Arches’ Arches

As promised, here are the arches I saw Thursday while I was at Arches National Park.








The main attraction at Arches is Delicate Arch.  If you’ve ever seen a Utah license plate, you’ve seen Delicate Arch.

And don’t adjust your set.  As seen from the vantage point where I took these photos the ground at the Arch does slope quite a bit downward from right to left.







I’m going back to Arches on Sunday on my way to Grand Junction, Colorado.  There was a small section of the Park which was closed the day I was there and it is supposed to reopen for the holiday weekend.

I’ll post the other “zoom” pictures from Arches at a later date.  I hit you with a lot of brown pictures yesterday so I’m going to add a lot of other colors today.


Various places today

You don’t know how disappointed I was when I discovered that I apparently didn’t take a picture that I would have bet money I did.

This is Weston and his Dad.


Dad was trying to teach Weston to jump down from the ledge in front of the water dispenser (while securely holding his hands, of course).  Weston was reluctant, and repeatedly tried stepping off instead of jumping.  I tried to put my two cents in and kind of act like I was jumping off a ledge.  Weston caught on and sure enough, jump he did.  I was sure I caught him in mid-air on my smartphone camera, but it isn’t there.  I am just sick about it.  Weston got all excited and wanted to do it again and again.  His parents were being very patient with me and I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.  If they are looking at the blog I am SO SORRY that I didn’t capture Weston’s moment of discovery.  It was priceless.


Later in the day a pickup truck pulled out a ways up the road in front of me.  When I caught up I saw that there were three guys in the back, all dressed up.  When it pulled into a picnic area further down the road I pulled in too.  I told the guys I thought they were a little overdressed for the weather.  As you can probably guess from the photo, they were participating is a wedding and the reception (and maybe even the ceremony itself) was being held there.



After completing the scenic rectangle today (you’ll read about it shortly)  I headed back home.  I got off I-15 at mile marker 95 and drove east to Route 89, a nice scenic road I had taken back to Joseph yesterday.  I wanted to stop at the boyhood home of Butch Cassidy, just south of Circleville, Utah.  As it turns out, it is closed for restoration.  Bummer.

I drove the rest of the way back to Joseph on Route 89.  I saw this formation just as I was getting in to town.


And this is the view from the back yard of where I’m staying, looking south.  This was taken shortly before sunset.



Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument

When I started the day Thursday my plan was to take the scenic route down to Bryce Canyon National Park.  To do that I would head east from where I am staying in Joseph as if I were going back to Capitol Reef National Park.  When I got to the town of Torrey I would then turn right and head south on scenic Route 12 towards Bryce.  Little did I know that that road would take me somewhere else first.

Looking at the map I thought this National Monument was further south and east than it is.  I was planning to visit it the next day.  Well, the next day turned into today (Thursday).

Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is an area encompassing a whopping 1.88 million acres!  That works out to roughly 2,900 square miles.  That is 100 square miles less than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

After passing through the little town of Boulder, Utah I started to get my first glimpse.  I am only posting some of what I saw from Boulder to when I arrived at Calf Creek Falls Campground and Recreation Area.  I’ll have a story to tell about that place tomorrow, when I’ll post more pictures of what I saw at Calf Creek and beyond.













Life will find a way.   This little plant is growing…..


….way up on top of this big rock (upper center of photo below).



Cedar Breaks National Monument

When I left the house this morning my plan was to go back to Bryce Canyon National Park.  It occurred to me that it was now not only Saturday, but the start of the Labor Day holiday so I was afraid the Park would be packed.  I decided to go with Plan B which was to drive a scenic rectangle down near the entrance to Bryce.

From Joseph I took the dreaded interstate west until I reached I-15, which took me south.  In a little over an hour I took the exit for Parowan, turned left and took scenic Route 143 east towards Panguitch.  After having a real lunch there at a restaurant I saw the day before (not just veggie snacks today) I headed south on Route 89 until I reached Long Valley Junction.  There I turned right on to Route 14 which would take me west to the town on Cedar City which is just off I-15.  I would go north on the interstate to complete the rectangle.

Shortly after exiting at Parowan I passed the Brian Head ski area (up at approximately 10,500 feet).  I decided to stop along side the road where there was a nice view and refill my water bottles.  While doing that I considered taking the day off from picture-taking and just savoring the day with my binoculars instead.  That plan worked great for about 15 minutes when I stumbled across Cedar Breaks National Monument, which wasn’t even on my radar.  When I got to the first of their 4 overlooks it was time to haul out the cameras…..











I’m using the same philosophy I did with the pictures I took at Arches.  These are just broad strokes using only the camera in my smartphone.  Believe me, I took tons of pictures zoomed in with the digital camera, too.  I’ll post some of those another day.

By the way, I leave Joseph tomorrow morning to go back to Colorado for 2 days, then to upstate Utah for 2 days.  Then I’ll come back to southern Utah for several days and visit Bryce Canyon as well as Zion National Park and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Aspen trees starting their transition

When I left Cedar Breaks I continued on down Route 143 and spotted an area which included some Aspen trees which were starting to make the change to their autumn colors.  When I parked the car to take these photos I was at approximately 9,900 feet of elevation.







Further on down the road I saw some coniferous trees trying to get in on the action.


Well, not exactly the same thing I suppose.  I don’t think they realize they’re up against some stiff competition.  It’s not quite a level playing field.

One of the benefits of extending my trip by 3+ weeks is that I will see more Aspen (and other) trees at elevation once I get back up to northern Colorado which should be pretty far along with their color changes.  I woman I spoke with in Rico, Colorado sent me a spectacular photo she took last fall of a small mountain literally covered with golden yellow Aspens.  If I don’t find such a spot while I’m still out here I’ll text her to ask if I may publish the picture she sent me.