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East Slow & Easy
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
East Slow & Easy
    This is the kind of day I do this for.  I started, awakening in a gorgeous place where I didn’t know if I’d get chased in the middle of the night by the local fuzniks.  Then, I drove across my NoWhereLands of Escalante Staircase National Monument.  I knew I was heading for Capitol Reef National Park  (http://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm) to overnight, so I wasn’t looking for an overnight or camping spot.  Lots of places there had serious snow on the ground, there was a chilly wind, and it was less than warm.  I made a bunch of notes of places that would be good overnight spots in Dixie National Forest if it was warm, and it’ll be an unusual occurrence if I’m here when the weather will be warm enough.  Most of Dixie N.F. is more than 5,000 feet and much of it much higher.  It’s March 22, I’m heading east, and I’ve already declared it’s “East Slow & Easy.”  Most people I talk to in Ocean City have never heard of my nowherelands area.  That’s what contributes to its appeal for me.  I drove from Bryce Canyon, another place that gets little publicity on Southern Utah’s scenic Route 12.  Bryce and the vistas on the drive are absolutely panorama land.  It rivals the Grand Canyon’s vistas.  I took so many photos that I’ll merge together later.  They defy description with words: phenomenal, magnificent, splendid or fabulous - I won’t even start.  It’s like driving across the top of the world, few cars, and gorgeous scenery.   
    Southern Utah is full of flabbergastingly staggering, stunning, panoramic red rocky landscapes, that go on and on, and can’t be captured in one photograph.  They stretch from horizon to horizon and sometimes to get the whole view it takes three or four photos, which I link together.  What an Incredible Landscape!
    I went to Bryce Canyon at 8-9,000 feet where it was cold in the morning with warm afternoons, but the incredible vistas trimmed with snow are not to be missed.  I can hardly walk there, because the oxygen content is too low in the air.  Every 10 steps I have to stop and catch my breath, but wow what I see is worth it.  Then I drove scenic Utah Rt. 12 to the town of Escalante, thru the Escalante Staircase, another part of the Dixie National Forest, and to Capitol Reef.  I got two nice walks in at Capitol Reef, (chilly a.m., but warm afternoons, too) although both were 6-8 miles long and like climbing up and down a staircase that was miles long.  My next week’s photos will describe those places better than I can with words, too.  I was going to strike southern Utah off my list, since it’s almost always too cold for me in March, when I have the opportunity to visit, but now I’m thinking of coming here and spending several weeks the next time the weather allows.
    Now, I’m parked off Route 24 between Torrey, Ut. and Capitol Reef N.P. where I won’t be seen from the road amongst the red soil, red rocks, and red bluffs.  Can I be here?  Who knows, but I don’t care; I’m enjoying and loving life.  I walked the mile and a half back to town to find a place that was showing the NCAA Basketball games on TV, but didn’t find any, so I walked back after a delicious rare as could be double cheddar cheese burger on a gluten free (gluten has been linked to Alzheimer’s by respected researchers) roll & salad bar feast, walked around this area, and found a whole bunch of big bones.  They have to be from an elk; they’re huge.  I want some for a display on my deck. The head was gone, maybe a trophy on somebody’s wall.
    Now, after a day of 35mph wind gusts that made it rather unpleasant to walk, I’m waiting for the sun that doesn’t clear the high red rock walls that surround the camp ground here at Capitol Reef N.P.  That makes for a gorgeous scenic backdrop, but shortens the day considerably.  It was 37 degrees at 7 a.m. and I’m waiting for the temperature to rise, so I can wear shorts and sandals for an arduous short climb on a trail up the wall, walk across a plateau containing Cohab Canyon, to Hickman’s Arch, and back to my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) via the road.  The huge Arch is tucked away, camouflaged, and can be missed by a casual hiker since it’s a little off the trail.  Between the visitor center and campgrounds are apple, pear, cherry, and quince apple orchards.  They’re maintained and some replanted to replicate what the Mormon settlers had in the latter 1800s.  The camp store sells pie they make from the fruit and has strawberry shortcake when they’re ready to be picked.  I’ll see what they have for this evening’s dessert.  There are many tent campers here in the 70 or so camp sites, that’s real camping, but it had to be in the 20s outside last night.  I was warm in my nest and it has no heat, just well insulated.  There’s even a green Subaru like the one I used to have, when I was tent camping for my first 11 of my 17 Adventures - trips to our country’s warm places when it’s cold in Ocean City.  I carried my kayak on top of the Subaru and my bicycle on top of the kayak.  Lots of memories!
 
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz
articles @ Coconuttimes.com

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