got in for a close inspection I decided to go to the car for my digital camera.  I went back in off the road and got these closeup shots.

 

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Next, I drove a short distance and parked in the lot where I could hike up to the Hickman Natural Bridge.  When I read that this was a one mile hike, mostly uphill and fairly strenuous, I was hesitant (I’m not in good shape and, especially at elevation, I don’t typically venture very far off the road). My Airbnb hostess said that it was absolutely worth the effort so up I went.  Although it is only about a mile each way, it took me an hour and a half round trip, taking frequent breaks for photo ops, resting in the shade and drinking two bottles of water I brought in with me.

It was definitely worth it.

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A look down at the road through the Park.

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Finally, I could see it.

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If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see a young lady (sitting with her family, who you can’t see).

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There were two guys from Germany who had passed me on the way up sitting in the shade and I stopped and talked with them for a few minutes while I caught my breath.  The advice I gave to almost all the young people I saw walking up the trail was “Stay in shape!”.

After a while I started my descent.

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I thought the rock formation on the right of the path deserved a closer inspection.

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This is a closeup of the hole at the bottom of the photo above.

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And I finally made it back down to the parking area.

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It was now 427pm, well past my 3 o’clock “turn around” time, so I hopped in the car and headed for home.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures on the way out so I made it in plenty of time.

 

Going Home: CRNP to Joseph

As I was leaving Capitol Reef National Park these Rangers were lined up to wave goodbye to me.   Awwwwww, how thoughtful….

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Actually, they were waving goodbye to a Ranger who retired today after 30 years on the job.

Here are some final shots as I drove west and back to Joseph.

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This was just before I descended down into the valley leading to the interstate.

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