Apr 7th, 2014
Leaving Boulder Town area and the Deer Creek BLM campsite, our journey headed north on Route 12. Little did we know, in the beginning, that this road would climb to 9,600 feet of elevation. Once at the crest of the mountain pass, we could see 140 miles away. We took our time and stopped at scenic vistas to view valleys and distance snow covered mountains. The forest here was covered with large Ponderosa Pine trees. Snow was seen along all shady sides of the roadway.
What goes up must come down, and so we did descend fairly rapidly to the town of Torrey, UT. The Main Street was lined with closely planted Cottonwood trees. An open irrigation trench, about three feet deep, was next to the Main Street, with the side walk on the other side, completing the Main Street vista. A general store and other shops, all styled in a western motif completed this little town charm.
Onward to Capitol Reef NP. It is nearly sad to say, that Capitol Reef NP was very similar to our experience back on the Burr Trail Road, except that here we weren’t alone, but with many other tourist. We took a side road into another Slot Canyon. Tremendous outcrops of shear cliffs were on both sides of us. We didn’t do any hiking here, as the day was half spent getting here. We moved on further into the NP and stopped at nearly all of the view points.
I must say that the highlight of Capital Reef was going through and stopping at the town of Fruita. This was and is an oasis in the desert. The pioneers planted and harvested many types of fruits for their trade, with wagon trains heading south and west. It still produces many crops today. There are a couple of Cottonwood trees that are 8 to 10 feet across, at the base. They have grown to enormous size and developed a very large canopy in the picnic area. We would have stayed in this little town had the campground not been full.
Moving east, until we reached the town of Hanksville. Here a decision had to be made. Go right and south to circumnavigate Glen Canyon National Park and enter the lower half of Canyonlands NP, from the southern end or go north and change terrain views and head for Arches NP. It would be half the distance then going south. I said, “lets go north for the change”. Soon we were not in mountains with boulders, but into open plains with grass lands on both sides and wide open straight-a-way highway. In one hour, we were on I-70 heading east. It’s hard to believe, but we were exhausted from seeing beautiful scenery. There is so much to see in Utah, it is mind boggling and in a non-stop trip like ours, we needed a change of pace.
Along comes Green River State Park and the change we needed. The SP located in the Green River community, with it’s own golf course and fellow campers to talk to, we go our rest and re-charged our selves' overnight.
That is what we saw and did!
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