I’m combining two days of my trip in one post because we didn’t do much hiking and were only able to take a few pictures. But there were still plenty of great memories.
After Bryce Canyon, we drove the historic Highway 12 to Moab, UT. Well we had to take Highways 24 and 70 as well, but 12 was the main show. My former boss and mentor insisted that we take that route on our way to Moab, and as usual she was so on the money. The highway travels through out the vast Grand Staircase Escalante (which, as an environmental policy wonk…ok… NERD…was very exciting to me). The road winds you through amazing rock formations and steep cliffs- my husband has a small fear of heights and as the primary driver, this freaked him out a bit. It was one of the most scenic long drives I’ve ever taken, second only to Route 1 along the West Coast- a very high standard! We also ascended a mountain, not realizing how high up we were until we saw a sign at the peak that read 9,600 feet. Wow!
Highway 24 then takes you straight through Capitol Reef National Park, one of the lesser known and populated parks. Its deep red rocks and formations were so impressive, we wished we had left more time to spend there than just drive through. It’s on our list of reasons why we NEED to go back to the region.
The next day, our first of two full ones in Moab, we went whitewater rafting on the Colorado river. I have only been rafting like this once in high school up in New Hampshire and my husband never has. We had a blast- category three and four rapids give you a serious rush. One of the rapids is called Skull Rapid and the Room of Doom- need I say more? However, such exhilaration is not conducive to picture-taking.
When we wrapped up around 5:30 pm, our riverguide emphatically told us to jump in the car and go check out Dead Horse Point State Park for sunset. He described it as a mini-Grand Canyon. That is a very apt description. In fact, we actually preferred it to the Grand Canyon for a number of reasons. This was such a highlight of the trip, I think mainly because it’s not a main attraction. We felt like we discovered a secret gem in the region.
Moab is a great little rustic town. Day Two proved to be just as much fun as the first….