July 5, 2011
Today we head out across the border into Utah. Our destination is Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. The term “forest” though is really an oxymoron as there are very few trees. This is a very small park smack dab in one of the most densely “National Park” areas in the US and will serve as a fantastic camp base for the next week of our adventures. The journey by crow would take about 2 hours if there was a straight route due north of our current location. However our journey today will be closer to 4 hours as we must first head west before north and then east again, traveling completely around the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
It was my plan to visit Zion National Park while we were in this area, even stay a day or two at the park, but we will leave this till our next excursion in the area now. Utah is breathtaking! Absolutely breathtaking. One minute you are driving among tall pines and aspens the next in grasslands and the next in rocky, sparsely vegetated regions. It is hard to imagine you are driving in the same state yet alone within the same 100 miles. We stopped periodically alone the way to stretch the legs, grab a bite or two, or just take in the beauty whilst Shyla tended to her business. Just before 5 pm we finally arrive at our destination today and set up camp. It is the rainy session right now for this area and all is wet. We have done well again with picking a fantastic site. This park host only about 20 or so sites. Ours is directly across from the reservoir and backs up to the bathroom facilities.
Here are a few shots taken on our drive today. It is easy to see that the diversity of terrain in just these few pictures is why this Hwy is designated as a scenic route and traveled by millions each year.