We met Harry and Karen (from NY) and Geoff and Pat (from CT), nearly 30 years ago, in NJ. With shared passions for biking, hiking and skiing, it didn’t take long for us to become fast friends. At the time, Pat and Geoff lived near us in CT and they are still close by even though we migrated northward, so we get together with some regularity. Less so for Harry and Karen. We were sad when they told us after 5 years that they were moving to Boise ID. But no worries – we’ll just continue having outrageous ski and bike vacations together! We have fond memories of meet-ups for adventures in Sun Valley, Alta/Snowbird/Solitude, Breckenridge, Whistler/Blackcomb and more. Then came kids (mostly theirs), injuries (mostly ours), jobs with lots of travel (pretty much all of us), and all of a sudden 19 years had gone by without an adventure together… Gotta fix that!
It was in Fontanelle, Wyoming (population 13) that we finally said thank you and goodbye to Utah. Let me explain…
Back to red rocks, briefly…
On my 1983 cross-country bike trip, I wanted to get to Yellowstone NP from western Colorado. There were several route options. For no other reason than there was a green splotch on the map, I opted to head toward Flaming Gorge. Naively thinking I was past the Rockies and large mountain passes, I was unprepared for the pass over the Uintas. I pulled into a campground at Flaming Gorge well past dark, thoroughly beyond exhausted, set up my tent and fell asleep. There are no words to describe the emotion when I woke early in the morning and crawled out of my tent about 30 feet from the rim of the 1,700 foot deep, 4,000 foot wide Red Canyon. I stayed all day. I vowed to go back.
That’s a skier, obviously, but Liz and I bonded over bikes – kids’ bikes, specifically. We met and then spent an intensive 2 months together, every year for 5 years, planning and hosting the Mad River Valley’s annual bike swap. It was so much fun and we executed so well, it was like an annual dance. We passed the bike swap along to another organization, Doug and I went off on RV adventures, and Liz moved to Park City, Utah. *SIGH* There was no chance we’d miss Liz on our trip through Utah.
Several people remarked that driving Utah State Route 12 from Bryce to Torrey (a small town near the Capitol Reef NP) was beautiful. It was also the last remaining ‘space between’ Utah’s National Parks we’d yet to visit. So we set a course for SR-12 north, not knowing much about the area and planning to explore a bit over 4 days. Wow! It’s the top spot for a return visit on our next trip to Utah.
Continue reading “Utah State Route 12”
It was clear early on that there would be no time to visit all five of Utah’s National Parks before our visit to Arizona. No problem – we can stop at four on the way south, and the hit the last one as we head back north. Ah, but which one? Fearing increasing temperatures in June, we opted for the one at the highest elevation, and we’re very happy we did. Bryce is nice!
As we headed south to Arizona from Lake Powell, our friends headed north to explore more of southern Utah. They called to tell us about Cedar Breaks National Monument, which they described as one of the most beautiful places they’ve seen in the area. That was enough of an endorsement for us to set our course from Sedona. We’re glad we did!