Crater Lake

Crater Lake
Crater Lake in May

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26 Blanding to Torrey, the scenic route

The rest of the photos for this day are linked here>

Blanding to Torrey (8) After gassing up in Blanding, to the tune of 3.09 per gallon, our route led us across one of the most scenic roads in America.  Highway 95 crosses the great canyons of the Colorado River dropping to Lake Powell at Hite Crossing, and rising again on the east side of the Henry Mountains to Hanksville, Utah.  We took our time, stopping along the way for photos, and I cooked breakfast for us while we parked in a wide spot at a canyon trailhead.  Again, one of my favorite parts of MoHo travel, the ability to stop and rest, or cook, or eat, just about anywhere we want to do so.

I first drove this road on a wintry February day after traveling to Santa Fe in 1991 alone in my little red Ranger.  I fell in love with Canyon Country then and have loved it ever since.  In 1993 I spent six days in a small paddleboat with five other women and two river guides rafting Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River. 

Blanding to Torrey (29)Today we crossed Hite Bridge at Lake Powell and I remembered how it felt to see that bridge rise up into view after so many days in the canyons. It was where we put out and then flew back to Moab in less than 30 minutes.  It was a trip of a lifetime.  I stood above Hite today, and thought again with amazement about John Wesley Powell, who adventured through these wild unknown canyons in a wooden dory, all the way to the Gulf of California.

Blanding to Torrey (48)It was a perfect day and a gorgeous drive, and after leaving Hanksville on route 24 we stopped along the Fremont River in Capital Reef National Park so that Abby could go for a swim.  The park was busy with fall visitors, and we decided to bypass the visitor center altogether and go directly to our campsite at the Sand Creek RV Campground. 

Sand Creek is an unassuming little place, a bit tattered, but the proprietress is a sweetheart and had saved number 11 for us.  We are at the end of the park, with nothing to obstruct our view of the red mountains north of us except a bit of debris and some old ramshackle outbuildings.  Twenty bucks with full hookups and the quiet and privacy make this a better choice for us than the fancy and more crowded Ten Thousand Lakes RV Resort just half a mile down the road.

Blanding to Torrey (57)