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Utah Vacation Saga Post Seven – EPIC 500+ Mile Road Trip – Capitol Reef And Lake Powell

OK, so it’s taken a while for me to get this post up.  Yes, I’ve been a bit of a slacker, but that’s not the only reason.  The rest of the story is that there are just so many pictures.  We left Price, UT at about 0900 on Thursday and got back at 0100 on Friday.  No joke!  To see a map of our crazy day’s driving, click here and you can marvel at the audacity boldness lunacy of our road trip :D  Yes, we should have turned right onto I-70 on our way back and gone through Green River, but we (OK, it was mostly my fault) made a wrong turn and added an hour of driving.

Come along on a photo recollection of our day out driving through most of southern Utah :mrgreen: !

Pumping natural gas out of the Utah ground

Pumping natural gas out of the Utah ground

As I’ve said in earlier posts, oil, natural gas, and coal are a BIG part of life in Utah.  You can see quite a few of these pumps (Cindy said this one was pumping natural gas) from the road, but there’s lots more you can’t see easily.

I’m going to put the rest of the pictures below the fold because there are something like 90 of ‘em :wink:  Make sure you click on the pics to see ‘em full size – the panoramas are HUGE as usual and I tried to make sure the text in the informational placards was legible as well :)

Now that I’ve got you into the meat of the post, I’ve gotta admit that I’m not going to write as much as I could again because there’s just too many pictures.  You’ll see what I mean :wink:  If you have any sort of questions, the comments section is wide open and I’ll be happy to answer ‘em :)

One of two coal fired power plants in the area

One of two coal fired power plants in the area

This is one of two coal fired power plants in the area.  I’ve only ever seen one time when any sort of emission was visible from the stacks and that was only slightly visible.  They filter the exhaust so much these days that it’s not nearly as bad as it was in the old days.

Landscape south of Price, UT

Landscape south of Price, UT

A lot of the land around Price looks like this – gently rolling hills and short grass.  Perfect cattle country!

Heading out on Highway 72

Heading out on Highway 72

This is just south of I-70.  I thought the landscape was pretty nice, but I also thought it was interesting how they painted the black line in the center of the road to make the yellow stand out a bit more.

Farther south on Highway 72

Farther south on Highway 72

We’re still somewhat in the high desert here – not really up in the mountains yet.

Up near Thousand Lakes

Up near Thousand Lakes

Up near Thousand Lakes

Up near Thousand Lakes

Higher up in the mountains we’ve reached the quaking aspens :)

Panorama - Scenic view near Thousand Lakes

Panorama - Scenic view near Thousand Lakes

Information about the road and the area

Information about the road and the area

Information about the road and the area

Information about the road and the area

Wildflowers by the scenic overlook

Wildflowers by the scenic overlook

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Cindy was driving (she’s much less likely to get car sick that way) which freed me up to get pics and get excited about the wonderful views :P  We stopped at this scenic overlook so we could grab a quick snack (the plums and cheese were great!) and I could get some pics for those who can’t get out to places like this quite as easily.  I also thought y’all might like the wildflowers 8)

Corn growing at Anasazi State Park in Boulder, UT

Corn growing at Anasazi State Park in Boulder, UT

Our destination for this southbound leg of the trip was Anasazi State Park in Boulder, UT.  They’ve got a little corn garden growing off to the side so the tourists can see what it looks like :)

Culinary cattails - I never knew this!

Culinary cattails - I never knew this!

Information about Anasazi food

Information about Anasazi food

More info about the Anasazi food here.  I never knew about the culinary possibilities available from cattails :)

Why they think the Anasazi lived here

Why they think the Anasazi lived here

Looking back toward the museum building

Looking back toward the museum building

Reconstructed pit house

Reconstructed pit house

Why live underground?

Why live underground?

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Information about Anasazi life

Information about Anasazi life

Actual Anasazi ruins

Actual Anasazi ruins

Information about the replica Anasazi dwelling

Information about the replica Anasazi dwelling

Replica Anasazi dwelling

Replica Anasazi dwelling

Panorama - View from the Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder City, UT

Panorama - View from the Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder City, UT

Panorama - Inside the replica Anasazi dwelling at Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder City, UT

Panorama - Inside the replica Anasazi dwelling at Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder City, UT

Between all the information presented, the re-created structures, and the actual ruins, this museum was definitely worth the drive :D

View from Boulder Mountain, UT

View from Boulder Mountain, UT

View from Boulder Mountain, UT

View from Boulder Mountain, UT

If you can use Google Maps, you can use this to figure out where we were :)

If you can use Google Maps, you can use this to figure out where we were :)

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Information about the area

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Panorama - Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Folks, the camera just doesn’t do justice to this view.  The colors were more vivid, especially in the red rock.  At least that’s the way I remember it.  The pics are still pretty nice, so I figured I’d include ‘em for your viewing pleasure 8)

Lunch on the run

Lunch on the run

These cows just wandered up on the road, so we stopped to let ‘em pass.  There was also a cow with her calf trying to get a drink of lunch while they were actually climbing onto the road and crossing it, but I missed out on that pic.  The truck you see in the distance actually drove around us and through the group of cattle.  I wasn’t too shocked to see California plates on it.

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Scenic view from Boulder Mountain, UT

Farm near Boulder Mountain, UT

Farm near Boulder Mountain, UT

Cattle near Boulder Mountain, UT

Cattle near Boulder Mountain, UT

Just a few more pics of the landscape around the area – I have to say I really like it 8)

Now entering Capitol Reef National Park

Now entering Capitol Reef National Park

After hanging a right at Torrey, UT, our next destination on this journey was Capitol Reef National Park.  Nice sign they’ve got there :)

My two-tone HHR near the entrance of Capitol Reef National Park

My two-tone HHR near the entrance of Capitol Reef National Park

I ran up closer to the sign to get that last picture, but I wanted to get a pic of my car and the diversity of colors in the hills around it, too 8)

Panorama - Chimney Rock in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - Chimney Rock in Capitol Reef National Park

One of the points of interest is Chimney Rock – you can see where it got its name :wink:

Near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park

Near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park

Just more cool scenery near the entrance to the park 8)

Panorama - View from Goosenecks turnout in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - View from Goosenecks turnout in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - View from Goosenecks turnout in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - View from Goosenecks turnout in Capitol Reef National Park

Start of the trail to Goosneck Point

Start of the trail to Goosenecks Point

Cindy wanted to take me to Goosenecks Point because it’s really rather impressive.  Notice the sign on the right – they’re not kidding as you’ll see in the pics to follow.  There are a few places where you could slip and fall about 800 feet to the canyon floor if you’re not careful.

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

Information about Gooseneck Point

Information about Goosenecks Point

Cindy says there’s a great hiking trail at the bottom of the canyon here.  I’d like to hike it sometime, but I’d really love to fly the canyon in something like a weight-shift trike, too :)

No railing right here at Gooseneck Point :shock:

No railing right here at Goosenecks Point :shock:

Those who’ve been around me for a while know that I’ve got a severe case of acrophobia :wink:  Yes, I love flying and roller coasters, but I’m strapped into something so it doesn’t bother me.  This is another matter.  If you slip or trip here, my advice is to take the fall as flatly as possible and don’t try to catch yourself.  Performing a face-plant and dealing with a broken nose or broken teeth would be a much better option than finding out just how steep the canyon wall really is :P

Panorama - The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - The Goosenecks in Capitol Reef National Park

I made this vertical panorama to show some semblance of the view from here.  You just can’t get it all in a picture.

Interesting erosion pattern in this rock

Interesting erosion pattern in this rock

I couldn’t help but think that this would make a really impressive surface in someone’s home – something like a coffee table, counter top, or even shower enclosure :)

Visitor Center at Capitol Reef National Park

Visitor Center at Capitol Reef National Park

I just thought this pic of the visitor center was pretty cool 8)

View from our picnic dinner site

View from our picnic dinner site

We ate dinner picnic style near a river with this as our view in the picnic grounds.  Good times :)

Pictograph wall in Capitol Reef National Park

Pictograph wall in Capitol Reef National Park

Information about the pictographs

Information about the pictographs

Pictographs in Capitol Reef National Park

Pictographs in Capitol Reef National Park

Pictographs in Capitol Reef National Park

Pictographs in Capitol Reef National Park

Keep away from the pictographs

Keep away from the pictographs

Keep away from the pictographs

Keep away from the pictographs

I’ve seen more pictographs and petroglyphs in my travels through Nevada and Utah than I thought possible.  These were pretty cool 8)

Panorama - Rock face in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama - Rock face in Capitol Reef National Park

This rock face was just a short distance away from the pictographs and I thought the colors warranted a vertical panorama :wink:

One of my favorite pictures from Capitol Reef National Park

One of my favorite pictures from Capitol Reef National Park

I have to say that this is one of my favorite pics from Capitol Reef.  It doesn’t have the sweeping vista of some of the others, but you don’t often see so much green foliage contrasting with the red rock and I really like the way the trees frame the rock wall, too 8)

Settler's cabin at the east end of Capitol Reef National Park

Settler's cabin at the east end of Capitol Reef National Park

Information about the settler's cabin

Information about the settler's cabin

I couldn’t see much inside the cabin due to a second layer of glass in the window, but I thought it was interesting :)

Black and yellow landscape outside of Capitol Reef National Park

Black and yellow landscape outside of Capitol Reef National Park

I remember the top of these hills being more yellow and the bottom being darker gray, but they still look cool.

Great idea!  It's a portable traffic light instead of a flag man :)

Great idea! It's a portable traffic light instead of a flag man :)

We ran into some road construction between Capitol Reef and Hanksville and I saw something I’d never laid eyes on before – a portable traffic light.  I can’t say how awesome I think this is for the taxpayers because it operates off of a sensor and saves money by not paying two flagmen.  Don’t get me wrong here – I want people to have jobs but we also need to save tax dollars where we can :wink:

Heading east from Capitol Reef National Park

Heading east from Capitol Reef National Park

One last shot leaving Capitol Reef 8)

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

We we were running out of daylight when we reached Hanksville and realized we really wouldn’t be able to see much in Goblin Valley.  I noticed that Lake Powell wasn’t all that far to the south, so we hung a right and headed that way.  Cindy seemed a bit reluctant because it would add a couple of hours to our road trip, but she went along with it and it turned out great :)

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

Heading south toward Lake Powell

With all this gorgeous desert and red rock, I had the theme from Quigley Down Under running through my head most of the day :)

We finally reached Lake Powell

We finally reached Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

Around Lake Powell

The sign for the Hite Marina at Lake Powell

The sign for the Hite Marina at Lake PowellPanorama - Red rock around Lake Powell

Sun going down on the red rock near Lake Powell

Sun going down on the red rock near Lake Powell

Panorama - Sunset on the red rock around Lake Powell

Panorama - Sunset on the red rock around Lake Powell

I’d only ever been to the south end of Lake Powell, but this is how I remember most of the lake – big chunks of red rock all over the place :D  We got to the official entrance near Hite Marina and found that the Feds have started charging everyone $15 to enter the park.  We’d planned to go down on the boat ramp and get our feet wet, but decided we didn’t want to pay.  We did find a dirt boat ramp in part of the free access area a bit later and got our feet nice and muddy while getting bitten by a few mosquitoes and watching bats fly by just a few feet away while they feasted on those same pesky mosquitoes 8)

Hollow Mountain - Yes, it's a gas station and convenience store near Hanksville, UT

Hollow Mountain - Yes, it's a gas station and convenience store near Hanksville, UT

The last pic in this post comes from our stop in Hanksville on the way home.  We got out to stretch our legs and I thought the design of the gas station / convenience store was just too neat not to share :wink:

That’s about it for this post.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!  Here’s hoping you enjoyed it and that you have a great day :mrgreen:

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6 comments to Utah Vacation Saga Post Seven – EPIC 500+ Mile Road Trip – Capitol Reef And Lake Powell

  • Nice trip!
    I have been to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and the Kiva at Aztec, NM.

  • Kath

    The views from Boulder Mt. are my favorites! And I love the “keep back from the edge” signs, too! But I guess you have to actualy spell it our for some people.

    And what a pretty contrast of that green grass at the picnic area.

    But you know I have to say — where are the people? No cars, no people????

    And then you were there after dark??? No. Uh-uh. No. No.

    But I liked all the rest of it. The

    • I thought you’d like all that :D You do have to spell out the danger of getting too close to the edge for lots of people these days. They’ve grown up with hand rails on anything taller than an inch because of lawyers.

      The red rock is rather nice with the green :wink:

      There were plenty of people and cars in Capitol Reef and up on the mountain, but I do my best to keep ‘em out of the pictures :)

      After dark was just a straight drive home from Lake Powell – no rock climbing or any other funny stuff like that :P

      I notice you left a “The” out in the middle of your comment. Any reason for that :wink: ?

  • Kath

    Hey, all the computer problems I had and you’re going to make fun of my typing!?! Geesh! ;)

    But while I’m here — the nice thing about these pictures is, too, having never been to Utah (or out West), I like seeing these. It’s just so different from here and what I’m used to. But I am glad to hear there were some people around SOMEWHERE!

    • About the typing – we’re all fair game :P

      Here’s hoping you can make it out here sometime – you’d love the scenery :) You’d be surprised how few people my pictures show at times compared to the number of people in the area :wink:

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