Saturday, October 1, 2016

Moab Utah to Torry Utah

September 30, 2016

Wow today was some out of this world type scenery – what I think the moon or another planet might look like.  We headed north on Utah 191 to I 70 and then drove west across the Green River to Utah 24 which we too south west to Hanksville. We were traversing what is known as the San Rafael Desert. The landscape was primarily rolling hills with some high cliffs here and there.  Most were a grey and green color not the red of the Moab area.  There were a few small rivers and of course the Green River is large and continues down to Canyonlands area west of Moab where it joins to Colorado for the journey on towards Page and the Grand Canyon.

Unusual Green Rocks

Crossing the Green River
We were on interstate highway for about 40 miles.  Ben did not recall ever seeing an 80 MPH sign. There were also no services for over 100 miles!

Our goal for the day – Torry Utah – which is the eastern end of Utah 12 – a very scenic highway.  We had visited this area in 2002 when we flew to Las Vegas – rented a Jeep and drove over much of southern Utah in about a 10 day period.  It was when we really fell in love with this area.  We had not however been in the area around Hanksville or at least we did not think we had been in the area – we had to wait until we got to the campground to get out Jane’s computer and find the log written on that trip.  This was way before blogging but we have kept a written log since our first trip together in the 60’s.  It has come in handy for settling arguments more than once!  The restroom break in Hanksville was interesting.  First service station – closed on gas until next week after delivery – down the road was a service station built into a solid rock mountain.  One of the walls in the bathroom was rock.

The scenery was bleak but beautiful – all I can say is it looked unworldly.  We began climbing and headed nearly due west towards Capitol Reef National Park and finally Torry.

I considered Capitol Reef a not very much visited park but today there was traffic – all parking spots filled, lines in the restrooms, and a crowd in the visitor center.  There are many scenic drives – one that actually traverses the Waterpocket Fold  - fold in earth crust that produced a mountain that is 100 miles long and is only crossed by roads in a few places – one being Utah 24 which took us across to Capitol Reef.  When we were here in 2002 we were in a rental jeep and took one of the back roads across the Waterpocket Fold. It was beautiful – none of these backroads are passable in wet weather and the area had a rain storm last night.  The Fremont River was running fast and muddy red and out of its banks.  It was obvious it had been across the road in some places earlier today.
Fremont River

 At the park we watched the film telling the geologic history of the area as well as the settlement of the area by Mormons in the early 1900’s.  A large white dome type formation resembling our national capitol was the reason for the name.
Capitol Dome

 We stopped by the picnic area for a quick bite before driving through the orchards with trees heavy with apples and perhaps pears.  The settlers here had gown many fruits and the park service continues to plant trees and visitors are welcome to pick and eat the fruit.

West of Capitol Reef is the small town of Torry. The campground that Jane had selected was full to the brim and referred us down the road about a mile to the Sand Creek Campground and RV Park.  It is small but clean and the power works so we are happy.
Our camp looking out at Red Rocks

 We had stayed in Torry in 2002 and eaten a fantastic meal at Café Diablo.  Turns out Sand Creek Campground is right across the street from Café Diablo…so we called for a reservation.  
Jane downloaded 2 days-worth of photos to the computer and sorted out photos for the blog.  Ben watched a couple TV shows from his hard drive and maybe took a little nap.
Our dinner at Café Diablo was excellent.  We planned to order an appetizer, main course, and dessert and split them all – perfect.  We had Empanadas stuffed with cheese and sweet potatoes – they were served with a black bean sauce, sour cream and tiny fried onion rings.  Excellent!  Then our main course was Rosemary and Pine Nut encrusted Sirloin with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Zucchini Fritters with a Cherry Tomato Sauce.   Then we topped the meal off with some of the best Carrot Cake ever.  Ben even had a scoop of Salted Caramel Chocolate Ice Cream.  Somehow we managed to get ourselves out of the restaurant and back across the road to our camp!  The walk over and back maybe was our saving grace!


Carrot Cake with Ben's Ice Cream

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