Home > Uncategorized > Grand Escalante Staircase & Capitol Reef National Monument

Grand Escalante Staircase & Capitol Reef National Monument

August 21, 2015

19th August 2015

Grand Escalante Staircase? Isn’t an Escalante a staircase? We weren’t aware, but this description refers to the whole huge area that encompasses all of the National Parks we’ve been in, but also pretty much all the others, too. So driving along Hwy 12 through the town of Escalante does not constitute ‘climbing the staircase’.

That said, it was all pretty lovely, especially ‘Hells Backbone’ which I’d love to ride on a motorcycle some day.

The big downside was that the smoke smog had got thicker, and it was literally impossible to see features more than 500 feet distant. As we travelled 12, it should have been possible to see huge valleys and hills, but not for us, not that day.

Having been advised to eat at the ‘Hell’s Backbone Grill’ in Boulder, we did. It was not a promising start: There was big hammering and construction of shelves in the dining room, the a/c was turned down to arctic, and the food took ages to arrive. The hammering stopped, the temps didn’t change and the food arrived, and it was good. A simple breakfast with a couple of eggs, a couple of potato cakes and an elk sausage with toast shared between us, but beautifully prepared, seasoned, herbed and presented. But, $4.00 each for glasses of not even freshly squeezed orange juice! Oh well.

Continuing on, we came to the end of Hwy 12, turned right and were shortly at the entrance to Capitol Reef National Monument. Yup, more red rocks. We were pretty close to being ‘rocked out’, but hey, it’s all good.

It turns out that this canyon was, for a very long time, used by folks to get to Arizona – which is quite amazing considering that it is subject to flash floods and very sticky mud.

Wondering whether it would be too late to comfortably get back to the trailer, we ‘punched in’ its address in Cedar City, and although we’d traveled well over 400 miles in the last couple of days, it was only 150 or so to get back. 150 or so of the most unutterably boring driving along Hwy’s 24 and 62. Why is hwy 62 even there? There’s nowhere it goes or comes from.

After a Starbucks call, a bit of shopping, fill up with gas, back to the campground and our little trailer that we are calling ‘home’ for the next few weeks. Utterly exhausted, we microwaved a freezer ‘seafood medley’ (which was delicious), had a glass of wine, and relaxed.

Pictures follow:

Escalante1Scene from Hwy 12

AnasaziGranary

You might not think so, but this is an astonishing shot (by B, with her amazing Canon super zoom point and shooty thing) of an Anasazi granary, way high up on the cliff side along Hwy 12. I looked, and I couldn’t see it. The Belgian family who showed up looked and they couldn’t see it. B knows about these things and spotted it, turned the zoom to +11 and got it. Bravo!

Capitol1Capitol Reef

Capitol2Capitol Reef

Capitol3Capitol Reef

Capitol4B taking a photo of me whilst…. Capitol Reef

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Categories: Uncategorized
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