Friday, September 24, 2010

Headed to Capitol Reef

September 20, 2010

Road tripping from Flaming Gorge to Capitol Reef UT.
So many photos.... I edited over 500 images to around 45 to share with you!  We passed through so many different geological formations in one day, it's hard to believe! We went over two 9,000+ feet elevation passes, 2 beautiful valleys, 2 areas near the top of the passes full of autumn colors and saw some amazing rock formations! We even saw some wildlife, mountain sheep (?), elk and real cowboys herding cows! All in one day! We were pooped when we finally pulled in for the night! Hope you enjoy the road trip as much as we did. It was a 5 hour drive!

Leaving Flaming Gorge, the earth's upwellings
became obvious. Sheer cliffs going straight up!

The colors of the rock walls ranges from pink to red to a brownish red.

We followed highway 191 most of the way.
Another road less travelled...
so much beauty along this road!

Those little white dots you see going diagonally
up the hill are what we think might be wild sheep!
You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it or just looking below to see if you know what these critters are!

The main reason we think sheep is looking
at the "wool" of the guy on the right. It looks
like unshorn wool of a sheep.

Here are two more, not quite so "woolly"
They got horns, but not like a big horn sheep.
Peggy wrote and said they might be
Dahl or Dail sheep. Anybody know?

More road won't see scenery
like this from any interstate highway!

That is why it is called Flaming Gorge! We are going up out of the canyon, looking back on the lake! See the road below? Took about 4 good switchbacks to get us up and out of there!

The varied colors are amazing...

This was taken from the summit.
See the road behind us, down below... eeeek!
This is still far better than interstate driving!

Just one of the many sharp curve signs...

At the summit, we were high enough to see
Autumn colors showing off!

Not sure if these trees are Quaking Aspen
or Birch trees, but they sure are tall!

We also saw cowboys rounding up cattle to take down to the valleys for the winters. Much too cold at this elevation to leave the cattle out year around.

Cowboys and their dogs!

Oh! Oh! Going down now! 9 miles of 8% straight
down roads! Eeeeek!

Oh yeah, don't forget to scare me to death by telling me there are multiple runaway ramps ahead!
Thanks! eeeek!

What? We got 9 more of these twisty turny
roads??? What??? eeeek!

Yep, this is definately the road less travelled!
Look at those twists and turns ahead!
But look at how beautiful it is too!

We passed a mining operation.
Mining for carbon.

We are finally 1/2 way down this 9,000+ foot pass and now they are going to blast us ??
We never heard any blasts, thank you!

The carbide company put up this nice flag!

Almost down to the bottom now, we see
a small herd of Elk. The buck is in the lead
with the 3 does following behind. Those four black dots are elk! Honest!

More of the road less travelled.  Leaving the high alpine altitude and coming back down to the
rock formations.

Entering the Chinle Formation
where Crocodile Teeth have been found!

These rocks are part of the Chinle Formation.

Then we came to the Navajo Formation
of fossilized sand dunes.

They look like fossil sand dunes to me!

Hard to imagine that most of this is all an
ancient ocean bed.

But when you see it from above,
it becomes easier to believe.

On the road less travelled,

We are finally back down to the rock level...
   This rock had separated and looked about to fall!

And the rock walls are spectacular!

In the next little valley, headed back up to the next summit, is this cute little cabin, abandoned.
There were a lot of cattle grazing down here.

More rock formations

    We sure don't get these kind of colors in Florida!

            As we head to the top of this summit,
           we find trees again and Autumn colors!

It was very windy up here, see the
dirt devil blowing around?

See? I told you over 9,000 feet altitude!

Headed back down through autumn colors.

When Chuck and I saw this, we thought
of dinosaur teeth!  Haha!
It really looks like weird teeth!

We even saw some reds on the way down from this pass.  Soon after this was taken, we entered coal mining operations and everything changed.
We entered the mining town of Wellington UT
and spent the night in a rather ugly campground.
We didn't even unhook the MotherShip! However, within walking distance of the campground was a wonderful little diner that served the BEST ham and egg breakfast with homemade sourdough bread!
We got back on the road and headed for Capitol Reef. OMG! More beauty! Can ya'll stand more beauty???  I can !!!
Come road tripping with us on our next blog
through Capitol Reef!
Happy Trails!
Geri, Chuck, Scotty and DoogieBowser

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