Oh boy, what a grand day we had yesterday. It started with a liesurely breakfast at Escalante Outfitters. We met some interesting pepole there. Especially a young girl from Boulder, Utah. She told us that although we shouldn't drive on unpaved roads this week, that the Burr Trail leading from Boulder was paved for the first thirty miles. Part of it she said was "as good as it gets," and she advised us to stop at mile 11 and go hiking.
But first to get to Boulder, one must travel highway 12. That road also contends for the title "as good as it gets". Driving that stretch of road with Jen was actually my main vision for the purpose of this whole trip. It didn't dissapoint. LIke me and Dave and Libby before, Jen was enchanted by the journey.
Then we took the 60 mile side trip recommended by that girl on the Burr TraIl. We stopped at mile 11, and found a slot canyon where we could walk between vertical walls 500 feet high as the width of the canyon decreased from 50 feet to zero. In there, we met a local family with children. I think they were probably Mormon. In any case they were very nice pepole and very talkative, so we enjoyed meeting them. Their teenaged daughter was climing the walls and exploring the caves barefoot.
Eventually, we got to Capitol Reef National Park. I showed Jen the area called Fruita that Libby and I thbough one of the best camp sites on our entire trip a few years back. A herd of 12 mule deer ignored us as we passed through. Then, Jen and I took a hiking trail that leads up 1000 feet to the top of the mesa at Chimney Rock. The exercise felt good. A bit more than normal exercise was necessary because our boots each picked up five pounds of mud. We made it 2/3 of the way up, but then turned back because the sun was about to set and the temperature was dropping rapidly (from 45F to 0F in the night.) If we had stayed up there another 90 minutes we would have seen the spectacular full moon rising.
I think it fair to say that the entire day qualifies "as good as it gets"
Today? We will drive through Monument Valley towards Page, Arizona.
Pictures? I'm letting Jen take all the pictures this trip. I'll get a copy when the trip ends, and I'll post some of the best ones here.