April 6th 2014
The evening before, at the Escalante Petrified State Park Campground, was a relaxing way to end another excellent travel day. This morning, the plateau next to us was shielding the sun from the campground, but our plan was to climb the plateau, via the trail and venture into the Petrified Forest above. It was sort of good that it was cool, because we certainly would’ve worked up a sweat climbing the 250 feet of elevation to the top. As we climbed, the sun was slowly reaching the reservoir and campground below.
The plateau was forested with a well marked trail. I did bring along my GPS.You never know, if I would decide to go on a side trail adventure. The first thing we spotted, on the top, was a big sign that said “No Collecting”. Ok, I can read! It wasn’t long after that we started finding many petrified tree specimens. You know, back in Bryce Canyon, at the Resort Hotel, there were Petrified Trees slabs for sale for small table tops that were going for $20,000.00!
We hiked the trail around a giant loop. We were on the lookout for deer. The night before, a deer was on the ridge looking down at the campground for a long time. The mule deer here are plentiful and we’ve seen many. Our journey to the multicolored petrified trees came to an end around 10am.
We left that area and headed for the Boulder town area. That lady way back in Page, AZ had recommended going on this road called “Burr Trail Road”. She said, we wouldn't be sorry. She had also steered us correctly back in the Paria area. Boulder, was just a short drive up the road. We took our time and still were there by 11:30am. The State Park attendant back in Escalante also told us about this road and a good restaurant just at the beginning. We drove in and they were just opening up for business. Everything homemade, including the whiskey chocolate pie! The grilled chicken was made to perfection with their special seasoning.
Burr Trail Road is paved for 30 miles and continues for another 75 miles of gravel road with many hairpin turns around mountain sides. Not a place to bring a truck camper! We would drive to an overlook and return the same way. This side road trip turned out to be our most enjoyable of our travels so far. The scenery was out of this world! We were also told to stop at a certain spot and hike into a slot canyon. Wow, what a beauty! You could whisper and hear the other person two hundred feet away. I should explain that there weren’t many people around. Three cars were all we saw go by.
After the slot canyon, we continued up the valley, now also a slot canyon for just our vehicle. The rock cliffs on each side were a hundred or so feet up on both sides. We stopped, took a bunch of pictures, both of ourselves and of the truck camper, mostly to show scale. Then, we spotted a cow on the edge of the road. Around the next corner, a whole herd was being driven down in the middle of the road by a bunch of young cowboys and one older (gentleman) cowboy. Ironically, I had my small point and shoot camera on movie mode. I got the whole thing! Great little footage, that I will share on “You Tube”, when we get back home.
We finally made it to the overlook to see a multi colored panorama of desert and distant snow covered mountains.
We needed a place to stay for the night. We were on BLM land and could stay anyplace with no problem. I wanted a place that we could build a campfire, to take pictures, after dark, of us sitting around the campfire… the truck in the background, with night stars above. It was on my bucket list! We headed back to a BLM campground, on the same road called Deer Creek. It only had seven campsites. We and another couple were the only ones there for the night. I got the campfire going, set up the chairs, waited for after dark and took my shots with my wireless remote on the camera. Not bad for a start! The only problem was the moon. It was a half moon and we couldn’t see the “Milky Way”. Oh well… I was satisfied with what I got. The story doesn’t end here. Later that evening, or I should say at 4am, I got up to go to the bathroom. Instead of going back to bed, I opened the camper door and looked up. The “Milky Way”! I got dressed and spent about a half hour shooting time exposers of the stars!
That what we saw and did!
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