2017-07-14 Capitol Reef, Escalante, Petrified Forest

The scenery started to improve in Capitol Reef

And we found a nice little campground at Escalante Petrified Forest

We camped near the lake – Jennifer and Aly got try out some standing paddle boards while I was showering, and we hiked a little in the morning..

Saturday, the 15th, we headed through Bryce, and North on 89 to Panguitch – (Where we had a chubby).  Don’t go through Panguitch without getting a Chubby!

We continued on North on 89 up to Manti, where we took off East on Forest Road 45 to find the Manti Community Campground (FS), which was OK,but they seemed to be having some bear trouble, and we had seen some cool sites on the way, so we ventured on back down the dirt road to a nice private little spot where Aly went swimming again.. The awesome scenery is something to see, but the hanging out at the private little “undiscovered ” campsites always seems to be the highlights for me.

Happy Campers; after a gourmet meal of Hot Dogs on the fire.

2017-07-13 Canyonlands, Devils Canyon, Natural Bridges

Our campsite overlooked Canyonlands the night before, though we hadn’t realized it.

We spent a couple hours roaming around in there, but the most of the views (and hikes) were long distance affairs… It was dreadfully hot, so we found ourselves a little “swimmin’ hole” to cool off at and have lunch.

We headed off further west, and came upon this guy who seemed to get himself in a bit of a pickle… 😉

Stopped off for a bit at Natural Bridges National Monument where Aly got another Junior Ranger badge, 

and found one of the tiniest “Natural bridges”…

We camped and had dinner at Devils Canyon Campground because it seemed to be the first pace we had seen for days with actual trees.

We then headed off through Fry Canyon (aptly named), and came upon a man in a broke down Subaru, stuffed to the gills with all his belongings, in a beautiful, but dreadful place on US 95 South of Hyte. It seemed hours in either direction to water or civilization, but he was content in waiting it out. He gave us a phone number of someone nearby (3 hours away) to call who might be able to come help him. When we called the person, (an hour away where we first got phone service) they seemed a bit bent out of shape that we bothered them. Once again, we felt blessed to have our traveling home on wheels.

Had lunch overlooking a reservoir at Hyte Canyon. Then carried on up Hwy 95 through an area so desolate, I dubbed Utah as Americas Gravel Pit. No offence to Utonians, but this place is dry, arid, treeless and waterless.

Where is the exit?

2017-07-12 On to Utah: Arches National Park

Got some sugary doughnuts at ColoraDOUGH donuts for breakfast which proved to be a little much for ALL of our bellies. We left Glenwood Springs going South on 133 thinking we would get a view of Maroon Bells (which we never did), but it was a beautiful road none the less. Again we found a great place to pull over and have lunch at the summit of the mountains.

As we crested the Mountains and came down the western slope towards Utah the terrain became more and more treeless and drier.

We stopped in a Visitor Welcome Center, got some info on dispersed camping, the low down on visiting the parks, and got out of Moabs crowded touristy atmosphere as soon as we could..
Ended up in the La Sal National Forest just South of Moab where there was plenty of “backwoods” camping, the elevation was higher, the temps were cooler, and there were even a few trees!

In the morning, we made an early run for Arches to try and beat the crowds and the heat.
Hiked a couple shorter trails and admired the other wordly landscape. Arches had just received their first rain in two months (though you couldn’t tell it, I cant imagine how it looked BEFORE the rain), and a few of the trails and roads were closed down “due to flooding”…. Flooding?? Hah, these folks don’t know what “flooding” is…

And. apparently, some of their tourists have a little difficulty with toilet training….

Really?

“Sit on the toilet during use”?
“Do not stand on the toilet”??
“Do not use the floor. Use the toilet”??
These are things people need a SIGN for????