Friday, May 8, 2009

The Road Taken--Eventually

"In a moment the results of that trip."

So ended yesterday's entry (a la the end of a Dragnet episode).

The trip referred to a drive along the Colorado River on Route 128. On several occasions, we had driven past 128's intersection with Route 191 just north of Moab, UT, on our way to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Each time, Kate mused (really), "I wonder what lies around the bend of that road. We should take it one day."

One of those days arrived.

Only the first couple hundred of yards of the road were visible after turning onto the highway. Rounding a curve, we soon saw a rock wall on the right, the Colorado River on the left, and another wall just beyond the river.

We had entered the red canyon country of Moab. We could only imagine what the canyon walls in this photo and the one below would look like at sunset. That must be a brilliant red.

We only drove about 15 miles of the 40+ miles of the distance from Moab east to I-70. We missed Negro Bill Canyon, Fisher Towers, Kokopelli, Onion Creek, and Castle Rock, but we felt we had experienced some the highway's wonders.

With the Colorado River flowing through the red canyon and the steep walls (some of 2500 feet) lining the river, we could almost feel like we were at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Almost. It's smaller; granted it's not as grand, but my imagination can make up for that.

There were several pull-offs along the highway, and we seemed to visit almost every one of them.

However, there always seemed to one shot that could only be taken from the highway without pulling off the road. Kate has become quite skilled at leaning out the window and snapping the photo while avoiding the large rearview mirror, door frame, and antenna.

The contour of the rock formation (on the right in the photo above) caught our eyes as we rolled down the road.

We may not have read about Route 128 in the guidebooks, but many others knew of the treasures along this highway.

Along the banks there were several camp sites--some with a few tents, others with several tents and small RVs. Most of them were Bureau of Land Management campgrounds. They may have been short on facilities, but the scenery was certainly unbeatable.

Several of the tour organizers of Moab, for example, Moab Adventures shown here, also know the river's beauty and traits. At some points along the 40 miles there are Class II and III rapids during certain times of the year.

We stopped at Sandy Beach to take photographs at one of the few swimming holes on the river.

Then we noticed this sign of the presence of another being and wondered who else--or what else--also knew about the canyon.

Almost the Grand Canyon.

No comments: