After a great stay in Moab, we fired up the bus on Thursday and headed west. Our last travel day three weeks ago we were headed east across central Utah on I-70. Now here we were headed west on the same highway. What’s up with that?
Well, our original plan had us entering Utah on the west side of the state, then making a slow journey across to the east visiting the many national parks in southern Utah along the way. But as we researched the trip, we found that the second planned stop, Bryce Canyon NP, is at an altitude of almost 9,000 feet. At this height, spring arrives a little later than the rest of southern Utah. So in an effort to avoid the freezing temperatures of the high country we circled around it and drove across the state from Zion NP in western Utah to the Moab area in eastern Utah. Now we are circling back into the high country, as temperatures are slowly rising to a more moderate level acceptable to our tender skin.
We left Moab just after 9:00 (extremely early for us) and headed to I-70. After a fuel stop in Green River, one of the most desolate poor towns we have seen, we headed to the southwest on UT-24. Most of this road is designated as a Scenic Byway, and as we continued we could see why it earned this designation. The first twenty miles was a bit mundane as we drove over flat desert, rarely seeing another vehicle.
As we continued, the Henry Mountains loomed larger and the landscape slowly became more interesting.
As we approached our destination, the road meandered through a section of Capitol Reefs National Park, with beautiful rock formations on both sides of the highway. Yes, Kevin, more pictures of rocks!
After a drive of about 150 miles, we arrived at Thousand Lakes RV Park in Torrey, UT. With a population of under 200 people, Torrey is a small town just outside the entrance of Capitol Reef National Park.
Although not the luxurious, concrete site we enjoyed in Moab, we have a nice site on gravel with great views of the mountains to the south.
One of our reasons for stopping in Torrey is to do some hiking in the national park, but the main reason for being here is to visit the home of Annette and Larry. Annette is the person who first enlightened us to the possibility of living full time in a motorhome.
Over ten years ago we were thinking of retirement and trying to figure out a way to tour the country and stay in places we would visit for more than a few days. That summer Pam participated in a workshop at her school district on technology in the classroom. She came home one afternoon saying that the instructor of the workshop didn’t have a house, she lived full time in a motorhome traveling the country. Wow, this is exactly what we needed to do! That instructor was Annette, and for the next few years she returned to the district each summer. We would take her to dinner each year and pick her brain about how to live on the road. After ten years travelling the country, she and husband Larry settled down and built a beautiful home in a canyon near Torrey. They invited us to their home for dinner the night of our arrival, where we enjoyed a delicious meal and many hours of great conversation.
Larry and Annette are avid hikers and have done extensive exploration of the area. Annette even prepared a list of hikes and adventures in the area for our use. We’ll spend the next two days exploring the national park on our own while Annette completes grading work for an online course she teaches as part of her role as professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Then the four of us have some adventures planned together next week.
More on that later . . .