Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May, 17.

Windy last night but very nice and warm today.

This is the last day that we will be taking a jeep ride in Utah.

This morning we drove east to the junction of Utah 24 and 12.
We gassed up at the Texaco and headed south on hwy. 12 toward Boulder, Utah.
Our first stop was at a turn out at 8500 ft. overlooking Capital Reef NP.
Patti took a couple of pictures

Then we got back in the jeep and it would not start.
This is the second time this has happened on this trip where we stopped at an elevation over 8000 ft and had trouble starting the jeep. It was running fine and gave no indication that there was a problem. After several minutes of cranking the engine finally stumbled into life. I was very relieved because we were in a spot where we couldn’t roll forward to do a compression start. Once the engine started it ran just fine. I wasn’t sure if we should continue the ride or not but decided to stay on the paved road to Boulder and try turning off the engine once we got to a lower elevation and then try starting it again. I wanted to wait until we were somewhere where I could pull off on the side and be on a hill so we could roll forward if it wouldn’t start.
On the way we stopped at a couple of overlooks but I kept the motor running.
Patti took some nice pictures of the aspen starting to leaf out

And a deer crossing the road.

We eventually went over a 9600 ft. pass and started the long downhill toward Boulder.
When we got below 7000 ft. I started looking for some where to stop but couldn’t find anywhere appropriate until after we turned onto the road to “Escalante National Monument“.
The elevation was 6500 ft. There was a turn out on a hill so we stopped and I waited while Patti had a cigarette. When she got back in the jeep I turned the ignition switch and Clifford started right up. ??? Who knows what that’s about.??
The scenery along the road through Escalante is gorgeous.

The road goes through a red rock gorge.

With what I guess you could call arches or amphitheaters.

This wall is honeycombed with holes.

Eventually we came to an overlook of the southern end of Capital reef.

I bet you are tired of pictures of cactus flowers. Well here is the last one until next year. :o)

As soon as you cross over into Capital Reef the road turns to dirt, it is a good wide road but with a lot of washboard.

It goes down a great set of switch backs and off into the desert.

We cruised along the dirt road for about 30 miles; there were no places with any shade to stop for lunch. Eventually we crossed a wash where there were tracks going to the left and I turned on to them. We went about a couple hundred yards and found this little Cottonwood tree with just enough shade to work for lunch.

One thing we noticed was that a lot of the Cottonwood trees were covered with Caterpillar sacks.

I’m sorry Tom but there is a road here in Utah that you can’t go on but don’t feel to bad it isn’t that exciting anyway.

Tomorrow we will start for home and should be back in Santa Rosa in about three days.

Ok that’s all for today.

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