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Canyons & Covid-19

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
Woke up next day to a relatively sunny day, snow was beginning to melt, however still plenty of ice covering the car. My plan that day was to travel to along Byway 89 and Scenic Byway 12 to Capitol Reef National Park and back via the Grande Escalante. A number of AFFer’s had recommended touring via these routes and it was not hard to see why. The byway’s are rated in the top ten Scenic Byways in America, spanning a route of more than 120 miles, travelling from west to east through Garfield and Wayne Counties.

For those who remember the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I came across a bit of memorabilia along the way, along with multi coloured rock outcrops, sweeping fields, deep blue skies and snow covered mountains made this a most enjoyable drive. Byway 89 Utah (1 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (3 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (4 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (9 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (15 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (19 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (28 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (29 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (34 of 64).jpg Byway 89 Utah (63 of 64).jpg
 
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irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
My next destination reached, Capitol Reef National Park. In my opinion each of these parks have unique characteristics, some appeared to be sculptured, in some of them the different layers of rocks and minerals appear to have been painted, some of them show the sheer force of mother nature in the ways that they have been uplifted from the crust of the earth, and some of them have all of the above characteristics spread over different areas.

Capitol Reef looks like a scene from an apocalypse movie, one could imagine a movie like the Mad Max series of films being shot in this type of environment, certainly fantastic for avid photographers. A few shots follow. Capitol Reef National Park (1 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (4 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (7 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (19 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (21 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (26 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (29 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (33 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (44 of 144).jpg Capitol Reef National Park (131 of 144).jpg
 
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irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
The Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument a United States national monument of 1,880,461 acres (7,610 km2)] of protected land in southern Utah. The monument stretches from the towns of Big Water, Glendale, and Kanab in the southwest, to the towns of Escalante and Boulder in the northeast.

The views from this stretch of road were spectacular with the background of snow covered mountains in contrast to the rich reds and bleached rocks of the surrounding terrain, privileged to be here at a time of year where mother nature shows so many contrasts.
Grande Escalante (6 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (12 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (14 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (25 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (34 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (39 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (79 of 88).jpg Grande Escalante (1 of 88).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
News from back home was not good, government had announced a whole heap of closures of venues, restaurants and other businesses, time to activate Plan B.

I cancelled my Air B n B bookings in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, I had four nights booked in Page Arizona which I reduced to two and changed my flight to a week early to fly back home. I was off to Moab tomorrow and then to Page, intended to make the rest of my shortened trip as good as possible.
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
Woke up early, checked out about 7:00 am, destination Moab via Monument Valley, heading north and then east. Cold clear morning, car covered in ice and felt like hopping into a refrigerator. Unsure if I would have the opportunity to visit Bryce Canyon again, however if I do it will to be bring my Grandson so hopefully he might feel the beauty of these places and how important it was to preserve places such as this. Was going to fuel up on the way out of Bryce, appears 7:00 am was a bit early for them, but I knew there were places on the way.

Plenty of snow around, down low and up high, drove through a small town called Antimony and came across the delightful sight of Otter Creek Reservoir completely frozen on top, looked a bit cold to take a dip.

Day Trip to Moab (1 of 21).jpg Day Trip to Moab (2 of 21).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
A change of plan on route, I decided I would head direct to Moab and do Monument Valley and Goosenecks State Park from my base in Page. Would have some lunch in Moab, check in to the hotel, and do a quick trip to Arches National Park, before returning the next day. Arrived in Moab about lunch time, parked the car and went for a walk to stretch the legs before getting lunch, things can change quickly. No dine in facilities available inside of any of the cafes, where they had outdoor tables OK to sit there but they were paced two metres apart with big crosses taped across the in between tables, and you had to wait in the outside area. Ordered a coffee and a chicken burger, lucky they weren’t busy as it still took 30 minutes to appear :(

Finished lunch and thought I would see if I could get an early book in, was turned away because they were having a staff meeting, fair enough I was early and happy to come back, perfect excuse to head to Arches National Park.
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
I spent the afternoon in Arches National Park just to get a feel for the landscape and planning a few shots for the next day. Obviously different times of the day projects a different light on the landscape, and it was my intention to be here early the next day when the light was softer. A few photos taken that afternoon.

Arches National Park (1 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (4 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (7 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (11 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (18 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (24 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (29 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (36 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (41 of 313).jpg Arches National Park (43 of 313).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
Back to the hotel to check in. I had booked this through Qantas a while ago at a good price, so it was fully paid for. Was advised at reception that no further check ins were to be allowed after today, no meals would be served and no room service would be available until we had checked out. Well it was paid for, I could imagine there would be some logistical problems in obtaining a refund in cancelling and going elsewhere, with no certainty that the other hotels were not adopting the same measures, so it was a matter of suck it and see. The most annoying part was the guest laundry was closed and I needed to do some washing, no alternatives offered so it was to be a makeshift laundry in the bathroom.

A trip to the local supermarket allowed me to purchase a few staples, including a couple of bottles of red to fortify my stay, at least the hotel was quiet 😊
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
Today’s destination was Canyonlands National Park, about 35 Miles west of Moab. In 2019 Canyonlands had in excess of 730,000 visitors, so I figured it must be worth paying a visit myself. Canyonlands National Park is over 337,000 acres in size and is split up into 4 districts, a number of which are only accessible by 4 wheel drive or require permits. I was satisfied just to visit the main part of the park Known as the Island in the Sky.

Arrived at just past 8:00, the visitor centre was closed due to Covid-19 and the visitors brochures were left in boxes out on the front veranda it was becoming obvious that the outbreak was going to have a serious impact on the tourism industry if the spread became large enough in the USA. Fantastic views opposite the Visitor Centre.
Canyonlands National Park Arizona (3 of 273).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
I am no geologist, but there have obviously been some huge forces present here to model this landscape, a mix of mesa, buttes, spires and pinnacles shaped by forces in the earth, water, wind and erosion. Again it felt like being on another world.
Canyonlands National Park Arizona (6 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (18 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (29 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (35 of 273).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
As you wind around you get an aerial view of the Shafer Trail, which winds its way to the Canyon Floor. Apparently originally as a stock route the trail has been widened over the years to enable larger vehicles to access the valley, apparently there was a large amount of Uranium exploration carried out here a few years ago. Not for the faint hearted, I was happy to observe, hate to think of the cost of retrieving a vehicle if you broke down as well as the wear and tear on your brakes.
Canyonlands National Park Arizona (26 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (31 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (43 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (44 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (45 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (46 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (50 of 273).jpg Canyonlands National Park Arizona (51 of 273).jpg
 

irv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
850
I had not really planned much for tomorrow, so Monument Valley was moved back into the Moab agenda. Back at the hotel that night, like walking through a ghost town. What skeleton staff were there were more interested in what was on there phones than any customers. Takeaway tonight was from Moab Arches Thai, thank you Dr Ralph for the thumbs up, Tom Yum chicken and Rice. How hot he said, Thai Hot please, wasn't disappointed.
 

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