Saturday, October 1, 2016

Utah State Route 12 Torry to Bryce

October 1 2016

Lazy morning – slept until after 8 and decided to make the pancakes I brought.  Add water, shake, and pour!  They were good and we packed up and left about 9:30.  This was a simple nice small campground run by a lady who was jeweler.  She had lots of neat stones and she and Ben discussed tumbling stones for some time.  She had some really lovely turquoise but we restrained ourselves.
We drove back east through Torry to the eastern terminus of Rt 12.  This was our adventure for the day Utah Scenic Route 12.  We began at altitude 6,811 and would be all over a range from 5,387 at the lowest to 9,560 at the highest.  We had driven part of this road in 2002 but today we would make nearly the entire route depending on where we stay overnight – finishing on Sunday. 

Soon after leaving Torry we began to climb and were back in fir and aspen covered mountains.

Not sure how they can be more beautiful than the Colorado Aspen but we were closer to them and perhaps they were a bit more peak.  We continued to have vista after vista with both of us exclaiming over the views.  Our photos will have to tell the story but they really do not begin to show the majesty of these mountains.

After about 90 minutes we came to Boulder Utah.  This is the northern terminus of the Burr Trail. In 2002 we took the Burr Trail from Boulder through the Waterpocket Fold and came out near Capitol Reef.  It was the trip we took in a 4 wheel drive jeep.  At a backcountry road junction you can continue south on the Burr Trail and come out at the far eastern end of Lake Powell.  The Burr Trail is not paved and is what is known as a back country – dry weather road.  I am sure it is beautiful but a bit more adventure than we are up to today in our Sprinter!

In Boulder we visited the Anasazi State Museum which was an excellent stop.  Lots of good information on the ancient Puebloans and a wonderful gift shop where I could have easily spent $1,500 on a rug and pot!  Settled instead for a couple t-shirts.  Really nice ones.  They also had some ruins and a good film.  
At the Museum
Right down the street was Hell’s Backbone Grill – a 4 star New York Times rated restaurant so we stopped for lunch.  They grow most of the produce served in their facility, are only open 7:30 to 2:30 serving lunch and breakfast for these hours.   Ben had the soup of the day and a biscuit.  The soup was southwestern vegetable and the biscuit had sage butter.  He gave both a thumbs up!  I had a BLT – made with heirloom tomatoes, bacon, and lettuce on a special baked bread- super good!  With my sandwich was a small leaf lettuce and peach salad with pine nuts and a wonderful vinaigrette dressing.  A super good stop!

After lunch we continued west.  The topography changed.  This was the way I remembered Route 12 – we traveled along the backbone of the mountain – called Devil’s Backbone.  There was a huge drop off to miles and miles of the Escalante Badlands on either side of the two lane road.  Again no guard rails but there was a small shoulder.  Some of the grades were 10% and others 14%. 

  The views went on forever and my photos again do not do justice.  The view was similar on both sides of the road. Several places there were pullout spaces where you could park and take in the vistas.  One of the signs said we could see into Arizona.

We continued down through the town of Escalante where we had considered stopping but we decided to press on towards Cannonville and Bryce.  We continued seeing NO VACANCY signs on hotels and campgrounds but were lucky to get one of the last spots at Ruby’s Campground about 10 miles from Bryce Canyon.  This is some place – 2 hotels, a 240 site campground, several teepees, some cabins, a pool, hot tub, 2 or 3 restaurants, a cowboy show, and who knows what else…we are settled in and I am cooking after eating out last night and lunch today.  We have been surprised at the numbers of travelers everywhere.  There are lots of families traveling with children – wondering why they are not in school. Of course today is a weekend but we have seen lots of children all along.

We are certainly glad we bought that heater since it is expected to be down about 30 tonight.  Ben is watching a movie from his collection on his hard drive and I am catching up on this blog….got photos to transfer but my hope is the internet here will be good enough to at least post the narratives…if we have to do the photos later that is just the best we can do!

 Woo Hoo I am up to date with this blog!!!  The internet here at Ruby's is fantastic - it could be because we are parked right under the router!

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