Day 182 – Utah Byway – Part 5

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Day 182 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Capitol Reef National Park

We started our morning drive to Capitol Reef National Park, a park we quickly passed through at the beginning of the week while traveling to Bryce.  I recalled seeing a trail to Chimney Rock, so I stopped there on the way into the park and started the trek that ascended 240 feet in the first quarter mile.  It was already relatively late in the morning and a somewhat warm day, so after reaching the plateau for a panoramic view, I returned to VANilla to rescue Petey instead of continuing on the 3.5 mile journey.

Hickman Bridge

Before leaving the park, we made one more stop at Hickman Bridge.  The two-mile roundtrip to the bridge briefly followed the Fremont River, turned upward for a steep climb at least half the way, and finally leveled out across the sandstone.  While most the kiddos on the trail were skipping along to the bridge or exploring the nooks and crannies of the surrounding canyon, the one I was following spent most the time crying because he wanted his mom to carry him on her back since his dad was carrying his younger brother on his shoulders.  His older sister finally shouted, “Feed him to the rattlesnakes” as she marched forward.

As I returned from the bridge, a group of older folks, winded from the steep ascent, found nearly the only shaded area, and with a hopeful look in their eyes questioned me, “She wouldn’t lie to us, we’re half way, right?”  Frankly, I couldn’t recall the half-way point in distance, but they had at least completed the “half-way point” in effort.

Upon leaving the park, we again passed through the most fascinating, geological landscape that I described at the beginning of the week:  multi-colored mesas, grey buttes with sand cones beneath them giving an appearance they have been mined, and sandstone lifted at angle from the earth’s crust.  Eventually we passed by some farmland, spotted a few bison, and later entered into canyon land where we stopped at the overlook for Lake Powell.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, some 200 mile long, took 17 years to fill Glen Canyon after the Colorado River was dammed.  In the process, the water wandered into so many side canyons that its shoreline extends 2,000 miles, longer than the West Coast.  For some reason, I was expecting the lake to appear blue in color, but it fashioned the nice Gulf of Mexico brown color from local dirt.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

We took the bridge at Hite Crossing to enter into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where we found a primitive campground and got an up close view of the lake.  To camp, I paid a $6 fee and drove onto the red sand land surrounding the lake and parked wherever I felt like it.  I aimed VANilla perpendicular to the strong breeze coming from the Southwest as I wanted a cool, crosswind for the evening.  With each hour, the wind intensified.  It was at least 30 mph, gusting to much higher speeds.  White caps formed on the lake as a layer of sand sprayed through VANilla’s screened windows.  Hopefully this won’t be an all night affair.  ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

Other Articles About Utah You May Like

Day 171 – Monument Valley Meander
Day 172 – Monument Valley Meander (Part 2) and Utah Byways
Day 173 – Utah Byways (Part 2)
Day 174 – Utah Byways (Part 3)
Day 175 – Utah Byways (Part 4)
Day 176 – Bryce Canyon Country
Day 177 – Bryce Canyon Country (Part 2)
Day 178 – Bryce Canyon Country (Part 3) and Zion Canyon Loop
Day 179 – Zion Canyon Loop (Part 2)
Day 180 – Zion Canyon Loop (Part 3)
Day 181 – Zion Canyon Loop and Utah Byways (Part 4)
Day 183 – Utah Byways (Part 6)
Day 184 – Monument Valley Meander (Part 3) and San Juan Skyways
Day 203 – Flaming Gorge Getaway
Utah’s Olympic Park
Hiking Deer Valley Resort
Park Silly Sunday!


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

photographic note card, colorful canoes in vermont
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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

One thought on “Day 182 – Utah Byway – Part 5

  1. I hope you didn’t have sand in your teeth this morning! :). It has really been windy and quite warm (95-97) here. I guess we should be grateful for the wind, but it’s been a really windy spring. The Byron Nelson escaped the rain this year but the wind was playing havoc with the golf balls.

    Happy Memorial Day!!!

    xo’s M

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