Southern Expedition – Day 1

Rob and I had so much fun on this trip. How could we not? Just the two of us away from all distractions. I take that back, the scenery was SO distracting!! It’s frustrating as photographers to see something amazing before you and not be able to capture what you’re seeing. Even with a wide-angle lens it seemed impossible to capture the feeling of being among miraculous landscape. But we sure tried.

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We drove 2 1/2 hours from West Jordan to Torrey along Highway 89. I’ve driven I-15 a billion times so I decided to go the back way and see new scenery. It was nice and didn’t take us any longer. We stopped for lunch just outside of Capitol Reef National Park and veered onto Scenic Byway 12. We were driving through beautiful Alpine elevations and I started dozing (Rob was driving). All of a sudden, Rob said, “Julie!” I opened my eyes and low and behold we were on top of a huge ridge looking at over 150 miles of rolling, rocky open space in each direction. I read that this is the place in all of the US where you can see the furthest due to both the elevation and the quality of the air. It was breathtaking (I’ll probably use that word a lot). I dare you to drive through here without stopping, pulling over, and enjoying.

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The weather was supposed to be rainy, but the sky looked fine so we decided to get to Zebra Slot Canyon as fast as possible, just in case. We REALLY wanted to hike the slot. We turned onto Hole-in-the-Rock Road and 6 miles down got out to start our hike. With an eye to the sky the whole time, we hiked a couple miles through washes and finally got there. There was only one other person there, a photographer, and he left just after we arrived. So it was very quiet and secluded. Talk about cool!! The striped walls were beautiful and the sand was very fine. We took our time there and then hiked out.

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We drove 6 more miles down the road to Devil’s Garden. This was very cool, too. We had fun climbing up the stone structures and looking far into the wilderness. The sky was beautiful and the breeze was perfect. It was very peaceful and I felt close to the earth.

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It was getting dark so we decided we had better get into Escalante and check into our cabin. We had planned on camping, but the weather was supposed to be terrible so we decided to reserve rooms. Turns out, the weather was perfect. Oh, well. At least we got showers. The outfitters overbooked so we didn’t get to stay there and instead stayed at a motel. But not before having some good pizza on the lit patio watching jack rabbits cross the road.

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Just writing this makes me wish I was back out in secluded, silent, awe-inspiring nature. The calmness it brings is amazing; the best drug ever, I’m sure. 

To see more pictures, click here.

And Rob says the “piece de resistance” is coming up for Foto Friday.

2 thoughts on “Southern Expedition – Day 1

  1. It looks like you had so much fun! And you are right, the pictures are breathtaking. I love the scenery in that area of Utah.

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