2020-09-13-Back to Travel-Collette tour of the West · Key Blogs

Back to Travel – Capitol Reef and Escalante

Farewell to the Red Canyon Lodge

Fall is definitely in the air as chilly morning temperatures awaited us for our 8 am departure for a scenic drive out of the Moab basin on to I-70 westward toward central Utah. About an hour into our drive, the coach left the interstate for rural road 24 through Hanksville toward Capitol Reef National Park. This is another first for me and a place I wanted to come visit for a long time.

Rene at Capitol Reef National Park

It did not disappoint!

Created by a tectonic uplift millions of years ago, these amazing landscapes are like no other in the world. It is like a science fiction set in Hollywood and yet, petroglyphs and settlements show a human presence for tens of thousands of years in these canyons and ravines.

Capitol Rerf Visitor center being renovated
Domed limestone formations along the entry route approaching from Hanksville

Missed temperatures in the 70s made today’ program more enjoyable and the air was far less hazy as well. Our visit entailed a peaceful picnic on the orchard grounds a short distance from the Freman river that flows through the park. Afterwards our coach climbed out of the valley across a 9600 foot pass over to the Grand Staircase Escalante National monument.

Panoramic views over the whole area from Larb outlook along scenic byway 12

This is one of the nation’s newest monument declared into existence by President Clinton back in 1996 and then drastically reduced in size by Mango Mussolini (whom shall not be mentioned by name) to grant his buddies mining rights and other exploitation of this magnificent and fragile eco system.

Our route today
Group stop with panoramic views
Me with a lizard

We ended the rather long and driving intensive day at the Best Wester Premier at Ruby Inn just outside the park boundary of Bryce National Park which we will visit tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for more on that tomorrow.

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