I got up early to do some work on my blog since I was a little behind and then we started to prep for our departure. We took a little longer that usual as we were out of practice and wanted to be sure to get it right. We pulled out around 9:30. The skies were mostly sunny with a temp of 75. Although the humidity level was only 47%, this was actually the first time since we’ve been out here that we’ve felt the humidity. For a Saturday, the line into Arches NP was only 12 cars long. That’s amazing! Traffic on the highway was not bad either. We were taking Highway 191 to I-70 and then Highway 24 into Torrey, UT near Capitol Reef NP. Our trip was 154 miles today mostly on secondary roads. Part of Highway 24 is a designated scenic road into Torrey, so that should be a beautiful drive. At the Moab Airport, we saw a guy parachuting down to land there.
The terrain out of Moab was pretty arid and desolate until we got to the Green River.
Driving over the Green River, the landscape changed and there was much more greenery.
Bob pointed out that someone must have driven their ATV on that hillside to make those tracks.
We descended the hill after Green River coasting at 72 mph. That’s the fastest we’ve ever gone. Whoopee! The road cut through these rocks to create this spectacular picture frame view.
In this area, the white rocks were very striking in the sun.
We passed the turn-off for Goblin Valley State Park which we plan to visit on Sunday or Monday.
The road paralleled this amazing rock formation called the San Rafael Reef.
As we traveled along it for 44 miles, it often changed its appearance and created such beautiful patterns in the rocks.
It seemed the road went straight forever and if it wasn’t for the San Rafael Reef to look at, there would have been nothing interesting to see.
Clouds were hanging over the Henry Mountains off in the distance and we were hoping that we wouldn’t see any rain come our way.
Traffic was very light on Highway 24, but we did get passed by a couple of trucks towing boats probably on their way to Lake Powell just 27 miles from here. Our GPS kept correcting our route telling us to turn off the highway onto a dirt farm road…over and over. Really? Finally it gave up and got it right. Rock formations popped up here and there in the middle of flat grassland.
Many “reefs” had rocky protrusions at the top. Imagine that most of this was underwater in a sea long ago.
The road took us closer and closer to the Henry Mountains and Hanksville, our turning point onto scenic Highway 24.
Then the landscape changed colors with rocks that had beautiful burgundy and gray stripes.
After crossing the Dirty Devil River (which was brown) we entered Hanksville. The town of Hanksville lay in a fertile green valley at the confluence of the Dirty Devil River and the Fremont River. The scenic highway wound its way through the rock formations and followed the Fremont River.
It was like a moonscape or being on another planet at times. I had more questions than answers like “What made the maroon and purple stripes on those rocks?” and “Were the surfaces hard like cement or soft like sand?” I just wanted to get out and see for myself. Many of the hills looked like huge sand dunes.
We just got used to seeing one type of landscape and then it would change to something totally different.
The road eventually ran right through the Capitol Reef National Park.
As we entered the Capitol Reef NP, the landscape changed from red rock to shades of tan, gray, and white with lots of sandy-looking landscapes and huge flat top mesas and reefs. Wherever there was a green, there was the Fremont River. We entered Capitol Reef SP from the east.
Driving through the park, gave us a great preview of what’s to come when we visit the park on Sunday or Monday. We wound our way through the park along the Fremont River which was muddy and raging.
They had a lot of rain yesterday in a short amount of time and there was some flash flooding. We saw remnants of the washouts along the road.
Driving through the park, we also saw lots of varied types of landscapes. Some walls looked like Swiss cheese.
The rocks then changed from white and gray to brown and red. From soft, sandy-looking piles to hard rock monoliths.
As we neared Torrey, the rocks and spires gave way to greenery, red rocks, and hills.
It looked like rain over the mountains to the south. We hoped it would hold off until we got to the campground. We arrived at Wonderland RV Park at 12:30 and checked in.
They gave us site #11 with a nice view of the hills.
In setting up, we discovered these 2 mama ducks with 11 ducklings nestled under the neighbor’s picnic table. What a surprise! They didn’t seem to mind us being there.
Then they disappeared and reappeared on our side by our picnic table. It looked like two different clutches since they were different sizes and had different markings.
Once again they disappeared and we haven’t seen them since. I’m sure they are around somewhere and we’ll see them again. We settled in and Bob relaxed after a somewhat stressful drive today due to the narrow, winding road with no shoulder and the up and down of going through the canyons. It took a lot of concentration. I finished up my blog from yesterday and worked on today’s entry. It was cool enough here at 83 degrees to turn off the AC and open the windows for a change. We relaxed until dinner and the rain never came. This campground was pretty full and we found out that the manager of this park is from Palmetto, FL. She lives right down the road from us in Palmetto Point in the winter and spends her summer here in Torrey, UT. What a small world! We took our walk after dinner and I hope to show Bob that comet tonight if the skies are clear enough.