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Utah, Day 8 Part 3

Moki-1

Part of Moki Dugway Road

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Looking down at the road ahead

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I’m missing water!

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Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth’s surface.

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Waterpocket Fold, on the edge of Capitol Reef National Park.

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What bizarre landscape!

Utah, Day 8 Part 2

Slot Canyon

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We explored this small slot canyon just off the road.

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The canyon walls reach toward each other but do not meet,

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The canyon floor is sandy with a bit of brackish water at the very end of the slot.

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The intrepid explorer

 

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Utah, Day 8 Part 1

The Burr Trail

We spent most of the day in the Jeep- about 8 hours, in fact. The scenery was beyond spectacular all day. From Torrey we took Highway 12, and then turned on to Burr Trail near the town of Boulder.

 

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Petrified Sand Dunes

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This is gorgeous country

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The white formations give way to red.

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Each vista is breath-taking.

 

 

 

Utah, Day 7

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Rise and shine! The sunrise view from our air bnb on the banks of the Fremont River near Torrey, Utah.

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The Aspens are gorgeous in the higher elevations. We drove our trusty jeep up to Bluebell Knoll, 11,328 feet above sea level. We were told this is the highest forest in the U.S. It was much cooler at this altitude- almost 20 degrees cooler than in Torrey. 

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We ate a picnic lunch at the Aquarius Guard Station on the Aquarius Plateau, shown here. The station is a 2-room cabin that can be rented for overnight stays.

 

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Autumn colors are showing.

 

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Back to the red rocks of Capitol Reef.

Utah, Day 6

The day started early since I wanted to take advantage of the dark, dark skies out here to photograph the stars and the Milky Way. This is my first attempt- it was very cold and windy at 0500!

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The Milky Way

 

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Once the sun was up we drove  down highway 12 through the towns of Boulder and Escalante. We took Pine Creek Road and Hell’s Backbone roads up to 9,000+ feet and down again. Looking down at Box Death Hollow in this shot.

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I decided to concentrate on trees today. These pines are impressive- they seem to grow out of the very rock!

 

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Utah, Day 5

Today we left Moab and headed for Torrey, a small town near Capitol Reef National Park. This park is the least-visited of Utah’s five national parks. It has many amazing formations, but nothing as well-known as the other parks.

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The Park contains numerous petroglyphs, images carved on the rock walls by prehistoric people. The upper images depicts people, and the lower one features bighorn sheep,

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We hiked the Capitol Gorge.

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I’m a sucker for a starburst sun.

Utah, Day 4

We decided to forego the sunrise this morning to have a longer day on the trail.

Canyonlands Shafer Trail-1

We headed out on Potash Road and the Shafer Swithchbacks Trail.

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This balanced rock marks our left turn.

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Can’t beat the vivid blue sky and fascinating rock formations.

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Beautiful!

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The trail took us above the Colorado River.

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We were 1,000 feet above the river.

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Crazy rock formations

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The Shafer Switchbacks we drove- and this is just a beginner level trail, a mere bunny slope.

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The trail ended near the entrance to the Island in the Sky unit of Canyonlands National Park. This is the view under Mesa Arch.

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We saw just 2 other vehicles on the trail, but the Park was crowded. It was difficult to get a shot of the arch without including people.

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After leaving the Park we did part of the Mineral Point Trail, which overlooks the Green River, then called it a day. Tomorrow we will move to a new location,

Utah, Day 3

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Arches National Park was this morning’s destination, and we were ready to shoot before sunrise.

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The clouds cooperated perfectly this morning. We entered the park around 0630 and drove right in. By 0730 cars were backed up at the entrance, and faced a 30-minute wait. The early bird gets the sunrise!

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North and South Windows, two of the more than 2,000 arches in the park. Mark was reminded of a pair of eyeglasses!

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Turret Arch

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Delicate Arch, the most photographed of all the Park’s arches. Most are visible only after a  strenuous hike.

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Balanced Rock, one of dozens, but this is the most well-known.

After lunch we drove the Gemini Bridges 4×4 trail.  The first section was a shelf road, hugging the edge of the rock face and winding around with amazing view of the Moab Valley far below. We didn’t have a chance to pull over to take photographs on this very narrow trail, and I did not look over the edge most of the time. If all of Utah’s roads with dizzying drop-offs required the installation of guard rails, the state would go broke!

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One of the Gemini (twin) bridges. A bridge is an arch that goes over water, at least during the rainy season.

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Looking under the bridge- enough to make my stomach do flip-flops.

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The surrounding landscape.